While there is a bit of a lull as we await the Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (G1) on the first Saturday in May, there will be some noteworthy stakes action Saturday.
J. Keeler Johnson handicaps the Charles Town Classic (G2)
At this point, handicappers can be excused for being a trifle gun-shy when it comes to evaluating this crop of 3-year-olds, simply because the most consistent thing about them has been their inconsistency.
In a move designed to build the confidence of new horseplayers while emphasizing that racing offers a different form of gambling from random gaming like the lottery, Oaklawn Park is paying more money for winning on-track show wagers this year.
J. Keeler Johnson handicaps the Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park.
Twelve members of Congress have signed a letter delivered to the Department of Treasury requesting recently proposed IRS regulations relating to the way pari-mutuel winnings are calculated for tax withholding and reporting purposes be finalized.
- By Dave Litfin
- Handicapping, Thoroughbred Racing, Southeast Region, Kentucky, Southwest Region, West Region
Horse players will need three sets of eyes to keep track of this week's action, as Aqueduct Racetrack, Keeneland, and Santa Anita Park all run 170-point qualifiers to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1).
J. Keeler Johnson handicaps the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and Ashland Stakes (G1).
Last year's Del Mar Oaks Presented by The Jockey Club (G1T) winner Harmonize will make her season debut in the $200,000 Royal Heroine Stakes (G2T) for fillies and mares 4 and older April 8.
A seat at the 2018 NTRA National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) presented by Racetrack Television Network, STATS Race LensTM and Treasure Island Las Vegas will be up for grabs in a free handicapping contest open to Equestricon ticket holders.
In 2018 Ascot Race Course will launch its own pari-mutuel betting operation, AscotBet.
Godolphin has officially launched Round Two of the Godolphin Fantasy Stable League, a pioneering interactive online gaming competition designed specifically for fans of horse racing.
McCraken closed as the narrow 5-1 favorite over Always Dreaming.
The Southern routes to Louisville come to a climax April Fools' Day, when Gulfstream Park and Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots each highlight their final stakes-studded April 1 programs with preps to Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Kentucky Derby.
J. Keeler Johnson handicaps the Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds.
Two veterans of this year's Road to the Kentucky Derby, Whitham Thoroughbreds' unbeaten McCraken and Peacock Racing Stables' Gunnevera, are the morning line co-favorites at 6-1 for the fourth and final pool of the 2017 Kentucky Derby Future Wager.
For some reason, or combination of reasons, I never seem to do much good on Dubai World Cup Day, so even though they're running nine stakes worth a total of $30 million in the desert Saturday, I am again finding it difficult to come up with a plan.
J. Keeler Johnson handicaps the Spiral Stakes (G3) at Turfway Park.
- By Dave Litfin
- Thoroughbred Racing, Handicapping, Midwest Region, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, West Region
Older fillies and mares in the spotlight at both Oaklawn Park and Santa Anita Park.
A revamped and rebranded NHC Tour will be the richest in its 10-year history with a record prize pool totaling $400,000 up for grabs in 2017.
The Rebel Stakes (G2) is the penultimate leg of Oaklawn's Kentucky Derby prep race series, and with such a large purse, the Rebel has drawn a field of eleven horses that look very competitive on paper.
Xpressbet customer gets chance to make $25,000 bet on the Preakness.
Racing's economic model was discussed as advance-deposit wagering continues to account for a larger share of pari-mutuel handle.
- By Dave Litfin
- Thoroughbred Racing, Handicapping, West Region, Southwest Region, Midwest Region, Southeast Region
On the West Coast at The Great Race Place, the 80th running of the Santa Anita Handicap Presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino (G1) anchors a five-stakes program
The NTRA is continuing efforts to what it hopes will be a successful finish on new tax reporting and withholding rules while working with the industry to make sure it will quickly transition to the new rules.
J. Keeler Johnson handicaps the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) at Tampa Bay Downs.
TVG is expanding its agreement with Sky Racing World to offer increased television coverage of Australian horse racing on TVG and TVG2 as well as launch additional wagering promotions for TVG account holders on Australian racing.
The upgrade of the racetrack’s signal to HD, which debuts March 9, will include new, customized graphics for an enhanced racing simulcast experience.
The company that launched the first betting exchange in the United States, Betfair US, believes its first year performance offers some encouraging trends for the industry.
It's early in the process but because the wording in a current Florida Senate bill would potentially outlaw ADW, industry leaders have quickly weighed in to make sure legislators understand how devastating that outcome would be for horse racing.
The Road to the Kentucky Derby continues to heat up with two more 85-point qualifying races March 4 when the Gotham (G3) is run at Aqueduct Racetrack, and the Xpressbet Fountain of Youth (G2) caps a sensational card at Gulfstream Park.
"It's amazing how few horse racing movies have been produced," Jay Cronley lamented in recounting the story behind the making of "Let it Ride," the film version of his novel "Good Vibes." Cronley was right. It truly is amazing.
The Road to the Kentucky Derby continues on Saturday with two major Derby prep races at Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park, including the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2).
Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) announced Feb. 27 that HPItv, Woodbine Entertainment Group's CRTC licensed digital television channel, will remain on the air.
The always-popular "All Others" wagering interest was the narrow 5-1 favorite in the third of four pools of Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby Future Wager, edging a tightly bunched group of individual contenders headed by unbeaten McCraken ( 5-1).
Dave Litfin handicaps the weekend's top graded stakes races including three stakes for 3-year-olds or 3-year-old fillies this weekend.
J. Keeler Johnson handicaps the Risen Star Stakes (GII) at Fair Grounds.
Turfway Park and the Kentucky HBPA are teaming up March 3 for Happy Hour Handicapping, an interactive event where people who love racing and horses can learn the basics of playing the races and take a first look at Kentucky Derby contenders.
Leading North American online wagering provider Xpressbet and the industry's official database, Equibase, have collaborated to offer STATS Race LensTM on Xpressbet's wagering platform.
It's a relatively quiet Saturday in terms of stakes action, and oddly enough, Mother Nature will be much less of an obstacle on the East Coast than it will be in Southern California.
J. Keeler Johnson handicaps the El Camino Real Derby (G3) at Golden Gate Fields.
Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs each card three graded stakes and Santa Anita Park puts on a pair of Grade 2 events.
The Road to the Kentucky Derby continues Saturday and Sunday with the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1) and Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3).
Gulfstream Park announced Feb. 5 it will lower the minimum wager on its Pick 3 to 50 cents beginning Feb. 8.
What's it like to be a handicapper at the National Handicapping Championship? Follow along with America's Best Racing and ESPN College GameDay's Chris Fallica in Las Vegas as Fallica competes among the best handicappers in the country.
If you're thinking a pick three on the three Derby prep races—all scheduled within a 95-minute window—would surely stimulate some nationwide interest in the proceedings, you're right. And you're also out of luck, because that makes too much sense.
The Road to the Kentucky Derby will continue Saturday with the Lambholm South Holy Bull Stakes (G3), Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G2) and Kitten's Joy Stakes.
Ray Arsenault of Thornhill, Ontario, Canada, near Toronto, earned the $800,000 first-place prize and an Eclipse Award as Horseplayer of the Year at this weekend's 18th annual National Handicapping Championship (NHC).
J. Keeler Johnson handicaps the showdown between Arrogate and California Chrome in the Pegasus World Cup.
At the bottom line, Arrogate was able to run down California Chrome despite the latter having everything his own way at Santa Anita last fall, and he still has license to improve.
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