Handicapping

Tips and picks for how to bet on Thorougbred horse racing

Southern Lights Stroll returns for 11th season

With the return of the Southern Lights holiday festival, the Southern Lights Stroll once again debuts as its opening night on November 15. The only evening of the entire event when the public is allowed to experience a major portion of the lighted route on foot, visitors may choose to run, walk or stroll their way through thousands of dazzling holiday lights in the heart of horse country, on the grounds of the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.

Mott reflects on Classic winner Cigar ahead of possible record-setting weekend

Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott was smiling and content Friday morning with his horses safely back in their stalls after completing their exercise. Mott will run defending champion Royal Delta in the Ladies' Classic Friday afternoon and has three runners -- Flat Out, Ron the Greek and To Honor and Serve -- in the $5 million Classic on Saturday.

Baffert: Dude's on his game

Game On Dude, the Classic morning-line favorite, had another strong gallop Thursday morning, heading out with trainer Bob Baffert's 7:45 a.m. (PDT) set under regular exercise rider Dana Barnes. He returned to the Baffert barn on the Santa Anita backstretch and got a treat of a couple of carrots from Barnes, who is married to Baffert's chief assistant, Jim Barnes.

Team Europe takes to the track

Having cleared quarantine Wednesday evening, Aidan O'Brien's powerful Breeders' Cup team took to the Santa Anita track for the first time to stretch their legs Thursday morning.

Shanghai Bobby gets first look at Santa Anita

Undefeated Grade 1 winner Shanghai Bobby, trainer Todd Pletcher's morning-line favorite for Saturday's Breeders' Cup Juvenile, got his first glimpse of picturesque Santa Anita Thursday morning after arriving on the Tex Sutton flight Wednesday.

Amazombie, Musical Romance try for title defenses in Sprint races

Amazombie, defending champion of Saturday's Breeders' Cup Sprint, was put through what amounted to a faster-than-usual gallop on Thursday morning at Santa Anita under exercise rider Javier Meza that trainer Bill Spawr likened to the one or two days before the 2011 Sprint at Churchill Downs.

Goldikova attracts eight

One day after wrapping up the 2012 Breeders' Cup, Santa Anita will offer the Grade 2, $150,000 Goldikova (formerly Las Palmas) sending a competitive field of eight distaffers one mile over the turf on closing day Sunday.

O'Brien gives updates on Breeders' Cup runners

While the Cup horses from Aidan O'Brien's Ballydoyle Stables remain in quarantine until they are able to make their first appearance on the track Thursday, the trainer was at the barn on Wednesday morning and spent some time with members of the international media discussing some of his Breeders' Cup hopefuls:

Dominus, Neck 'n Neck square off in Ack Ack

Grade 2 winners Dominus and Neck 'n Neck highlight an eight-horse field in Friday's Grade 3, $100,000 Ack Ack at Churchill Downs. The one-mile event also features the U.S. debut of Group 1 Argentinean hero Grand Berry.

Stakes-filled opening weekend at Aqueduct

Thoroughbred racing action in New York moves to Aqueduct on Friday, with opening weekend featuring a "Welcome Back" event for patrons on the newly refurbished second floor, the simulcast of the Breeders' Cup from Santa Anita, and exciting live racing action.

Mott loaded in Classic; Nonios works a bullet

Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott said all three of his Breeders' Cup Classic horses -- Flat Out, To Honor and Serve, and Ron the Greek -- traveled well from the East Coast Monday and went to the track for light exercise Tuesday morning.

Final European contingent arrives at Santa Anita

The final shipment of European runners for this year's Breeders' Cup arrived late Monday night at the quarantine barn at Santa Anita. Aidan O'Brien's party of nine runners, including St Nicholas Abbey (Turf) and Excelebration (Mile), touched down in California shortly after 8 p.m. (PDT), and having cleared customs were safely bedded down by 11 p.m.

Coolmore buys half of Shanghai Bobby

Starlight Racing has sold a 50 percent interest in Shanghai Bobby, the 2-1 morning line favorite in Saturday's Breeders' Cup Juvenile, to the Coolmore connections of Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the unbeaten two-year-old is considered an early favorite for next year's Kentucky Derby.

Aikenite retired due to ankle injury

Dogwood Stable's Aikenite -- a multiple Grade 2-winning earner of $875,385 -- has been retired after re-injuring an ankle while prepping for his final appearance in Saturday's Grade 3 Ack Ack Stakes at Churchill Downs, according to Cot Campbell, Dogwood Stable president.

Champions line up for 29th Breeders' Cup

Thoroughbred racing's most prestigious global event, the Breeders' Cup consists of 15 races worth a total of more than $25 million and hosted by Santa Anita for the sixth time with six races on Friday and nine on Saturday to be televised on NBC Sports Network and NBC. For the first time, the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic will be televised live and in primetime on NBC from 8-9 p.m. (ET).

Dullahan, Little Mike both opt for Turf

Trainer Dale Romans has confirmed that Grade 1 Pacific Classic winner Dullahan and Grade 1 Arlington Million winner Little Mike will both start in the Turf. Dullahan had been pre-entered for the Classic, while Little Mike had been considered for the Mile.

Groupie Doll blitzes three furlongs at Santa Anita

Groupie Doll blasted three furlongs in :34 2/5 Monday morning at Santa Anita with regular exercise rider Jada Schlenk aboard in preparation for Saturday's Filly & Mare Sprint. The work was the co-fastest of 19 at the distance.

Sun sets on Ryehill's dream comeback

Ryehill Dreamer, who had been sidelined by injury since capturing the Grade 2 American Handicap in May 2011, tracked Red Sun through fractions of :23 4/5 and :47 1/5 on the firm turf. Rounding the far turn, Ryehill Dreamer went after the pacesetter in earnest. He drew alongside through six furlongs in 1:10 3/5, and appeared ready to go by at the top of the stretch, but Red Sun refused to yield.

Gomez hopes for another BC grand slam at Santa Anita

Garrett Gomez is no stranger to winning Breeders' Cup races, especially at Santa Anita. The 40-year-old Tucson, Arizona, native has 12 such victories overall on his growing and glowing resume, including four in 2008 and one in 2009 when the World Championship events were held at The Great Race Place.

Sign goes two-for-two in Pocahontas

Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider's homebred Sign made a couple of rookie mistakes in her stakes debut in Sunday's Grade 2, $168,150 Pocahontas at Churchill Downs, but the 4-5 favorite easily overcame them to win as much the best.

Uncaptured pulls away in Iroquois

John C. Oxley's Uncaptured could not be caught in the Grade 3, $114,800 Iroquois at Churchill on Sunday. The Ontario-bred two-year-old colt was an impressive winner by 5 1/2 lengths in his first race away from Woodbine.

Trainers targeting Aqueduct's weekend stakes

Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey looks to have a strong hand in Aqueduct's early turf stakes, with Boisterous aiming to defend his title in the Grade 2, 1 3/8-mile Red Smith Handicap on opening Saturday and Hit It Rich looking to repeat in the Grade 3 Long Island Handicap a week later.

Lady Ten proves best in Autumn Miss

Mercedes Stable's homebred Lady Ten surged to the lead off the far turn and held the fast-closing Customer Base safe late to win Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Autumn Miss Stakes at Santa Anita. The three-year-old filly was sent postward as the 2-1 favorite for trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Rafael Bejarano, who figure to be a popular combination again next weekend in the two-day Breeders' Cup. 

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