Handicapping

Tips and picks for how to bet on Thorougbred horse racing

Mizdirection beats the boys in Turf Sprint

Noted sports broadcaster Jim Rome, a convert to Thoroughbred racing in recent years and operator of Jungle Racing stable, celebrated his biggest win as an owner Saturday when Mizdirection, a filly he owns in partnership with Strauss, Grohs, Beljak and KMN Racing, turned in a spectacular stretch run to win the $909,000 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita.

Brushed by a Star denies Joyful Victory in Chilukki

Team Forster's Brushed by a Star outdueled Joyful Victory by a head in Saturday's Grade 2, $168,900 Chilukki Stakes at Churchill Downs. Under a Corey Lanerie drive, the Grant Forster filly ranged up in midstretch and proved just the stronger. Her second graded stakes victory will serve as a nifty catalog update for Monday's Fasig-Tipton November Sale, where she is listed as Hip No. 29.

George Vancouver navigates winning trip in Juvenile Turf

Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith's George Vancouver showed a turn of foot worthy of his freshman sire, Henrythenavigator, to score handily in Saturday's $909,000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. By beating the Chad Brown duo of Noble Tune and Balance the Books, the Irish shipper gave his Coolmore connections, and trainer Aidan O'Brien and jockey Ryan Moore, their second straight win in this race, following Wrote a year ago at Churchill Downs.

Boisterous retains Red Smith crown

Phipps Stable's homebred Boisterous successfully defended his title in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct. Rating in third under Edgar Prado for more than a mile, Boisterous eased into the lead at the top of the stretch and drew off to win by a comfortable three lengths. The final time for 1 3/8 miles over yielding turf was 2:19 1/5. An overwhelming 1-5 favorite, Boisterous returned $2.70, $2.20 and $2.10.

Breeders' Cup Friday winners doing well

Trainer Bill Mott spelled out how Royal Delta was doing Saturday, the morning after her gate-to-wire victory in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic. It was the four-year-old filly's second consecutive win in the race and Mott's third straight and fifth overall.

BC Friday handle off 5 percent

A crowd of 34,619 was on hand at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, on Friday for the first day of the 29th Breeders' Cup World Championships. The attendance figure was a slight decline over the 2009 Friday attendance at Santa Anita of 37,651, but up from the 2008 figure of 31,257.

Grandeur rudely interrupts Speaking in Twilight Derby

Yvonne Jacques' Grandeur, who trailed much of the way after stumbling at the start in Friday's Grade 2, $150,000 Twilight Derby, flew home in deep stretch to catch 5-2 favorite Speaking of Which. Trained by Jeremy Noseda and ridden by William Buick, the English shipper bested the Irish colt by a half-length in the all-European exacta.

Zagora kicks best late in Filly & Mare Turf

One year ago, owner Martin S. Schwartz and trainer Chad Brown endured the bitter disappointment of watching their 9-5 favorite Stacelita trudge home 10th in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf. But in Friday's renewal at Santa Anita, they experienced a much happier reversal of fortune, courtesy of the consistently classy Zagora.

Flotilla flows to Juvenile Fillies Turf victory

Sheikh Mohammed al Thani's Flotilla was sent off at 11-1 to continue the double-digit winners on Breeders' Cup Friday, taking the Grade 1, $909,000 Juvenile Fillies Turf by 1 1/4 lengths after coming with furious late rally down the middle of the lawn at Santa Anita. With Christophe Lemaire aboard, the dark bay daughter of Mizzen Mast was forced to swing wide around the turn but kicked into gear to get up and finish a mile on the firm turf in 1:34 3/5.

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.

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