Handicapping

Tips and picks for how to bet on Thorougbred horse racing

Ultimate Eagle launches comeback in deep Citation

Ultimate Eagle, who capped a four-race winning streak in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby at last year's Turf Festival, will kick off the 2012 Festival by making his comeback in Friday's Grade 2, $250,000 Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park. Sidelined for nine months since weakening to 10th in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap, the Michael Pender trainee will clash with stablemate and defending champion Jeranimo; East Coast shipper Data Link and his frequent foe Doubles Partner; and former Argentinean Horse of the Year Interaction.

Grade 1 veterans among Claiming Crown nominees

The 14th edition of the $850,000 Claiming Crown promises to make opening day at Gulfstream Park an even more special occasion on December 1, judging from the long and talented list of nominees for the seven-race series that will be renewed for the first time at the Hallandale Beach, Florida, track.

Quality control standards implemented for Listed stakes

The North American International Catalogue Standards Committee (NAICSC) on Monday announced that effective January 1, 2014, additional quality control requirements will be implemented for races in North America eligible for non-Listed black-type in SITA catalogues (those compliant with guidelines required by the Society of International Thoroughbred Auctioneers).

Kentucky Derby, Oaks tickets available online

Shoppers searching for ideas for unique holiday gifts have the opportunity to present family members, friends and business associates with a view of Churchill Downs' venerable Twin Spires on Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Days with an online advance purchase of either general admission tickets to those great racing and entertainment events, or two-day reserved seats for Derby and Oaks in the track's new Section 110 venue.

McClellan marks 40 years as jockey agent

When rising superstar Joe Talamo captured Santa Anita's autumn riding title to break the five-year Southern California reign of Rafael Bejarano and Joel Rosario, it was a scrapbook-filling moment for the 22-year-old. For his agent, Scotty McClellan, it was just another day at the office.

Shackleford staying home for Clark

A decision on whether classic hero Shackleford would run in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile on Saturday at Aqueduct or one day earlier in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs was to be made Monday, but trainer Dale Romans told the Courier-Journal on Sunday that the chestnut would stay home in Kentucky for the latter contest.

Fair Grounds opens with salty renewal of Thanksgiving 'Cap

Fair Grounds is generally accepted to be the third-oldest racetrack in the country, although many accounts, including a heavily researched 2006 feature in The Times-Picayune by Bob Fortus, contend that Fair Grounds could be at least the second-oldest, if not the oldest.

Sadamu Patek hangs on from Boss in Mile Championship

Sadamu Onishi's Sadamu Patek just hung on from favored Grand Prix Boss in Sunday's 29th running of the Mile Championship at Kyoto. Aside from recording his first Grade 1 title, the son of Fuji Kiseki helped jockey Yutaka Take to fill in a rare gap on his resume.

Centre holds court in Mrs. Revere

Centre Court's first two victories came during the spring meet -- a 4 3/4-length maiden conquest on May 19, followed by the Grade 3 Regret in her stakes debut on June 16. The Rusty Arnold filly made it three in a row when taking a rough running of the Grade 2 Lake George at Saratoga. Runner-up to Stephanie's Kitten next time out in the Grade 2 Lake Placid at the Spa August 19, Centre Court was most recently second to the front-running Dayatthespa in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland October 13.

Goldencents wires Delta Downs Jackpot

W. C. Racing, Dave Kenney and RAP Racing's Goldencents grabbed command of Saturday's Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot by a short margin soon after the start and maintained the lead throughout to score a 1 3/4-length victory on the wire. With jockey Kevin Krigger aboard, the Doug O'Neill trainee ran 1 1/16 miles on the fast main track in 1:44 4/5.

Lea justifies favoritism in Commonwealth Turf

Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider's homebred Lea capitalized on a textbook stalk-and-pounce trip to capture Saturday night's Grade 3, $100,000 Commonwealth Turf at Churchill Downs, and in the process, the lightly-raced colt stamped himself as one to follow next year. Bet down to 5-2 favoritism off his late-running third in the Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby last out, the Al Stall Jr. trainee took up much better early position this time for new rider Brian Hernandez Jr., and produced a strong kick down the stretch.

Rose to Gold shines in Delta Downs Princess

Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centofanti's Rose to Gold held off the determined run of fellow Calder shipper Touch Magic to take Saturday's Grade 3, $500,000 Delta Downs Princess by a half-length under jockey Paco Lopez. The Friends Lake juvenile miss was sent off the 5-2 second choice and paid $7.60, $5.60 and $4.60 while finishing the two-turn, fast-track mile in 1:39 1/5.

Fabulous Strike Handicap tops Wednesday card at Penn National

Named after one of the most accomplished horses to run at Penn National, the Fabulous Strike for sprinters boasts a deep field highlighted by the 5-2 morning line favorite Poseidon's Warrior. Winner of the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt in August at Saratoga Race Course, Poseidon's Warrior is coming off a dull effort in the Breeders' Cup Sprint on November 3 at Santa Anita, reporting home last.

Called to Serve strolls home in Discovery

Marc Ferrell's Called to Serve rallied from the back of a six-horse field in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct to take the 1 1/8-mile fixture for three-year-olds by a widening 4 3/4 lengths under Joel Rosario. The 7-2 second choice, Called to Serve paid $9.60, $3.60 and $2.40.

Groupie Doll breezes for Cigar Mile

Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Groupie Doll breezed a half-mile in :48 1/5 over Churchill Downs' fast dirt on Saturday morning in preparation for a possible start against the boys in the Grade 1, $350,000 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on November 24.

Awesome Gem to parade at Hollywood

Awesome Gem, who earned the biggest win of his illustrious career in the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup in 2010, will be paraded between races on November 24 at Hollywood Park.

'Ebby' cruises in debut

Eric N. Kronfeld's homebred Eblouissante, a Bernardini half-sister to Horse of the Year and equine star Zenyatta, made her much anticipated debut in the 4TH race at Hollywood Park on Friday and, just like her big sis, flew home to score by 4 1/4 lengths on the wire.

Eclipse Award tickets available for purchase

Tickets for the 42nd annual Eclipse Awards, which will feature the announcement of 2012 Horse of the Year, are now available for purchase. The Eclipse Awards will be held January 19 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida.

My Wandy's Girl a candidate for Gazelle

Puerto Rican import My Wandy's Girl, who won Thursday's Pentelis overnight stakes at Aqueduct in her mainland debut to extend her winning streak to nine, could make a nine-day turnaround to compete in the Grade 1 Gazelle on November 24, trainer Mike Hushion said on Friday.

Big Sport of Turfdom Award to Romans

The Turf Publicists of America (TPA) announced Friday that trainer Dale Romans has been chosen as the 2012 winner of the organization's Big Sport of Turfdom Award. The annual honor is bestowed upon a person or group of people who enhance coverage of Thoroughbred racing through cooperation with media and Thoroughbred racing publicists.

Excitement builds for 'Ebby' debut

Social media sites have been buzzing for months. She already has her own Facebook page. Now the time is at hand; Zenyatta's half-sister is ready to make her debut in Friday's fourth race at Hollywood Park.

Matriarch shaping up to be a good race

Fillies and mares from around the globe are gathering at Hollywood Park in anticipation of the Grade 1, $250,000 Matriarch on November 25. The one-mile grass affair is part of the Hollywood Turf Festival, which is scheduled November 23-25.

Arnold: Centre Court 'still has room for improvement'

Marketing Mix won last year's Grade 2 Mrs. Revere at Churchill Downs after finishing second in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland, and Centre Court will try to follow in her footsteps in Saturday night's 1 1/16-mile event for three-year-old fillies.

Goldencents installed as Delta Downs Jackpot favorite

Led by morning-line favorite Goldencents, Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint winner Hightail and Grade 2 victor Bern Identity, a strong field of nine juveniles has been assembled for Saturday's 10th running of the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot. The winner will garner 10 points toward a possible starting position in next year's Kentucky Derby on the new "Road to the Kentucky Derby" series.

Storm Crossing brings $75,000 at Keeneland November

Hip No. 3094, the juvenile filly STORM CROSSING (Tiznow), brought a winning bid of $75,000 from Ashview Farm to top Wednesday's ninth session of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale in Lexington, Kentucky. Consigned by Lane's End, agent, the Kentucky-bred bay lass was sold as a racing or broodmare prospect.

Animal Kingdom to use Gulfstream Park Turf as prep for Dubai World Cup

Trainer Graham Motion developed a plan that almost landed his charge Animal Kingdom an historic victory in the Breeders' Cup Mile in the colt's first start in 259 days. Team Valor International CEO Barry Irwin termed the second-place finish to Horse of the Year candidate Wise Dan "a great feat of horsemanship."

Santa Anita releases winter stakes schedule

Santa Anita, which will embark upon its 76th winter/spring meeting on December 26, has announced it will offer a total of 41 graded stakes over the course of its 71-day meet, beginning with the opening day Malibu and La Brea which will serve as the first of nine Grade 1 events. Both stakes will offer purses of $300,000 and will be run at seven furlongs.

Centre Court takes center stage in Mrs. Revere

Centre Court, who developed into one of the nation's leading three-year-old grass fillies over the summer after belatedly breaking her maiden during the Churchill Downs spring meet, returns to that venue for Saturday's Grade 2, $175,000 Mrs. Revere. Although she will have to face 11 rivals, Centre Court figures to be a strong favorite in the 1 1/16-mile test that highlights the lone "Downs After Dark" program of the Fall Meet.

Colonial Cup attracts solid field minus Pierrot Lunaire

Saturday's Grade 1, $100,000 Colonial Cup, the 2 3/4-mile fixture at Springdale Racecourse in Camden, South Carolina, is the last major contest of the 2012 steeplechase season and often plays a role in deciding the year's Eclipse Award winner. However, it was announced last week that leading divisional earner Pierrot Lunaire, who captured both the Grade 1 Grand National and Grade 1 Lonesome Glory this fall, would skip the Colonial Cup.

Overanalyze headed to Kentucky Jockey Club

Trainer Todd Pletcher said Wednesday that Repole Stable's Overanalyze, a pre-entrant for Saturday's Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot, is now being pointed to the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs on November 24 as part of the Stars of Tomorrow II program.

Groupie Doll could go in Cigar Mile

Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Groupie Doll was scheduled to go to trainer Buff Bradley's farm in Frankfort, Kentucky, earlier this week, but plans changed and the four-year-old filly daughter of Bowman's Band remained at Churchill Downs to prepare for a possible start in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on November 24.

Travel plans set for Delta Jackpot participants

Only four days remain until Delta Downs' richest and most important race of the year, Saturday's Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot, and an exciting group of young horses are making their way to the Bayou State for the $1 million event. There will be a special early post time on Jackpot Day of 1:15 p.m. (CST), with the Delta Downs Jackpot scheduled for 4:15 p.m.

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