The 2005 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship will return to Bally's Las Vegas with more prize money and a follow-up television special on ESPN.
by Dick Powell -- Veteran Brisnet handicapper reviews recent action at Saratoga and previews action of the coming weeks.
By Brian Turner -- Veteran Brisnet handicapper reviews recent action at Del Mar and previews action of the coming weeks.
The $1 million Travers (G1) is now less than three weeks away, but the picture is still cloudy. With SMARTY JONES retired and Belmont (G1) winner BIRDSTONE training up to the race, it appears that starter Bob Duncan will have a gate full of sophomores since no one is being scared away.
Sunday's $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch H. (G2) highlighted the stakes action at Del Mar this week as a field of eight fillies and mares, three-years-old and up, went to the gate for the 1 1/16-mile affair.
It was like old times again here at the Spa. Rain on opening day, the largest on-track crowds in America and Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez picking up where they left off last year.
A weekly handicapping notebook, including Horses to Watch list, for the current Del Mar meet. Compiled by Brisnet.
by Brian P. Turner -- It was in 1937 when Del Mar Race Course was first opened to the racing fans of Southern California. Legendary crooner Bing Crosby, one of the founders of the seaside track, was on hand to personally greet the public as they made their way through the gates.
According to Bob Baffert, the toll of the Triple Crown Trail usually manifests itself about a week after the Preakness. There is no sign that the Trail has taken a toll on Smarty Jones.
Many horses have been "hyped", then failed to meet the high standards set for them. One horse that has been "hyped" is Eddington, a chestnut son of Unbridled. Only, this time, you can say "believe the hype".
With a classic-oriented pedigree, Purge can pose a dangerous threat to Smarty Jones in the Belmont Stakes.
The numbers, including fractional times, all show Smarty Jones is the best three year old in the country.
Although Smarty Jones is from a "speedy" family...he actually comes from a very classic-oriented family, on the top and bottom.
Lion Heart is an extremely eligible contender for the second and third jewels of the Triple Crown.
Major stakes winners are usually considered top Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contenders, regardless of their pedigrees.
You can sometimes be too smart for your own good.
When a horse wins a race at a particular distance, oftentimes the horse is labeled as a runner only suitable for that certain distance. Usually, this generalization is not justified; that horse can win at many other distances. The Cliff's Edge himself is a victim of this generalization.
As things appear on Thursday, April 22, five DQ's stand to enter the starting gate in Kentucky Derby 130, marking a substantial swing of the pendulum. Last year's Derby had no DQ's in the field.
Some stallions still remain who are an influence for stamina in the breeding program. A.P. Indy is one of these sires. His son, Friends Lake, is a major Derby contender this year, and can tackle the 1 1/4 mile distance with ease.
This race could be renamed the Coolmore Lexington Bettors' Paradise Stakes, with 14 entered and the morning line favorite at 4-1.
The National Museum of Racing's 9th annual Countdown to the Triple Crown program will take place at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 24.
Kentucky Derby entries listed in order of graded stakes earnings.
Our choice to win the Grade I Wood Memorial is VALUE PLUS. This strapping, gray colt is versatile, fast and has the breeding to get the 1 1/8 mile distance. In last year's Wood, Funny Cide and Empire Maker were prominent throughout the race. We believe that early prominence will dominate this year's running as well.
The grade II Arkansas Derby runs this Saturday at Oaklawn. SMARTY JONES will win and up his record to six for six. He will win by multiple lengths. His time for the 1 1/8 mile race will be under 1:49, and he will quiet all doubts as to his status as a serious Derby contender.
A quick quiz. How many of the starters in the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes won the last time out? The answer: two, Limehouse and California shipper Preachinatthebar. In fact, LIMEHOUSE has won his last two. We pick him to run his streak to three in Saturday's Blue Grass.
The question in the 67th Santa Anita Derby, with Lion Heart going to Lexington to run in the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes instead of here, is who will go to the lead.
The Grade II Illinois Derby looks like an orchestra with no conductor, as the morning line odds indicate.
In the past few years, much discussion has centered around the chances of a "lightly-raced horse" winning the Kentucky Derby. But in fact, the talk has not come to much fruition. Truth holds eternal, and although there are exceptions to every rule, the truth is that it still takes seasoning and experience to win the Kentucky Derby the vast majority of the time.
By Dick Downey -- The $500,000 WinStar Derby sees the sponsor's own VICTORY LIGHT shipping in from Payson Park in Florida, and Pat Day comes along for the ride.
Although we're fascinated with numbers at TheDowneyProfile.com, we are not into numerology. However, it doesn't take much imagination to conjure up a projected field of 13 in Kentucky Derby 130.
On paper, The 33rd running of the Grade II, $500,000 Lane's End Stakes looks like a one horse race. You guessed it, Birdstone, the even money morning line favorite.
I got hooked on Smarty Jones just off his name--then really got interested off his run in the Count Fleet when he stumbled out of the gate, swept three wide around the field and cleared by five.
While we haven't been covering Saratoga County as a potential Kentucky Derby contender on
TheDowneyProfile.com, he is nominated to the Triple Crown, and there are several angles going for him in the Gotham.
By Dick Downey -- The final local showdown for the Grade I Santa Anita Derby unfolds Sunday as some of the most well-known names in West Coast racing contest the Grade II San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 mile.
Our guest picker, Mike Pearson, loves speed, and sometimes the cheaper the better. But there's nothing cheap about his preferences in the Tampa Bay Derby. Pearson's day job is prosecuting felons, and he never takes the easy way out. He's been on a handicapping roll of late, prompting TheDowneyProfile.com to ask him to apply his talents here.
By Dick Downey -- Six facts lead us to choose THE CLIFF'S EDGE in Saturday's Florida Derby.
In our last story, we demonstrated that splits close to 12 seconds per furlong are usually employed to win the Kentucky Derby. In this installment, we examine pre-Derby splits of the last 10 winners.
What do War Emblem and Fusaichi Pegasus have in common? Yes, they each won the Kentucky Derby. And they each did it in a similar way.
By Dick Downey
The last Kentucky Derby won by a Dual Qualifier ("DQ")--a three year old with a dosage index of 4.00 or less that's within 10 pounds of the highweight in the Experimental Free Handicap--was Silver Charm in 1997.
A total of $10,000 in prize money, including a first place prize of $6,000, will be up for grabs in Trackside Louisville OTB's Handicapping Challenge on Sunday.
TVG will broadcast live from the DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship Jan. 23-24 from Bally's in Las Vegas.
Brisnet.com has introduced a series of three online handicapping contests...Members of the Dance Theater of Harlem's Cast from "St. Louis Woman" visit Belmont Thursday.
Bally's Las Vegas will host the $212,000 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship for the second consecutive year, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Thursday. The Championship, now in its fifth year overall, is slated for January 23-24, 2004.
Turfway Park isn't being sarcastic. It's just trying to have a little fun, and maybe introduce some people to pari-mutuel wagering.
Dan Liebman and Evan Hammonds, who have been on the scene in Chicago this week, were each given a $1,000 mythical bankroll...
Boy, am I glad this is play money.
California officials are considering a wager that taps into the bettor's natural inclination to "beat the favorite."
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Handicapping 101 teaches things like pace, trips, and class, but does not cover what the late oddsmaker Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder used to refer to as the "intangibles." When it comes to handicapping the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), the intangibles sometimes seem just as important as the measurable factors.
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