Handicapping

Tips and picks for how to bet on Thorougbred horse racing

  • Seven 3-Year-Olds Compete in Holy Bull

    Harlan's Holiday and Nokoma lead the seven-horse field entering Saturday's Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park. The 1 1/16- mile Holy Bull is a major prep for the $1-million Florida Derby (gr. 1) on March 16. In the past four seasons, Hal's Hope (2000) and Cape Town (1998) have used the event as a springboard to victory in the Florida Derby.

  • Trio Works Toward Mac Diarmida

    Pleasant Divorce, Halo's Stride, and Two Point Two Mill were all on the Gulfstream Park track prepping for Sunday's $100,000 Mac Diarmida Handicap (gr. IIIT), covering 1 3/8 miles over the turf course.

  • Kiss A Native Pointed Toward Donn

    John Franks homebred' Kiss A Native breezed five furlongs in 1:03 Wednesday morning at Calder Race Course in preparation for his upcoming engagement in the Donn Handicap (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 9. Prior to Wednesday's work, Kiss A Native breezed five furlongs last Friday in 1:02 4/5.

  • Henning Takes Double Shot at First Lady

    Trainer Mark Hennig is entering a pair of multiple stakes winners, Raging Fever and Gold Mover, in the $100,000 The First Lady Handicap (gr. III) at six furlongs on Friday at Gulfstream Park.

  • Came Home Works Before Track Closed

    Hopeful Stakes winner and San Vicente Stakes probable Came Home worked five furlongs in 1:11.80 at Santa Anita on Wednesday as the track closed for workouts early due to heavy rains.

  • Royally Chosen Will Try to Dethrone Affluent

    The regally-named Royally Chosen will have another chance at dethroning the current queen of the 4-year-old fillies, Affluent, in Sunday's El Encino Stakes (gr. II) at 1 1/16 miles.

  • Spihonic, winning the Hollywood Futurity.

    Cottonwood Cowboy, National Park Seek to Upset Siphonic

    Christopher Paasch hopes Cottonwood Cowboy has come of age since his disappointing debut at Del Mar last August. The 45-year-old trainer realizes that the son of Meadowlake will have to be at his best to beat pro tem 3-year-old leader Siphonic in Saturday's $150,000 Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.

  • Unite's Big Red Defends Mac Diarmida Title

    Breakaway Racing Stable's Unite's Big Red, who won the Mac Diarmida (gr. III) two years ago, breezed five furlongs in 1:04 2/5 at Calder Race Course last Sunday in preparation for his upcoming engagement in Sunday's renewal of that same stakes event.

  • Speedy Leon Follows Path of Hal's Hope; Saarland Works

    Two years ago, Harold Rose won the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) with Rose Family Stable Ltd.'s Hal's Hope and then parlayed that tally with a winning effort in the Florida Derby (gr. I) less than two months later. Rose is following the same path with the family's Speedy Leon, who worked a half-mile at Calder Race Course in :47 1/5 handily Monday morning in preparation for Saturday's Holy Bull.

  • China Visit Seeks Maktoum Challenge Repeat

    Godolphin Racing's China Visit will seek his second consecutive victory in the Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum Challenge (UAE-III) at Nad Al Sheba Thursday night, with three stablemates among the challengers.

  • Pletcher Horses on Track at Gulfstream Park

    Trainer Todd Pletcher had two of his best horses, Nokoma and Graeme Hall, out for morning trials on Sunday and was pleased with the way both horses went.

  • Ky. Commission Approves Derby Future Wager Dates

    The Kentucky Racing Commission on Monday approved the dates for the three Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools. The first pool will run Feb. 14-17, with Pool 2 opening March 14 and closing March 17. The third and final pool will run April 4-7. All pools run from Thursday through Sunday. The 128th renewal of the Derby will be May 4.

  • On to Donn for Red Bullet; Sir Bear's Next Start Undecided

    After finishing second to 9-year-old Sir Bear in Saturday's Skip Away Handicap (gr. III), trainer Joe Orseno said Red Bullet will race next in the 1 1/8-mile Donn Handicap (gr. I). Other Skip Away runners likely to return in the Donn are Traditionally and Skip Away third-place finisher Hal's Hope. The connections of the valiant Sir Bear are undecided on the gelding's next start.

  • Kentucky Derby prospect Repent breezed three furlongs at Gulfstream Park Sunday.

    McPeek Pair, Siphonic Work Sunday

    Trainer Ken McPeek sent out a pair of Kentucky Derby prospects for exercise at Gulfstream Park Sunday. Harlan's Holiday went five furlongs in :59 2/5, handily, while Repent breezed three furlongs in :36 1/5. Also working Sunday was Derby future-book favorite Siphonic, who went seven furlongs in 1:26 2/5, handily, at Hollywood Park.

  • Siphonic and Jerry Bailey will be reunited in the Jan. 19 Santa Catalina Stakes.

    Siphonic's Kentucky Derby Trek to Begin in Santa Catalina

    Eclipse Award finalist Siphonic will make his first start as a 3-year-old in the Jan. 19 Santa Catalina Stakes as trainer David Hofmans tries to win the $150,000 race for the second straight year. As of Jan. 9, Siphonic is Bally's 5-1 future-book favorite for the Kentucky Derby.

  • Hook and Ladder Heads Mr. P Field

    A field of nine older horses are set to fly six furlong's in Sunday's $100,000 grade III Mr. Prospector Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Vying for favoritism will be Hook and Ladder, who has not lost in three tries at the venue, and Istintaj, who looks to repeat his win in last year's running of the Mr. P.

  • Western Pride heads a field of 12 for the San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes.

    Western Pride Top-Weighted San Fernando Entrant

    A field of 12 has signed on for the $200,000 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II), the second leg of the Strub Series for foals of 1998. Western Pride is the 122-pound highweight for the 1 1/16-mile main track event. Western Pride also garnered the highest weight allocation of the 12 entered here by Globeform's ranking of last year's 3-year-olds.

  • Yougottawanna Faces Five in Golden Gate Derby

    Jerry Hollendorfer-trained Yougottawanna, who upset Officer in the restricted California Cup Juvenile Stakes, will attempt to rebound from a sixth-place finish in the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) when he faces five rivals in Saturday's $125,000 Golden Gate Derby (gr. III) at Golden Gate Fields.

  • Stephentown Earns Ticket to Fountain of Youth

    Willmott Stables' Stephentown, an impressive allowance winner at Gulfstream Park on Wednesday, will take a major step up in class when he makes his next appearance in the $200,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I) at 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 16.

  • Zonk in Right Spot for Affectionately Win

    Zonk has never won in New York, but that could change in Saturday's oversubscribed grade III Affectionately Handicap for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles at Aqueduct.

  • Woodbine Lowers Takeout

    The betting public will receive larger payoffs when wagering at Woodbine. The Toronto-area track is reducing takeout by 1% for exactor and daily double wagers on foreign race betting.

  • Bringem Jung on Fence for San Miguel; Roman Dancer Likely

    Trainer Howard Zucker is uncertain whether Bringem Jung, a third-place finished in a Santa Anita allowance race Dec. 26 won by Werblin, will make his next start in the San Miguel Stakes on Sunday or wait until Wednesday for an allowance race. One more likely for the San Miguel is Sunny Slope Stakes winner Roman Dancer.

  • Xtra Heat Pointed Toward Dubai

    Xtra Heat may turn up the heat in the Middle East this spring. The millionaire sprinter, who won the Jan. 1 Interborough Handicap at Aqueduct, is scheduled to make her next start in the grade II Barbara Fritchie Handicap on Feb. 16 at Laurel Park before a possible trip to Dubai to contest the $2-million Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) March 23 at Nad Al Sheba, according to trainer John Salzman.

  • De Bertie Heads Friday's Escena Stakes

    De Bertie, a two-time stakes winner over the Gulfstream Park strip last year, heads a field of 13 fillies and mares in Friday's $65,000 Escena Stakes at 1 1/16 miles. If all 13 go, the race will have a gross value of $75,400, with $45,240 to the winner.

  • MassCap Slated for June 1

    Suffolk Downs horses will compete for $1.34 million in stakes purses during the winter/spring meet in a 25-race schedule that will be highlighted by the 63rd running of the $500,000 Massachusetts Handicap (gr. II) on June 1.

  • Red Bullet, defeating Fusaichi Pegasus and Impeachment in the 2000 Preakness.

    Confident Orseno Says Red Bullet Ready to Fire

    After watching 2000 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Red Bullet breeze four furlongs in :52 at Gulfstream Park on Wednesday, trainer Joe Orseno expressed confidence in the millionaire horse's chances in Saturday's $100,000 Skip Away Stakes (gr. III).

  • Harlan's Holiday, Saarland Work at Gulfstream

    Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) winner Harlan's Holiday was on the track at Gulfstream Park Monday morning, and the 3-year-old breezed five furlongs in 1:01 4/5 in preparation for the Jan. 19 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III). Another 3-year-old working at Gulfstream was Remsen Stakes (gr. II) Saarland, who breezed a half-mile in :51 3/5 Sunday.

  • Traditionally Works Toward Skip Away; Trajectory Out With Injury

    Traditionally, the royally-bred winner of last year's Oaklawn Handicap (gr. I), worked a half-mile in :49 2/5 over a fast track at Gulfstream Park on Sunday and trainer Shug McGaughey said he will probably run him in Saturday's Skip Away Stakes (gr. III).

  • Sakhee Highlights Nominees to Maktoum Challenge Series

    Godolphin's Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) runner-up Sakhee heads a list of 56 horses nominated to the Maktoum Challenge Series, a three-race series of races which also serves as prep races for the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).

  • Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos.

    Monarchos Executes Interest-Tweaking Gate Work

    Trainer John T. Ward Jr. sent Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos on a five-furlong work from the starting gate at Gulfstream Park Saturday morning. "We wanted to tweak his interest," said Ward of the drill.

  • Maybry's Boy (left) passes Showmeitall to win the Spectacular Bid Stakes.

    Groundhog's Day to be Next Start for Maybry's Boy and Werblin

    Spectacular Bid Stakes (gr. III) winner Maybry's Boy will make his next start in the $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II, Feb. 2), according to trainer Claude "Shug" McGaughey. Meanwhile on the West Coast, undefeated Werblin will also make his next start on Groundhog's Day, that coming in the San Vicente (gr. II).

  • Wooden Phone, winning the 2000 Strub Stakes.

    Wooden Phone, Frankel-Trained Entry Top San Pasqual

    Wooden Phone, who beat two-time Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Tiznow in the Strub Stakes (gr. II) last February, heads a field of eight entered in Saturday's $200,000 San Pasqual Handicap at Santa Anita.

  • Bella Bella Bella to be Challenged by Three in Santa Ysabel

    Team Valor's Bella Bella Bella has bent sent off favored in both her career starts and that trend will likely continue in Sunday's $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III). Golden Ballet Stakes winner Bella Bella Bella will face just three rivals -- one per Bella -- in the 1 1/16-mile Santa Ysabel, two maiden winners and the maiden Gaslamp Girl.

  • Appleton-Owned Pair Among 14 Entered in Saturday's Appleton

    An overflow field of 14 turf runners has been entered for the one-mile, $150,000 Appleton Handicap (gr. IIT) at Gulfstream Park Saturday. The field includes two horses owned and bred by Arthur Appleton, for whom the race is named.

  • Outofthebox Now Being Pointed Toward Gulfstream Park 'Cap

    A minor injury to Outofthebox will preclude the 4-year-old from running in the Feb. 9 Donn Handicap (gr. I) and trainer Steve Flint will now try to prepare the Florida-bred colt for the March 30 Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. I).

  • Seinne Makes Surface Switch for Saturday's San Pasqual

    Nelson Bunker Hunt's Seinne will attempt to become the fourth surface switching stakes winner of the young Santa Anita meet when trainer Ron McAnally sends out the Chilean-bred in Saturday's $200,000 San Pasqual Handicap (gr. III).

  • Johannesburg, winning the 2001 Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

    Johannesburg Rings in New Year Favored for Two Classics

    Michael Tabor and Mrs. John Magnier's Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Johannesburg begins 2002 as the future-book favorite for both the Sagitta Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) and the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). Both races will be run on May 4.

  • Honey Fox Handicap Oversubscribed; Guaranteed Pick 6 Offered

    Gulfstream Park's first Friday program of the 2002 season will be highlighted by two features -- the $100,000 Honey Fox Handicap (gr. III) for fillies and mares, and an enticing new target for bettors in the Guaranteed Pick 6.

  • Kentucky Derby 2002: Hitting the Trail

    As the masses congregate at the start of the Kentucky Derby trail, there will, as usual, be lots of pushing and shoving until late February and early March when the contenders begin to separate themselves from the pack. But disappointment and frustration can be prevelant just getting to the Derby trail, as evidenced by the number of highly promising juveniles who stumbled along the way last week.

  • Once Again, Baffert Top Trainer by Earnings

    How does a trainer go about snatching away the money title from someone who captured 48 stakes, 36 graded stakes, 18 grade I stakes, and earned a whopping $14,715,944? For Bob Baffert, who somehow managed to stay one step ahead of Bobby Frankel all year, all he had to do was win a $6-million stakes in Dubai in March, then unleash a powerhouse of a colt to become the first horse in history to capture four consecutive $1-million stakes.

  • Jockey Jerry Bailey.

    Bailey Regains Position on Top of Jockeys' Standings

    In 1999 and again in 2000, Jerry Bailey lost photo finishes to Pat Day for leading rider by North American earnings. In 2001, however, Bailey made sure the camera was not necessary by finishing a furlong ahead of his competition. By the time his 12-month rampage across the continent (plus the Dubai World Cup, UAE-I) was in the books, Bailey had absolutely shattered Gary Stevens' three-year-old record for earnings, his $22,597,720 besting the old mark by better than $4 million.

  • Xtra Heat, winning the grade I Prioress.

    Xtra Heat 2-5 Morning-Line Favorite for Interborough

    Kenneth Taylor's Xtra Heat will make her first start as a 4-year-old on New Year's Day at Aqueduct when she goes to post as the 125-pound high weight in the $75,000 Interborough Handicap. The $5,000 auction purchase will concede from 11 to 14 pounds to her seven rivals in the six-furlong race and has been installed as the 2-5 favorite on the morning line.

  • Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos.

    Derby Winner Continues Working Toward Donn Handicap

    Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos continued working toward the Feb. 9 Donn Handicap (gr. I) Sunday, working five furlongs at Gulfstream Park. The John Ward trainee, who won the Florida Derby (gr. I) at the 1 1/8-mile distance of the Donn, will likely have to face 2000 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Red Bullet in the $500,000 Donn.

  • Full Field for Furl Sail at Fair Grounds

    Friday's 30th running of the $75,000 Furl Sail Handicap drew an overflow field of 14 starters for the about one-mile race on the Stall-Wilson turf course.