Handicapping

Tips and picks for how to bet on Thorougbred horse racing

Soldat returns triumphant on Gulfstream turf

Soldat continued the recent trend of 2011 Kentucky Derby runners making a big impression in their four-year-old debuts. Derby hero Animal Kingdom captured a similar Gulfstream turf test on February 19; Derby runner-up Nehro crushed an optional claimer at Fair Grounds February 25; Derby third Mucho Macho Man beat subsequent Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap winner Ron the Greek in the January 28 Florida Sunshine Millions Classic; and Pants on Fire just romped in an optional claimer at Gulfstream on Saturday.

I'll Have Another blitzes six furlongs in 1:10

With jockey Mario Gutierrez in the irons, I'll Have Another was on the muscle while ambling and jogging alongside Lava Man. The popular 11-year-old gelding, a two-time winner of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap in his glory days, escorted his young companion until the time came for him to break away for his work.

Willyconker turns the tables to conquer Kilroe

Unlike the Arcadia, where Willyconker rallied too late, the Irish-bred gelding enjoyed a better tactical position for new rider Joel Rosario. Jimmy Simms carved out splits of :23, :46 4/5 and 1:10 3/5, with Compari in close attendance, and Willyconker well placed in third. Jeranimo was anchored in midpack, but Mr. Commons was unhurried near the tail of the field.

Ron the Greek conquers Big 'Cap

Wachtel Stable, Brous Stable and breeder Jack T. Hammer's Ron the Greek bided his time as 2-1 favorite Ultimate Eagle set suicidal fractions on the front end of Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap before putting in a furious rally down the center of the track to take the prestigious event by 3 1/2 lengths.

Doubles Partner aces Canadian Turf off layoff

Doubles Partner had not raced since his third-place finish in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on Kentucky Derby Day. The Grade 2 veteran was dispatched as the 7-2 third choice, with Juddmonte's French Group 1 winner Mutual Trust garnering second choice status at 3-1.

Hansen rebounds with strong Gotham win

Any suggestion that Hansen was a mere a one-dimensional speedball proved unfounded in Saturday's Grade 3, $400,000 Gotham at Aqueduct, as last year's juvenile colt champion overcame an outside post, a wide journey into the clubhouse turn, and having a little dirt kicked in his face for the first time to register an emphatic three-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile inner dirt event.

Calibrachoa hangs on over Caleb's Posse in Tom Fool

Despite possessing a perfect four-for-four mark over Aqueduct's inner dirt leading into Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 Tom Fool Handicap, Mike Repole's Calibrachoa was let go at a nifty 7-2 going up against the likes of multiple Grade 1 winner Caleb's Posse and the imposing stakes newbie Emcee. Calibrachoa's loyal backers were rewarded when the five-year-old earned his second consecutive Tom Fool triumph, gutting out a neck victory over a fast-charging Caleb's Posse in the six-furlong contest over a tiring surface labeled good.

Pants on Fire sizzles in comeback; Dialed In fourth

George and Lori Hall's Pants on Fire, who bled when ninth in the Kentucky Derby, was last seen finishing fifth in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational on July 31. The Kelly Breen charge had been entered, and scratched, from a couple of other potential reappearances, most recently in the Grade 3 Mineshaft Handicap at Fair Grounds last Saturday. Despite the fact that the speedy colt figured to get the jump on the deep-closing Dialed In, Pants on Fire was sent off as the 5-2 second choice.

It's Tricky takes Top Flight in return

It's Tricky broke a three-race streak of seconds on Saturday when making her return in the Grade 2, $196,000 Top Flight Handicap at Aqueduct. The Godolphin colorbearer had to work over the tiring track to get the 2 3/4-length victory in her first race since running second in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic last November, but gutted out the win under jockey Ramon Dominguez as the near 2-5 favorite.

Scatman, On Fire Baby ready for Oaklawn engagements

Grade 3 Southwest Stakes runner-up Scatman, preparing for the Grade 2, $500,000 Rebel Stakes on March 17, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 3/5 over the fast track at Oaklawn Park Saturday. Michael Lauer instructed jockey Luis Quinonez to work the colt between 1:01 and 1:02, and the veteran rider executed it perfectly.

Hollywood announces stakes schedule

The 73rd running of the Grade 1, $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup and the Grade 1 American Oaks, which was increased from $250,000 to $400,000, headline a stakes schedule worth more than $6.8 million for the 2012 Spring/Summer meet at Hollywood Park.

Hall of Fame nominees announced

Five newcomers and five returning finalists comprise the National Museum of Racing's 2012 Hall of Fame ballot. The first-time finalists are trainer Roger Attfield and Thoroughbreds Ashado, Ghostzapper, Housebuster, and Xtra Heat. They join jockeys Calvin Borel, Garrett Gomez, Alex Solis, and John Velazquez, and trainer Robert Wheeler, all of whom were finalists in 2011.

Hansen faces a dozen in Gotham

Juvenile colt champion Hansen, who suffered his first career defeat in the Grade 3 Holy Bull on January 29, will attempt to get back on the winning track in Saturday's Grade 3, $400,000 Gotham at Aqueduct. The front-running gray has not scared away the competition, as he will break from post 12 in a field of 13 going 1 1/16 miles on the inner dirt. This is the final local prep for the Grade 1 Wood Memorial on April 7.

Youbet Expands International Offerings

Youbet.com has signed three agreements that will enable its members to watch and wager on racing from South Africa, Sweden, additional tracks in the United Kingdom, and Puerto Rico, providing nearly 24-hour-a-day racing coverage.

TwinSpires to Show Handicapping Tourney

TwinSpires.com, the official advance deposit wagering service for Churchill Downs Inc., will provide an inside look at the DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship from Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas by providing online video coverage of the event throughout the Jan. 23-24.

Handicapping Tourney Returns to Red Rock

The $1-million Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship will return to the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa in Las Vegas next year, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association said.

War Pass and Pyro Head Derby Pool 2

War Pass and Pyro Head Derby Pool 2

Unbeaten 2-year-old champion War Pass, winner of the $2-million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), and Pyro, the runner-up in the Juvenile and winner of the Risen Star Stakes (gr. III), are the early favorites for Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2008 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which opens Mar. 6.

Attorney Wins Handicapping Tourney

Attorney Wins Handicapping Tourney

Richard Goodall, a 64-year-old retired attorney from Las Vegas, defeated 276 Thoroughbred racing handicappers by a record margin to capture the ninth Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship at the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa in Las Vegas Jan. 26.

Equibase Adds Thoro-Graph Form Ratings

Equibase Adds Thoro-Graph Form Ratings

Thoro-Graph, whose proprietary performance figures have been utilized by professional handicappers and horsemen alike for the past 25 years, has unveiled Thoro-Graph Form Ratings, which are available exclusively at equibase.com

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