Handicapping

Tips and picks for how to bet on Thorougbred horse racing

  • Believe You Can fires bullet for Oaks

    Brereton Jones' Believe You Can, winner of the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks in her most recent start, worked five furlongs in a bullet :59 over a fast track Monday morning under jockey Rosie Napravnik. The daughter of Proud Citizen worked during the post-renovation break, 8:30-8:45 a.m. (EDT) training session reserved for candidates for the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby.

  • Blige to sing National Anthem at Derby

    Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum selling recording artist Mary J. Blige will sing the National Anthem prior to the 138th running of the $2 million Kentucky Derby on May 5 at Churchill Downs.

  • Total handle up at Santa Anita winter/spring meet

    Santa Anita Park, which will host the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships on November 2-3, capped its 75th winter/spring season on Sunday with gains in on-track attendance, handle and overall pari-mutuel handle.

  • Ghostzapper leads Hall of Fame inductees

    Ghostzapper, the 2004 Horse of the Year, jockey John Velazquez and trainers Roger Attfield and Robert Wheeler have been elected to the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame. They were elected in the contemporary category by the 183 members of the Hall of Fame voting panel.

  • Bourbon Bay nips Eagle Poise in San Juan Capistrano

    David and Jill Heerensperger's Bourbon Bay bided his time in the rear of Sunday's closing day feature at Santa Anita Park, the $150,000 <a target="_blank" href="http://www.brisnet.com/edgeped/sanjuancap12.pdf">San Juan Capistrano Handicap</a>, but put in a game rally down the center of the track to score in the Grade 2 contest by the slimmest of margins over fellow late runner Eagle Poise. Jockey Joel Rosario was aboard the Neil Drysdale six-year-old, who completed the marathon about 1 3/4 miles on the firm turf in 2:45 3/5.

  • Amie's Dini breezes a half-mile

    Mike Walker and Lou Sutterfield's Amie's Dini continued her preparations for the Grade 1, $1 million Kentucky Oaks with a four-furlong breeze in :50 2/5 after the renovation break on the fast Churchill Downs track Sunday morning.

  • Stidham helps Flash Mash to overcome her fear

    This year, Prime Equestrian's Flash Mash has required a lot of patience from trainer Mike Stidham and his team. Before Saturday's Giant's Causeway Stakes at Keeneland, the four-year-old Smarty Jones filly, with Brian Hernandez Jr. aboard, was walking through the tunnel to the track for the post parade, then she stopped and wouldn't move. Stidham, wearing a suit, went to the filly and jogged beside her and Hernandez to the first turn -- probably an eighth of a mile -- where he handed her off to the outrider. Flash Mash continued to near the starting gate, where she stood while her rivals continued to warm up.

  • Isn't He Clever switched to Asmussen

    Isn't He Clever, winner of the Borderland Derby and eighth in the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby in his most recent start, has been transferred to trainer Steve Amussen, according to owner J. Kirk Robison, and a start in the $2 million Kentucky Derby is still under consideration.

  • Ward unsure of plans for All Squared Away

    &quot;It was fantastic. I'm very happy,&quot; trainer Wesley Ward said Sunday morning about winning Saturday's Grade 3 Lexington with 70-1 longshot All Squared Away. Ridden by Julio Garcia, the Bellamy Road gelding won the 1 1/16-mile race by 1 1/2 lengths over favored Summer Front in his first start for Ward.

  • Roxy Gap denies Honey Chile, Atlantic Hurricane in Whimsical

    Eugene Melnyk's homebred Roxy Gap was making just her second start following an eight-month layoff in Sunday's Grade 3, $183,200 <a target="_blank" href="http://www.brisnet.com/edgeped/whimsical12.pdf">Whimsical Stakes</a> at Woodbine and dug in to gut out a neck win over Honey Chile on the wire.

  • Wise Dan throws down gauntlet in record-setting Ben Ali romp

    Morton Fink's homebred Wise Dan was expected to be a prime player in the handicap division in 2012, but he turned his comeback in Sunday's Grade 3, $150,000 <a target="_blank" href="http://www.brisnet.com/edgeped/benali12.pdf"> Ben Ali Stakes</a> at Keeneland into an overwhelming statement of intent. Dragging jockey John Velazquez to the lead entering the backstretch, the Charles Lopresti trainee went on to spread-eagle the field by 10 1/2 lengths while breaking the track record.

  • Plan capitalizes on ideal trip in Santa Barbara

    By Rock Hard Ten, and out of a daughter of the magnificent Dahlia, Capital Plan is now two-for-two at this 1 1/4-mile trip on the Santa Anita turf. With the Breeders' Cup Filly &amp; Mare Turf being held over the same course and distance November 2, the lightly-raced four-year-old could emerge as a contender, if she keeps up the momentum she's begun in the Santa Barbara.

  • She's All In trounces foes in Sixty Sails

    Trainer Donnie Von Hemel and jockey Luis Quinonez, who teamed up to take the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap with Alternation earlier this month, snared another graded stakes triumph Saturday with the five-year-old mare She's All In, who made an emphatic statement in the Grade 3, $200,000 <a target="_blank" href="http://www.brisnet.com/edgeped/sixtysails12.pdf">Sixty Sails Handicap</a> at Hawthorne. Seizing control at the top of the stretch, She's All In opened up a commanding lead and kept increasing her margin to the finish, crossing the wire 8 3/4 lengths in front. The 5-1 fourth choice in the field of six returned $12.80, $5.60 and $3.20.

  • All Squared Away lights up Lexington toteboard

    All Squared Away played &quot;bombs away&quot; in Saturday's $200,000 <a target="_blank" href="http://www.brisnet.com/edgeped/lexington12.pdf">Lexington Stakes</a> at Keeneland, scoring as the 70-1 longest shot in the Grade 3 race. A former claimer making his first start for trainer Wesley Ward, the three-year-old gelding improved significantly upon a well-beaten sixth in the Grade 2 Spiral Stakes to post his initial stakes victory, completing 1 1/16 miles in 1:42 3/5 on Polytrack.

  • California Flag shows he still has it in San Simeon

    California Flag won the second running of the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita back in 2009, and could be heard from again when that Grade 1 race is renewed on November 3 after a visually impressive display in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 <a target="_blank" href="http://www.brisnet.com/edgeped/sansimeon12.pdf">San Simeon Handicap</a>. Showing his fondness for the about 6 1/2-furlong trip down the hillside turf course has not abated with age, the eight-year-old gray gelding made all the running and romped to a convincing 2 1/4-length score under Joe Talamo. Surprisingly overlooked at nearly 6-1, California Flag returned $13.80, $7.80 and $4.40.

  • Went the Day Well clocks three-quarters in company at Keeneland

    Team Valor International and Mark Ford's Went the Day Well continued his preparation for a scheduled start in the 138th Kentucky Derby by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEiGuY_6UPs&feature=youtu.be"> working six furlongs</a> in 1:14 2/5 over the Polytrack at Keeneland Saturday morning.

  • The Lumber Guy returns to winner's circle in Jerome

    Barry K. Schwartz's The Lumber Guy suffered his first loss on April 7 when stretching out to 1 1/16 miles in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct, but returned Saturday off the two-week break and cut back to eight furlongs at the Big A to capture the Grade 2, $200,000 <a target="_blank" href="http://www.brisnet.com/edgeped/jerome12.pdf">Jerome Stakes</a> by 2 3/4 lengths over a tenacious Brigand.

  • Imperial Czar rules in off-the-turf Miami Mile

    When Saturday's $125,000 <a target="_blank" href="http://www.brisnet.com/edgeped/miamimile12.pdf">Miami Mile Handicap</a> was moved from the rain-soaked turf at Calder to the sloppy, sealed dirt, it not only lost is Grade 3 status but six runners as well.

  • Reveron injured, out of Derby

    Stipa Racing Stable Inc.'s Reveron has been withdrawn from Kentucky Derby consideration after a left fore condylar fissure was detected following a one-mile workout in 1:46 over a sloppy track at Calder Saturday morning.

  • Trinniberg changes plans, joins Derby cast

    After previously declaring his multiple Grade 3-winning sprinter Trinniberg doubtful for the Kentucky Derby, owner Shivananda Parbhoo altered course Saturday, indicating that he is now likely to send his son of Teuflesberg to Churchill Downs for the first jewel of the Triple Crown.

  • Done Talking works at Laurel

    Grade 3 Illinois Derby winner Done Talking breezed four furlongs in :49 3/5 at Laurel Park Saturday morning in his penultimate work before the $2 million Kentucky Derby. Regular rider Sheldon Russell was up on the Hamilton Smith trainee, who galloped out five furlongs in 1:02 3/5 over the fast track.

  • Amie's Dini gallops at Churchill, has Sunday breeze planned

    Mike Walker and Lou Sutterfield's Amie's Dini, a major contender for the Grade 1, $1 million Kentucky Oaks, visited the muddy Churchill Downs track on a cold, damp Saturday morning for a 1 7/8-mile gallop during the 15-minute training period reserved for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders.

  • Pachattack outduels Kathmanblu to take Doubledogdare

    Friday's Grade 3, $100,000 <a target="_blank" href="http://www.brisnet.com/edgeped/doubledogdare12.pdf"> Doubledogdare Stakes</a> turned into a battle royale down the lane at Keeneland as Pachattack and Kathmanblu hooked up rounding the turn to duel all the way to the wire. Making her first start since being purchased by Flaxman Holdings for $1.2 million at Fasig-Tipton's November Sale last year, Pachattack began earning back her sell price when gutting out the neck victory under jockey Rajiv Maragh.

  • Union Rags gets in work at Keeneland

    Rather than worry about the prospects of a cold, damp weekend in Kentucky, trainer Michael Matz opted to work Kentucky Derby contender Union Rags on Friday morning at Keeneland.

  • Oaks hopefuls out in force on Friday

    On Fire Baby, a leading contender for the Grade 1, $1 million Kentucky Oaks, breezed seven furlongs on the fast main track at Churchill Downs Friday morning in 1:26 4/5 for trainer Gary Hartlage.

  • NHC purse to be guaranteed minimum of $1.5 million

    The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced Friday that the purse for January's 14th annual <i>Daily Racing Form</i>/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC) at Treasure Island Las Vegas has been guaranteed at a minimum of $1.5 million.

  • I'll Have Another, Take Charge Indy breeze for Derby

    I'll Have Another, who established himself as a top Kentucky Derby contender with a game win over Creative Cause in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, breezed six furlongs in 1:13 3/5 over the Hollywood Park's Cushion Track Thursday morning.

  • Dayatthespa enjoys uncontested lead in Appalachian

    The Chad Brown trainee had both tactical and recency advantages over Somali Lemonade, the 8-5 second choice, who had not run since her sixth in the November 4 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. Dayatthespa had likewise run below par in that same Breeders' Cup race, finishing ninth on unsuitably rain-softened ground, but had the benefit of two strong stakes wins under her belt this campaign.

  • Handicapping Insights

    <i><b><font face="Arial" size="4">HANDICAPPING INSIGHTS</font></b></i>

  • Wise Dan returns in Ben Ali

    Wise Dan concluded 2011 in smashing fashion, posting big wins in the Grade 2 Fayette Stakes and Grade 1 Clark Handicap, and the Charles Lopresti-trained gelding will look to make it three straight when opening his five-year-old season in Sunday's Grade 3, $150,000 <a target="_blank" href="http://www.brisnet.com/edgeped/benali12">Ben Ali Stakes </a>at Keeneland. The versatile chestnut tops a field of seven in the 1 1/8-mile test over the Polytrack.

  • Princess Arabella retired with injury

    Peachtree Stable's undefeated Princess Arabella, who would have been a major contender in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, has been retired due to injury. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert revealed the news on HRTV Thursday.

  • Secret Circle out of Derby

    Grade 2 Rebel Stakes winner Secret Circle is out of the Kentucky Derby with a sesamoid injury, according to the <i>Blood-Horse</i>. The Bob Baffert pupil was most recently a distant runner-up to stablemate Bodemeister in last Saturday's Grade 1 Arkansas Derby.

  • Former steward, racing official Hamilton dies at 76

    Richard L. Hamilton, a former steward and longtime racing official for the New York Racing Association (NYRA), died Wednesday night at St. Peter's Hospital in Albany, New York after suffering a heart attack. He was 76 years old.

  • Churchill Downs launches 2012 Derby mobile app

    Churchill Downs has launched an enhanced free Kentucky Derby 138 mobile application for select smartphones and tablets that run the iPhone and Android operating systems.

  • Jones trio of Derby weekend runners head to the track

    The Larry Jones-trained trio of Havre de Grace, Mark Valeski and Believe You Can arrived at Barn 35 at Churchill Downs in good order at 5 p.m. (EST) Tuesday night and all three visited the track Wednesday morning to gallop a mile.

  • Lukas still hoping Optimizer makes Derby field

    Bluegrass Hall LLC's homebred Optimizer, most recently ninth in the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park, is still being pointed to the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, according to trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

  • Castaway needs Lexington win to make Derby field

    While trainer Bob Baffert has yet to fully commit Castaway to the Kentucky Derby on May 5, the white-haired conditioner has given every indication the Street Sense colt will wheel back off the two-week break if he captures Saturday's 31st running of the Grade 3, $200,000 <a target="_blank" href="http://www.brisnet.com/edgeped/lexingtonstakes12.html"> Lexington Stakes</a> at Keeneland.

  • Aqueduct Notebook

    <i><b><font face="Arial" size="4">AQUEDUCT NOTEBOOK </font> </b></i>

  • Kentucky Derby Report

    <i><b><font face="Arial" size="4">KENTUCKY DERBY REPORT</font></b></i>

  • St. John's River prepares for La Troienne return

    Dede McGehee's St. John's River, who was narrowly defeated by Plum Pretty in last year's Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, is being pointed to a return to the races after an eighth-month layoff in the Grade 2, $300,000 La Troienne, which is to be run on the Kentucky Oaks Day undercard on May 4.

  • Arena Elvira enters Sixty Sails on long winning streak

    Already blessed with the presence of champion Royal Delta in his barn, Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott also has another nice older mare in Arena Elvria, who will seek her sixth consecutive victory Saturday in the Grade 3, $200,000 <a target="_blank" href="http://www.brisnet.com/edgeped/sixtysails12">Sixty Sails Handicap</a> at Hawthorne.

  • Baffert duo face The Lumber Guy in Jerome

    After landing a one-two punch in last week's Grade 1 Arkansas Derby with Bodemeister and Secret Circle, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will attempt to do the same in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 <a target="_blank" href="http://www.brisnet.com/edgeped/jerome12">Jerome</a> at Aqueduct with California shippers Stirred Up and Brigand. The one-mile Jerome, which will be run for the 142nd time, is the final graded stakes of the Aqueduct spring meet as racing in New York shifts to Belmont Park next weekend.