Handicapping

Tips and picks for how to bet on Thorougbred horse racing

Lion Heart to Roar from Post 4 in Haskell

Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's Lion Heart, the 121-pound starting highweight for the Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I), drew post 4 on Thursday for Sunday's race. He was quickly installed the 9-5 favorite for the $1-million Haskell, Monmouth Park's signature race of the season.

Chowder's First Outduels West Virginia

Chowder's First outdueled West Virginia in the stretch of Wednesday's $250,000 restricted New York Stallion Stakes (Cab Calloway Division) at Saratoga Race Course. The 3-year-old son of Let Goodtimes Roll covered the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:50.99. West Virginia was a neck back for second, with Pay Attention a distant 9 1/2-lengths back in third.

Lion Heart, Rock Hard Ten Set for Haskell

The second season begins in earnest for the 3-year-olds the weekend of Aug. 7-8, with the runnings of the Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I), Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II), and West Virginia Derby (gr. III). If there is even the slimmest chance of dethroning Smarty Jones for the title, someone is going to have to run the table.

Del Mar Notebook: Volume 1

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.

Rock Hard Ten Drills Swiftly for Haskell

Mercedes Stable's and Madeleine Paulson's Rock Hard Ten, runner-up to Smarty Jones in the Preakness Stakes, turned a swift and visually impressive five furlongs Saturday morning in a final tuneup for next Saturday's Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park in New Jersey.

Velvet Snow Fits Royal North at Woodbine

With two consecutive triumphs on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, Velvet Snow looks to extend her winning ways in the $167,550 Royal North Stakes (Can-III) for fillies and mares on a special Simcoe Holiday Monday card of racing at Woodbine.

Sightseek, Azeri in Go for Wand 'Cap Rematch

The champion mare Azeri can become the all-time top-earning mare in North American racing with a victory in the $250,000 Go for Wand Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course Sunday. But to do so, she'll have to overcome Sightseek, who trounced her in their most recent start in the Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park June 19.

Baffert, Jerkens Fillies Spar in Test

A group of a dozen 3-year-old fillies will vie Saturday in the 79th running of the $250,000 Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course. Headlined by Friendly Michelle and Society Selection, the field will go seven furlongs on a surface that could prove wet -- given a stormy upstate New York forecast for the Spa's opening weekend.

Schulhofer Has Pair in Bernard Baruch

William Sorokolit Sr.'s Union Place, and Blue Sky Farm and Fred Martin's Irish Colonial make trainer Randy Shulhofer a double threat for Friday's feature at Saratoga, the $150,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT). The nine-furlong feature has drawn a field of eight, with Nothing to Lose the 117-pound highweight.

Commendation Tries to Cool Off Icy Atlantic

Icy Atlantic and Commendation, who have faced the best 3-year-old turf horses in the East, will attract plenty of attention in the wagering when they square off against seven rivals in the $100,000 Lexington (gr. IIIT) Sunday at Belmont Park.

Minus Roman Ruler, Chandtrue Stands Out

Unbeaten Chandtrue, whose three wins by a combined 15 1/2 lengths include a pair of stakes victories, figures as a heavy favorite against four challengers Saturday in the 65th running of the $100,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship (gr. III) at Hollywood Park.

Inish Glora One to Beat in Dance Smartly

It took some time for Inish Glora, who is set to contest the $162,450 Dance Smartly (Can-III) Saturday at Woodbine, to reach her peak form, but the champion daughter of Regal Classic has certainly done so over the past two years.

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