Handicapping

Tips and picks for how to bet on Thorougbred horse racing

Fair Grounds increases purses for eight stakes

Fair Grounds has boosted the purses of eight open-company races on its 2012-2013 stakes schedule released Thursday, marking the third straight year the average stakes purse has increased at the New Orleans racetrack. Last season the track raised purses on 19 stakes events.

Maker keeping options open by entering Hansen in Red Legend

While his connections have maintained that reigning two-year-old Eclipse Award champion Hansen would make his next in Prairie Meadows' Grade 3 Iowa Derby on Saturday night, it didn't stop them from spending $1,500 and dropping their Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner into the entry box for Saturday night's seven-furlong Red Legend Stakes at Charles Town, the featured race on the track's fifth annual Sprint Festival program.

Bated Breath's connections eyeing July Cup

The Group 1, £400,000 July Cup, which takes place at Newmarket on July 14, has 28 horses going forward following the June 26 scratchings deadline. Europe's premier sprint, which takes place over six furlongs, was won last year in tremendous fashion by Dream Ahead, who quickened brilliantly under Hayley Turner to give the rider her first Group 1 success.

'Best Jockey' nominees announced for Espys

Javier Castellano, Ramon Dominguez, Mario Gutierrez and John Velazquez were announced Wednesday by ESPN as the four nominees in the "Best Jockey" category of the 20th annual ESPY Awards. The ESPYS, which honor a wide array of athletes and sports entities, will take place July 11 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

Moyglare Stud's Haefner dies at 101

Moyglare Stud owner Walter Haefner has died in his native Switzerland at age 101. Born in Zurich in 1910, the renowned businessman and billionaire philanthropist, who set up the famed Irish stud farm in 1962, bred such luminaries as Refuse to Bend, Casual Conquest, Trusted Partner and Dress to Thrill.

Saratoga Open House scheduled for July 15

The familiar gates of Saratoga Race Course will open five days early as the New York Racing Association prepares to host its annual pre-season preview party, the 32nd annual Open House. A Saratoga tradition held prior to the start of racing season at North America's most historic thoroughbred racetrack, Open House returns to kick off a full day of fun and attractions on Sunday, July 15, to benefit dozens of local non-profit organizations.

Matz leaning toward Haskell with Union Rags

Michael Matz, the trainer of Belmont Stakes hero Union Rags, confirmed that the road to the three-year-old championship will likely run through the Grade 1 $1 million Haskell Invitational, to be renewed this year for the 45th time, at Monmouth Park.

Camelot looms large in Irish Derby

Camelot will be a hot favorite when bidding for a third straight classic in Saturday's Group 1 Irish Derby. Unbeaten in four career starts, the Aidan O'Brien-trained colt opened 2012 with a neck score in the Group 1 English Two Thousand Guineas and exits a five-length romp in the Group 1 English Derby.

NYRA announces 2012 giveaways at Saratoga

The New York Racing Association, Inc. will continue its tradition of iconic giveaways with four Sunday giveaway days scheduled for the summer 2012 meet at Saratoga Race Course. Each emblazoned with the Saratoga Race Course logo, the 2012 giveaways include returning favorites and one new offering. The schedule is as follows:

Stars to Shine holds Upperline in Trillium; Just Got In takes My Dear

A determined Stars to Shine held off a rallying Upperline to win the $97,795 Trillium Stakes on Sunday's Queen's Plate undercard at Woodbine. Stars to Shine, ridden by Alex Solis and trained by Mark Frostad for The Grange House Partnership, rushed to the lead through the far turn of the 1 1/8-mile event and held sway as the trio of Upperline, Smart Penny and Maristar tried and failed to reel her in.

Positively, Roman's Avenue work for Bashford Manor

Positively, a recent maiden winner at Churchill Downs, drilled a bullet three furlongs beneath the Twin Spires in :35 1/5 Sunday morning for trainer Pat Byrne in his last major training move prior to Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Bashford Manor.

Peruvian apprentice rider Chuan coming to New York

New York may soon be home to a young apprentice rider hailing from Peru as 16-year-old Martin Chuan prepares to emigrate to the United States. Agent Roger Sutton expects to take Chuan's book when he arrives in this country, which Sutton hopes will be ahead of opening day at Saratoga on July 20, though no firm arrangements have been made.

Desert Blanc retired with a tendon injury

Desert Blanc, who won the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap by a nose on June 9, has been retired with a tendon injury, Peter Bradley, managing co-owner of Bradley Thoroughbreds, announced on Sunday.

Zo Impressive could try CCA Oaks or await Alabama

Grade 1 Mother Goose winner Zo Impressive returned from Saturday's three-quarter-length victory over Disposablepleasure in good order, trainer Tom Albertrani reported Sunday morning, and will likely make her next start at Saratoga in either the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks on July 21 or the Grade 1 Alabama on August 18.

Gemologist returns to worktab, eyes Jim Dandy

WinStar Farm's Gemologist, winner of the Grade 1 Wood Memorial in April, on Sunday posted his first workout since his 16th-place finish in the May 5 Kentucky Derby on May 5. The three-year-old traveled four furlongs in :49 2/5 over Belmont Park's fast training track, and trainer Todd Pletcher said that the colt is likely to make his next start in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy on July 28 at Saratoga.

Potesta edges Eden's Moon in Hollywood Oaks

Fanticola and Scardino's Potesta prevailed by a nose following a thrilling stretch battle with Eden's Moon in Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 Hollywood Oaks, stamping herself as potentially a major player in three-year-old filly ranks in her stakes debut. An impressive maiden scorer in her previous outing, the Mike Mitchell-trained daughter of Macho Uno was making only her third lifetime start in the 1 1/16-mile event.

Zo Impressive holds Disposablepleasure in Mother Goose

What was supposed to be a showdown between Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks queen Believe You Can and Grade 1 Acorn diva Contested turned into a match-race between Zo Impressive and Disposablepleasure in Saturday's Grade 1, $294,000 Mother Goose Stakes. In the end, Zo Impressive proved best under jockey Rajiv Maragh, holding her fellow gray rival by three parts of a length while running 1 1/16 miles in 1:44 1/5 on the good Belmont Park dirt.

Dancing Solo alone at the wire in Boiling Springs

Twin Creeks Racing Stables' Dancing Solo sat right off the steady pace set by longshot Cheimon, took command turning into the stretch, and kicked 1 1/2 lengths clear to notch her first graded victory in Saturday's Grade 3, $103,000 Boiling Springs Stakes at Monmouth. Sent off as the 9-5 second choice off her score in the local prep, the May 27 Little Silver Stakes, the Todd Pletcher trainee covered 1 1/16 firm-turf miles in 1:41 4/5 and paid $5.60, $3.20 and $2.60.

Blueeyesintherein much the best in Debutante

Dorothy Self and Barry Simms' Blueeyesintherein proved superior to the rest of the juvenile fillies in Kentucky with a 2 1/2-length triumph in Saturday's Grade 3, $112,200 Debutante at Churchill Downs. The even-money favorite in a field of 10, Blueeyesintherein steadily advanced from fourth, rallied four-wide into the stretch and drove home an impressive winner under Leandro Goncalves. She paid $4, $3 and $2.40 after completing six furlongs on a fast track in 1:11 3/5.

Lopresti plots races for 'the 'Dans', Turallure

Trainer Charlie Lopresti thought Wise Dan was going to win last Saturdays' Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs, but Ron the Greek under Jose Lezcano found an opening on the rail and got up just in time to beat the winner of last fall's Grade 1 Clark Handicap.

Romans reveals plans for stable stars

Dullahan appeared on the Churchill Downs work tab on Saturday for the first time since his seventh-place finish in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes and trainer Dale Romans said the son of Even the Score would run next in Monmouth Park's Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Invitational on July 29.

Belmont cancels after 4TH race

Due to a storm that resulted in a loss of power at Belmont Park, live racing on Friday was canceled after the 4TH race. Simulcasting at Aqueduct and the Belmont Cafe were to continue as scheduled.

Fields for Dwyer, New York Stakes coming together

Unstoppable U, who in his third career start finished sixth in the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes, will likely return to the races June 30 in the Grade 2 Dwyer at Belmont Park. The gray son of Exchange Rate will have his first breeze since the Belmont either Saturday or Sunday in preparation for the 1 1/8-mile Dwyer, said Ken McPeek's assistant, Lars Becdelamotte.

Black Caviar highlights Royal Ascot's final day

Australian superstar Black Caviar will face 14 rivals when she puts her unbeaten record on the line in Saturday's Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. It marks the first international foray for the Peter Moody-trained mare, and Black Caviar is currently recognized as the greatest sprinter in the world and the second highest-rated horse behind miler Frankel, a spectacular winner of the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes on Tuesday's opening-day program.

Santa Anita renames turf stakes after Delahoussaye

Eddie Delahoussaye, widely regarded as one of the greatest riders of all time, will be so recognized on opening day of Santa Anita's autumn meet on September 28, as the Great Race Place will card the inaugural Grade 3 "Eddie D. Stakes" for three-year-olds and up at about 6 1/2 furlongs down the Camino Real Turf Course.

Rosario looks forward to New York move

Joel Rosario has come a long way in a short period of time and is ready to embark on the next phase of his career when he heads east at the conclusion of Sunday's races at Hollywood Park.

Simms enjoying Churchill meet, looking forward to Blueeyesintherein in Debutante

Trainer Garry Simms won last year's running of the Grade 3 Debutante at Churchill Downs with Flashy Lassie and he will attempt to repeat in the first graded stakes event in North America for two-year-old fillies with Blueeyesintherein, the 5-2 morning-line favorite, on Saturday. The Debutante, which was first run at Churchill Downs in 1895, is the featured race on Saturday's program.

Homecoming Queen, Samitar face-off in Coronation

Impressive Group 1 One Thousand Guineas heroine Homecoming Queen faces 11 rival fillies in Friday's Group 1 Coronation Stakes going a mile. The Aidan O'Brien-trained three-year-old, who was last seen finishing fourth behind Samitar in the Group 1 Irish One Thousand Guineas, is likely to be the trainer's only representative, as Group 1 victress Maybe has suffered a stone-bruise.

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