Belmont Stakes Day–Late Pick 5 Picks and Analysis

Hard to believe Belmont Day is already here! Time flies when you’re in the midst of a doping scandal. Despite the black eye cast over the sport and the Triple Crown season caused by the Derby doping debacle, we still have a great Belmont Stakes Day card to enjoy. Tons of stakes action and top horses. Here are our thoughts on the late all-stakes Pick 5 races.

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Kentucky Derby Day Picks and Analysis

 

It’s the Super Bowl of horse racing! Happy Kentucky Derby Day, everyone! We are always excited for the first Saturday of May, but given the absence of the race from this weekend last year, and a very competitive field, we are beyond hyped for Derby 147. But before the main event, Churchill has put together a spicy undercard of fantastic stakes racing with tons of betting opportunities. So muddle some mint, crush your ice, and sit back and wager on an awesome day of racing. Good luck everyone!

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Oaks Day 2021–Stakes Races Picks and Analysis

Happy Oaks Day, everyone!  As many of you know, this is one of our favorite race days of the year. It’s the first big day of the racing calendar, the seasonal debut for many top horses, the kick off of an exciting weekend, and an excuse to wear pink and drink juleps! What’s not to like?  And with racetracks opening back up to fans and the country slowly emerging from the pandemic, we are more excited than ever for Oaks Day.  Friday’s card features great stakes races with a lot of heavy favorites—some deserving and others vulnerable.  There are plenty of opportunities to hit some big tickets and pad bankrolls for Saturday.  So let’s get to it!

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Breeders’ Cup Friday Picks and Analysis

The greatest two days in sports are upon us. Happy Breeders’ Cup, everyone! While COVID has prevented the typical trackside pageantry, the substance of the event—full fields and betting opportunities abound—remain unchanged. Friday’s card features five juvenile BC races—a very challenging proposition for handicappers. Logic would suggest tempering betting excitement and focusing more on Saturday’s races—but where is the fun in that? In all seriousness though, Friday’s races are wide open. If you have a strong opinion in one race, it may make sense to take a stand and spread wide in the other races. Our thoughts and analysis follow. Good luck, everyone!

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Travers 2020: Odds and Oddities

In a year of oddities, “the Midsummer Derby favorite being a Belmont winner who has never raced beyond 1 1/8 miles and prepping for the Kentucky Derby” is right up there for odd sentences. But that’s 2020, in a word it is odd. But it is all we have. And, in a world full of doubt, dread and uncertainty, we are happy to have “something” of substance in horse racing to grab onto.

The premier race of Saratoga has and always will be the Travers. And this year, unlike a few others in recent memory, we have the clear division leader for 3yos headlining the biggest race of the meet. Tiz the Law rolls into Saratoga on a four race win streak in which he towered over his competition at the finish. A win today would likely make him the biggest Derby favorite in modern memory. But as the Graveyard of Champions has already claimed some victims in 2020, nothing is certain in Saratoga.

Tiz faces a solid field of eight competitiors, including the lightly raced but undefeated Uncle Chuck from the deadly barn of Bob Baffert. Saratoga legend Bill Mott sends out South Bend, who has been knocking heads in this division all year with the nations best three year olds, but is new to the Mott barn after a fast closing second in the Ohio Derby. Ralph Nicks ships in from Florida with the speedy Shivaree, who ran second to Tiz in Florida in the Fountain of Youth. Linda Rice, Orlando Noda and Chad Brown all seek their first Travers. And Gustavo Delgado brings his consistently improving Caracaro to the table.

Although only eight strong, it’s a n interesting field with lots of story lines. And the rest of the card, although not packed with deep fields, has many horses at the front of their division, including: Gamine in the Test; and Come Dancing, Serengenti Empress and Bellafina in the Ballerina.

Here are our picks and plays for the day. Have a great Travers from home everyone

Race 1: no opinion here.

Race 2: 1,6

we like creative style (6) the best, as the 3-1 odds are appealing and like the sprint-route move for this runner, who ran well on the stretch out three back. The straight 1 appears the better half of the entry if he runs, but watch for scratches as Manny Franco is named on both. If 1 scratches, we like a strong win bet on Creative Style

Race 3: 9/8,12/4,5,7

We love turf sprints; always find them to be pretty formful races where horses get ignored for unknown reasons. Although I picked the heavy favorite Light in the Sky (9) on top, she has clearly best numbers and if she runs back to those, she wins. But this is still a great betting race, because after her its wide open. Watch to see if the white hot Christophe Clement scratches in with the 12, who is the clear second  choice. If she doesn’t, I like the 8 to run in the money at 8-1. She ran well here last summer, and now turns back from 7f to 5.5f. After that, let the bombs roll with 30-1 Mz Pat Seb (5) for David Donk and Graetz (7) for the Jimmy Bond barn, which is firing on all cylinders. Probably best individual betting race of the day here.

Race 4: 8/2,5,9

Hard race to love on the basis that the condition is haven’t won a race in 2020. But somebody has to win here, and we think it will be Golden Spear (8). He owns a win at Saratoga last summer and should improve second out. Underneath 2 for Tom Morley could get an uncontested lead and the 9 is a nice price play for David Cannizzo who hasn’t run often on the grass but when he has we think he runs his best races. The addition of the en fungo Joel Rosario doesn’t hurt.

Races 5 and 6

Historically, we are awful at 2yo maidens. So we won’t offer picks here. Time to drink a few beers and get amped for the stakes action. But if you need some action, the American Pharaoh sired American Monarch (3) could be fun play out of the Bill Mott barn in the 6th.

Race 7: 4/5,6

Competive 7 horse field. We like Bellafina (4) to get the stalk and pounce trip and run down Serengeti Empress, who we feel has lost a step this year and folds badly when pressured. Under Bella, all three outside horses have a chance, including former Mexican champion Letruska (5). Pink Sands is hit or miss, but one turn sprinting appears to be her best game. Come Dancing is the toughest horse to read in this field. Now 6yo, has she trailed off? Or did she need her first two of the year and will run back to last years form? I think it’s gonna be a play against, but hard leaving her off the ticket in Pick 6s.

Race 8: 7/1,6

Chewing Gum (7) is our best bet of the day. Since turning to turf sprints he’s really taken off this year and is the one horse in the field in th best form of his career. the Favorites Impiris, Pure Sensation and Sheeky Shebbaz all have great back form, but recent races give little confidence. If we get higher than 3-1 on Chewing Gum its abig win bet. Will also try to single in pick threes. Dont sleep  on 15-1 pulsate to finish out exact as and tris. shhhhhhhhh. Let’s get that $$$

Race 9: 1,7/3

Mrs Sippy (1) should be tough on return here. But we also like the on,y other runner in the field who has won at today’s 12 furlong distance in fools gold(7) in he event Sippy doesn’t fire off the bench. Also don’t sleep on the 3 at 20-1 to finish in the numbers.

Race 10: 5/1

Not a lot of analysis here. Gamine is better than these. But we do like Up in Smoke (1) at a price to close out the exacta.

Race 11: 6/3,7

We think Tiz takes it and could be a generational talent. But for second at a price we like Caracaro (7) who has improved with every start and could step up again going two turns for the second time. We see him as the best upset chance and if his odds float we might play a win bet here.

Race 12: 7,9/2,3

7 has best numbers in race and is 8-1. 9 ran a great number on turf and if he can run the same on dirt will be tough. Could be a nice little get out race after a possibly chalky day to roll the bankroll into Del Mar tonight

 

good luck everyone and happy Travers Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saratoga 2020: Preview of Racing Calendar Changes

As with everything else in this world, COVID-19 has changed how Saratoga Race Track will operate this year. No fans, limited owner attendance, restrictions on jockey travel, and fewer trainers using  the Spa City as their operation headquarters for the summer months. It will feel strange; it won’t be the same. But in the long-run, we should feel happy there is a racing meet to speak of.

In an effort to pick ourselves up from the fact we cannot: (a) walk down Union Avenue and into one of the oldest sporting venues in America; (b) drink coffee at the Morning Line while the horses train; or (c) crush Coors Light and Hattie’s Chicken sandwiches at a picnic table by the paddock while inspecting the horses and past performances for the next race,  we want to highlight some of the upcoming races of the summer, with a focus on how the stakes calendar has changed from the ‘traditional’ order of events.

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Happy (Arkansas) Derby Day! Stakes Analysis and Picks

This is not the first Friday in May racing fans expected. Churchill is empty. The Run for the Roses has been moved to September.

But…the julep glass remains half full. Oaklawn Park has blessed us with not one, but two Arkansas Derbies! Add the Oaklawn Handicap as the meat in the middle of this Pick 3 Sandwich and we have a great evening of racing ahead. With NBC Prime airing 2 hours of historical Derby Coverage, followed by two more hours of NBC Sports covering Oaklawn, racing has a unique opportunity to remain the center of the sports world even absent the Kentucky Derby.

For those of you looking for some live betting action (not the simulated Triple Crown Race—Secretriat/Pharoah exacta box), we have you covered with our thoughts on Oaklawn’s Big 3.  Happy “Derby Day”, everyone—may the juleps still flow!

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Breeders Cup Friday–Picks and Thoughts

 

The best weekend of the racing calendar is upon us.  Friday’s future stars card features five competitive Breeders Cup juvenile races.  Unfortunately, sugar induced late bedtimes on Halloween lead to an abbreviated write up for today’s BC races.  But we put in the time handicapping and think several of these races are wide open.  Good luck everyone and happy Breeders’ Cup.

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