Old fashioned press clippings, newfangled Internet blogs, Twitter feeds and Facebook posts all claim he’s best in the world. Anointed king of the turf on the third rock from the sun. Better even than ice cream. All that and a bag of chips. Sometimes, such lofty plaudits, even if accurate, spoil athletes. An inflated opinion […]

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Hall of Fame jockey Gary Lynn Stevens won a race last Saturday at Santa Anita. Big deal. He’d won 5,083 before that. In a career that began in 1979, Stevens has won some of the world’s biggest races—Kentucky Derby (3), Preakness (3), Belmont (3), Dubai World Cup (1), Breeders Cup (11), Santa Anita Derby (9) […]

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It’s time for a few of the best sophs in the West to show us what they’ve got in Saturday’s San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita. In the first 2017 3-year-old conflict of import, John Shirreff’s Gormley and Bob Baffert’s American Anthem traded haymakers through the Arcadia lane in the Sham Stakes Jan. 7. That […]

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Officially, Saturday’s major 3-year-old clash is labeled the Xpressbet Fountain of Youth. It’s a Grade 1 test, worth $400,000 and 85 total points toward inclusion in the Kentucky Derby starting gate. Xpressbet proudly shares the Saturday spotlight with host Gulfstream Park for the 71st renewal. At one mile and one-sixteenth, the race traditionally offers developing […]

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Those who went ‘gaga’ over the NFL’s Super Bowl halftime show probably weren’t counting on the game’s conclusion outperforming the ‘Lady’ of the same surname. Amazingly, it did! Seems a bit foolish to hope that the second half of the 2017 Triple Crown season might rival such a finish, but we can hope. The unofficial […]

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Unbeaten, untied and un-scored upon in three starts at two, Thoroughbred racing fans were poised to see how McCraken would perform in his first start at age three. He didn’t disappoint. The bay colt by Ghostzapper, out of Ivory Empress, bred in Kentucky by owner Whitham Thoroughbreds, first popped the gate back in October at […]

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Yours truly loves this time of year. Each weekend, now through mid-April, we’ll enjoy heated competition between the nation’s top 3-year-olds—male and female—as connections chase Kentucky Oaks and Derby glory. Horseplayers, likewise, will pursue pari-mutuel success: weekly, in crowded prep races, and long-term, with an eventual assault on monster Oaks and Derby pools the first […]

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Trainer Bob Baffert was right on…again. He described Arrogate’s pre-Pegasus condition as “Super Cherry.” Urban Dictionary’s online definition of ‘cherry’ isn’t what Baffert meant. And he also wasn’t inferring that his horse was a strange color. By way of explanation for the under-60 crowd, ‘cherry’ is 1960’s slang for nice, good or terrific. Period synonyms […]

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Listen to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and ex-jockey turned veteran trainer Art Sherman talk, and you’d be positive that Arrogate, conditioned by the former, and California Chrome, saddled by the latter, can’t help but finish in a dead-heat Saturday in the world’s richest horse race—the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream […]

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Horseplayers routinely ‘review as preview.’ That is they analyze what’s happened in the past in order to predict what might happen in the future. Prognostication is so at the heart of the game–for owners, trainers and jockeys, too– that along with racing licenses they ought to hand out crystal balls. Perhaps, the game’s only contributors […]

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Nothing like a new beginning. A fresh start. Clean slate. That’s what landed on our doorsteps less than two weeks ago. The gift of the New Year. Hope. Opportunity. The future. An empty canvas beckoning a masterpiece. A blank Word doc anticipating the Great American Novel. A zero win/loss Xpressbet balance. ‘Now’ represents a golden […]

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Beat the Host, Xpressbet’s popular and profitable weekly handicapping competition, begins Saturday (Jan. 7), when blogger and handicapper Jeremy Plonk squares off against account holders itching to knock his block off. If you are an Xpressbet account holder not playing to play Beat the Host on at least one Saturday in January and February, what’s […]

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I just voted for the second time in 2016. Once in November—for the office of President of the United States and for assorted governmental positions and referendums. This time, I helped to determine winners of Eclipse Awards, to be presented Jan. 21 at Gulfstream Park. In November I considered myself reasonably informed about candidates, platforms […]

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2016 is nearly out of gas. Needle’s on ‘E.’ Between now and January 1 we’ll run on fumes. No worries. We’ll make it. We always do. Move on. Turn the page. Gas up. Proceed. Toward what? #Whoknows Guess that’s an advantage the past has over the future. Hindshight. 20/20 vision. We know where we’ve been, […]

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This time of the season, in Thoroughbred racing, things generally are a bit slow on the racing front. Sure, Laurel, Aqueduct, Gulfstream, Fair Grounds, Los Alamitos and many more tracks are in action, but the product doesn’t compare to the quality that will be available to horseplayers in another six weeks or so. However, this […]

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