Both 2019 Kentucky Derby winners—Country House and Maximum Security–and the 151st Belmont Stakes victor—Sir Winston–hit rough patches this week. Country House, who originally finished second in the Derby but was elevated to first via disqualification, has been shelved for the rest of the year. Sidelined by an illness following the Derby, he hasn’t raced since […]

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There’s no Triple Crown on the line Saturday in what appears to be a lackluster Belmont Stakes. However, don’t sleep on this race. There’s a chance we could witness a breakout performance from a developing star. Tacitus has many positives going for him both in the Belmont Stakes and for the future. He could emerge […]

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To say that this has been one of the most trying seasons in the history of beautiful Santa Anita Park would be accurate. This winter, beneath a persistent dark cloud, the place I fell in love with as a teenager and where I spent early mornings, afternoons and evenings for 30 years, has struggled. Friends, […]

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Redemption. That’s what winning the 144th Preakness meant to War of Will’s trainer Mark Casse. Forget that in a post-race interview Casse said he wouldn’t use that word to describe his feelings. It sure seemed that way to me. And not just redemption for the trainer. Young jockey Tyler Gaffalione and colt War of Will […]

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The dust has settled on Kentucky Derby 145. The lawsuits haven’t. If you’re either a Country House or Maximum Security fan there hasn’t been much time to celebrate or to cry over spilled milk. Two weeks between first and second legs of the Triple Crown provide little recovery time for man and beast. The ship […]

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There is no question that the 2 019 Kentucky Derby is going to be discussed and debated for a very long time. I had hoped this week to be writing about Omaha Beach heading to the Preakness Stakes following his victory in the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby. But after Omaha Beach had been installed as […]

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Maximum Security–starting as the 9/2 second choice to favored Improbable at 4-1–had the lead turning into the stretch of the 145th running of our nation’s most important horse race. He then drifted out suddenly into the path of… What am I doing? You don’t need a blow-by-blow rehashing of the event. Unless you’ve been training […]

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When I found out the news via a text message from a friend, I had trouble breathing. No, I did not have an entrapped epiglottis. But I did have trouble breathing because I felt as if somebody had just punched me in the gut really, really hard. I was so much looking forward to Omaha […]

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1. War of Will 20-1     M. Casse/Gafflione A misstep just after the start of the late-March Louisiana Derby resulted in a ninth-place finish at less than even-money. That darkened the form of this otherwise attractive runner. He was sore for a day or two after the race, but soon returned to training. Following 4 reasonable […]

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In case you didn’t notice, the Kentucky Derby is a bit over a week away. That means now is the time to begin searching for a winner, exacta, tri or super combination. Of course, you could wait until after post positions are drawn and final entries revealed. But, in that case, you would have waisted […]

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Last week, we agreed with the masses that Bob Baffert’s dynamic duo of Improbable and Game Winner would be tough in respective divisions of the Rebel Stakes. We liked the former a bit more than the latter but figured both would win. We were a quarter–right. They were hickory, but both lost in close finishes. […]

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As the once popular Billy Idol song reminds, “With a rebel yell she cried, more, more, more.” Someone with ‘weight’ at Oaklawn Park must have been listening because this year we’ve got two divisions of the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes with 19 total runners, including unbeaten 2-year-old champ Game Winner and 3-for-3 stablemate Improbable. Turns […]

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Right Church, Wrong Pew Last week, in this space, we outlined challenges facing Hidden Scroll in the Fountain of Youth at a very short price. Unfortunately, it was a case of ‘right church, wrong pew.’ Our suggested superfecta didn’t use Honor Code in the top spot. This week, in the Grade 3 Gotham at Aqueduct, […]

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Gulfstream Park has a blockbuster Saturday card that includes 9 graded stakes races and an assortment of guaranteed wagering pools certain to make any horseplayer’s mouth water. Of course, top draw is an unusually deep, competitive Grade 1 $400,000 Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes. Below, we’ve included a pair of suggested $1 Superfecta moves that […]

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Last Friday the wife wanted to know, “Are there any big races this weekend?” “Yes, honey-bunny,” I answered (we’re Pulp Fiction fans), “from now through the first weekend in November.” And that’s nearly completely true. In the roughly 2 months leading up to the Kentucky Oaks and Derby, there are ‘big’ 3-year-old races almost weekly […]

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