Horse Race Betting and Handicapping Articles
2018 Santa Anita Stakes Races Expert Picks with Odds and Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 9/28/2018
As the Breeders' Cup nears, we are treated to one of the great race weekends of the year. Both Santa Anita and Belmont have incredibly-stacked race cards as top horses fight to earn a spot in the Breeders' Cup and to prove that they are ready for their best effort on the big day. Santa Anita's opening weekend features four Grade 1 stakes on Saturday, and each one promises to be very good. Here's a look at each:
2018 Pennsylvania Derby and Cotillion Stakes Expert Picks with Betting Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 9/20/2018
Saturday is the one day of the year when Parx Racing in Philadelphia is relevant in the national racing scene. A purse north of $1 million and good timing for colts looking to make the Breeders' Cup has made the Pennsylvania Derby a significant race in recent years, with winners like West Coast, Frosted and Bayern putting their stamp on this race. And another million-dollar purse has drawn the top three-year-old fillies to Philly for a typically great race in the Cotillion Stakes. Both fields this year are strong and fascinating. Here's a look at how the races break down:
2018 Woodbine Mile Expert Picks with Odds and Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 9/12/2018
So, why do we care about the Woodbine Mile - besides the obvious fact that it is in Canada, and everything in Canada is awesome, of course? Well, it's a factory for Breeders' Cup success, and we love having success on Breeders' Cup weekend. World Approval won both the Woodbine MIle and the Breeders' Cup Mile last year, and he was far from the first.
2018 Woodward Stakes Expert Picks with Odds and Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 8/30/2018
This is the closing weekend of the Saratoga meet, and the Woodward Stakes is the highlight of the action. And there is no way around it - this is a very weird edition of the race. This is a very significant race. Gun Runner used it as his final prep before his Breeders' Cup Classic win last year. And many other great horses have won it in recent times - Rachel Alexandra, Curlin, Havre de Grace, Ghostzapper, Mineshaft, and so on.
2018 Travers Stakes Expert Picks with Odds and Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 8/23/2018
The Travers Stakes, the biggest race of the year exclusively for three-year-olds outside of the Triple Crown, is a little bittersweet this year. It was the likely return to action for Triple Crown hero Justify, but he's already retired and easing into stud life in Kentucky. But despite the absence of the obvious headliner, this is a truly fascinating race - and one that will be a joy to watch. Taking place at Saratoga in upstate New York on Saturday, 11 runners have signed up, and several have a real chance here.
2018 Pacific Classic Expert Picks with Odds and Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 8/16/2018
I'll admit that I am completely and unapologetically a Saratoga guy. Saratoga and Del Mar are, of course, the two big summer meets. And even though my favorite trainer and several of my favorite jockeys are West Coast guys, I can't shake the feeling in my head that Del Mar is where you would go only if you couldn't get good seats at Saratoga. It's not fair - the setting is beautiful, the track is back to being dirt after the disastrous foray into synthetics in California, and the horses there are top-class. And there are some very good races there - like the Pacific Classic this weekend.
Arlington Million, Secretariat and Beverly D. Expert Betting Picks and Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 8/8/2018
Arlington is only relevant one day per year anymore. However, when the once-great track in the Chicago area does it, they do it right. They have only three Grade 1 races on their calendar, and when they are run on the second weekend of August each year they make up the best turf card of the year in North America. The Arlington Million is a major Breeders' Cup Turf prep race, and in 1981 it became the first race to run for a purse of $1 million - the great John Henry won it for the first of two times.
2018 Whitney Stakes Expert Picks with Odds and Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 8/1/2018
The Whitney Stakes is one of the great jewels of the greatest race meet in North America - the summer at Saratoga. The Grade 1 race for a $1.25 million purse is for older male horses and is run at a mile and an eighth. It comes at pretty much a perfect time for horses serious about a run to the Breeders' Cup Classic, and it has been a fertile proving ground in recent years - in the last 20 years Awesome Again, Invasor, Blame, Fort Larned and Gun Runner have all won this race and then won the Classic.
Haskell Invitational and Jim Dandy Expert Picks with Odds and Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 7/26/2018
We are going to preview a top race or races each weekend through the summer and into the fall as horse racing's sights shift to the road to the Breeders' Cup, and we start with two three-year-old spectacles in the Jim Dandy at Saratoga on Saturday and the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth on Sunday. The three-year-old male division goes into a bit of a hiatus after the Belmont Stakes as horses regroup after the Triple Crown trail, and horses that weren't on the trail get ready to attack. This weekend traditionally marks the return to top-level action leading up to the Travers next month and the Breeders' Cup at the beginning of November.
What is Next for Triple Crown Winner Justify?
by Trevor Whenham - 6/13/2018
A few days have passed since the impressive Belmont Stakes win by Justify to cap off the second Triple Crown win in four years. We've had some time to let it sink in. And the passing time has made a couple of things clear. First, Justify is a truly impressive horse. Undefeated. Six wins in just 111 days. A very impressive win in the first and third legs of the Triple Crown, and a lot of heart in the second leg. This is a spectacular horse, and we are as lucky to have seen him do this as we were with American Pharoah just four years ago. Couple that with what Arrogate did in his short prime, and Bob Baffert has single-handedly fueled a glory age of racing.
2018 Wood Memorial Expert Picks with Odds and Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 4/5/2018
I feel like the Wood Memorial owes me some money. A lot of it, actually. It's a race that has the ability to make me fall in love with the winner only to disappoint in the Kentucky Derby and beyond. Last year I was convinced that Irish War Cry had it going on. He didn't. Two years before that it was Frosted, who peaked far too late for the Triple Crown. I really liked both I Want Revenge in 2009 and Eskendereya in 2010, and neither was able to make it to the starting gate due to late injuries - on the morning of the race in the case of the former.
2018 Santa Anita Derby Expert Picks with Odds and Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 4/5/2018
Gormley didn't exactly use his Santa Anita Derby win last year as a springboard to Triple Crown greatness. In recent years, though, that has been more of an exception than a rule. I'll Have Another won the first two legs of the Triple Crown in 2012 after winning this race. Two years later California Chrome won the same three races. The next year Dortmund only finished third in Kentucky after his Santa Anita Derby win, but he had a stablemate named American Pharoah who was pretty tough to match up to.
2018 Blue Grass Stakes Expert Picks with Odds and Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 4/5/2018
The Blue Grass Stakes was a disaster of a race from 2007 to 2014. It was sad, really. This used to be a truly great race, but Keeneland gave in to the thankfully mostly dead trend of synthetic tracks, and it led to a prep race that was virtually meaningless. A mess. It was not what a race that produced winners like the all-time legend Northern Dancer and other Derby winners including Tomy Lee, Shut Out, Chateaugay, Lucky Debonair, Forward Pass, Dust Commander, Riva Ridge, Spectacular Bid, and Strike the Gold deserved.
2018 Florida Derby Expert Picks with Odds and Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 3/28/2018
The Florida Derby has, quite simply, become a factory for Kentucky Derby winners in recent years. Three of the last five Derby winners had won this race as their last outing before the big show - Always Dreaming last year, Nyquist the year before, and Orb in 2013. This success is nothing new, either - 20 Triple Crown race winners since 1955 also won this race, including five since Barbaro won the race in 2006. Recently, the race has also become a playground for Todd Pletcher - he has had three of the last four winners, including Always Dreaming last year, who ran the fastest Florida Derby since Alydar in 1978.
2018 Dubai World Cup Expert Picks with Odds and Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 3/28/2018
One of the richest and most important horse races in the world comes around again on Saturday from the Meydan race track in Dubai. The Dubai World Cup has been won by so many legendary horses over the years. From Cigar in the debut event through greats like Silver Charm, Street Cry, Invasor, Curlin, Derby winner Animal Kingdom, to California Chrome, and last year's winner, the fast-burning Arrogate. This is a race where the best of American older horse racing heads across the ocean to test themselves, and they frequently come out on top.
Expert Betting Picks for UAE Derby and Burradon Stakes 2018
by Trevor Whenham - 3/27/2018
The road to the Kentucky Derby goes international this weekend, with key stops in both England and Dubai that are each likely to produce Derby starters. The Burradon Stakes on Friday is the last step on the European Road to the Derby that has been confusing and hasn't really proven anything yet. And the UAE Derby on the Dubai World Cup undercard on Saturday has produced several Derby entrants for several years, but it has yet to produce a real contender.
2018 Louisiana Derby Expert Picks with Odds and Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 3/21/2018
The Louisiana Derby, set for Saturday at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, is an important stop on the Triple Crown trail this year for a couple of reasons. First, while it is only a Grade II, it carries a $1 million purse, and connections are attracted to that likes flies to a garbage can. And second, and as importantly, this is the first of the prep races this year that offers 100 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the winner and 40 to the runner up.
2018 Sunland Derby Picks with Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 3/21/2018
I've spent a day at the races at Sunland Park. It's in New Mexico just across the border from El Paso, Texas. It was a great day - the tacos were amazing, and the beer was cold. But it feels so far away from the big time that it is almost impossible to imagine it being relevant. Yet, one weekend a year the big names are drawn to rural New Mexico - Todd Pletcher, Doug O'Neill, Steve Asmussen, Dale Romans, Jerry Hollendorfer, Simon Callaghan. And they bring some pretty serious horse flesh with them.
2018 Rebel Stakes Picks with Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 3/14/2018
The Triple Crown trail this year so far is, to be frank, pissing me off. Horse after horse has fallen flat when given a great opportunity to establish themselves. The only prep race that has been any good was the San Felipe last weekend, and it was marred by a truly moronic disqualification of the winner. And as good as McKinzie and Bolt d'Oro looked in that race, they dueled so hard against each other that they very likely set themselves up to take a step back in their final prep race.
2018 San Felipe Stakes Expert Picks with Odds and Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 3/8/2018
There is some serious history behind the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita. First run in 1935, it was restricted to three-year-olds since 1952 and has been that way ever since. Affirmed win it in 1978 en route to his Triple Crown. Sunday Silence, Fusaichi Pegasus and California Chrome all won this race and the Derby, and Real Quiet, Silver Charm and Cavonnier all won the Derby (and the Preakness in the first two cases) after falling short here. Preakness and Belmont winner Point Given, and Pioneerof the Nile, who sired American Pharoah, are also among the winners.
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