The 2014 campaign of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome still has one chapter to write, as the colt will look to win his fourth Grade 1 win of the year in next Saturday’s $300,000 Hollywood Derby (G1). The race will be his first start on turf. The colt had his first work over… [Continue Reading]
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Michael’s Best Plays Report
Michael's Best Plays Report is available each Saturday and Sunday and features his strongest plays from major tracks along with his analysis and selections for major stakes each weekend. His Report includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for his top plays, usually from tracks in New York, California, Kentucky and Florida.
A full field will head to the gate in Saturday’s $1 million Delta Jackpot (G3), with 17 points up for the grabs in the Road to the Derby series, 10 points to the winner along with a $600,000 payday. The D. Wayne Lukas trained Mr. Z is the 5-2 morning line favorite, last seen running… [Continue Reading]
The Chad Brown trained Big Blue Kitten appears to be the one to beat in Saturday’s $250,000 Red Smith Handicap (G3), the last graded stakes race of the year on turf in New York. The six-year-old got a late start to his 2014 campaign, winning the restricted Lure in August, which was his first start… [Continue Reading]
A full field of fillies and mares will hit the turf course at Aqueduct for Saturday’s $200,000 Long Island Handicap (G3) going 1 ½ miles, and it appears the Todd Pletcher trained Viva Rafaela is going to be the one to catch. The feature goes off as the seventh race on a nine race card… [Continue Reading]
Belmont Park features an outstanding betting card on Saturday with Empire Showcase Day. There are eight stakes restricted to New York breds with purses that total $1.75 million. New York bred stars Artemis Agrotera, Dayatthespa, Palace and Zivo are awaiting bigger challenges in two weeks in the Breeders’ Cup, but there is still plenty of… [Continue Reading]
There is racing on Columbus Day at Belmont Park on Monday, with a field of 11 three-year-old fillies lining up in a wide-open edition of the $200,000 Pebbles, a one-mile test on turf. Trainer Christophe Clement, who won last year’s running of the Pebbles with Discreet Marq, is back with an uncoupled entry, and they… [Continue Reading]
The final Grade 1 race of the fall meeting at Keeneland is Saturday with an evenly matched field of nine three-year-old fillies lining up in the $500,00 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1), a test at 1 1/8 miles on the grass. While all of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge races are done, this race potentially… [Continue Reading]
Trainer Christophe Clement will saddle contenders in both turf stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday, the $200,000 Noble Damsel (G3) and the $500,000 Sands Point (G2). Clement will send out a pair in each race. Clement will saddle Love Train (6-1) and Annecdote (7-2) in the Noble Damsel. Love Train returns off a two-month break… [Continue Reading]
A field of six will line up in Saturday’s feature at Belmont Park, the $100,000 Yankee Affair at 1 ½ miles on the grass with the Todd Pletcher trained Red Rifle the 2-1 favorite while Legendary may be tough as the second choice. Legendary checked in third last out in the Lure at Saratoga for… [Continue Reading]
The 40-day Saratoga meeting ends on Monday with the $300,000 Saranac, a 1 1/8 mile test on turf for three-year-olds. The Graham Motion trained Ring Weekend is the 8-5 morning line favorite. The gelding is 0 for 2 on turf but did win the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) on dirt in March and was fifth… [Continue Reading]
The front-running Moreno is safely into the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic after his win in the Whitney (G2) on Aug. 2. However, will he be lucky enough to be able to wire the field again in Saturday’s $600,000 Woodward (G1) at Saratoga? The Eric Guillot trainee earned a career top Beyer Speed Figure in… [Continue Reading]
For the 12th time since Affirmed in 1978, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner came up short in an attempt to win the Triple Crown, with Tonalist spoiling the party. California Chrome grabbed a quarter coming out of the gate, possibly stepped on by Samraat, and after stalking the early pace and being in position… [Continue Reading]
We have been here before. A dozen horses have shown up in New York looking to wrap up the Triple Crown since 1978, and all have come up short. Now, 36 years after Affirmed became the last Triple Crown winner, California Chrome has his date with destiny. The Racing Gods seem to be shining down… [Continue Reading]
The Bob Baffert trained American Pharoah is the early betting favorite for the 2015 Kentucky Derby at 11-1 in odds released by the Wynn Las Vegas Race & Sportsbook. The ridgling would have been the favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita, but was forced to scratch just days… [Continue Reading]
The Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year was supposed to be decided on the track at Santa Anita in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), but because of the controversial start where eventual winner Bayern wiped out the betting favorite and main pace threat, who is now most deserving? It is a question… [Continue Reading]
Trainer Chad Brown does not have a starter in either of the stakes on Sunday at Belmont Park, but looks as if he could still have a big day. The trainer has live runners in half of the 10 races on the card. Brown has already picked up two winners from five starters over the… [Continue Reading]
The summer Saratoga meeting is in the books and now it is Belmont Park’s turn with the fall championship meeting getting underway on Friday afternoon for a 38-day meet. Among the 20 graded stakes that will be contested between Friday and closing day on Oct. 26 are six Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In”… [Continue Reading]
The marquee event of summer racing is on tap on Saturday, with a field of 10 going to the post in the Mid Summer Derby, the Grade 1 $1,.25 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga. The race drew a solid field led by Haskell Invitational (G1) winner Bayern, Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Tonalist and Jim Dandy… [Continue Reading]
In a roughly run edition of the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), the Bob Baffert trained Bayern took the field from bump to wire to win, returning $14.20 for the victory, leaving the connections of the other horses and horseplayers around the world wondering what the California stewards might have been thinking. With Martin… [Continue Reading]
After a chalky start on Friday, there should be plenty of fireworks on Breeders’ Cup Saturday, with nine championship races and the $5 million Classic likely to decide Horse of the Year honors. The Friday Breeders’ Cup races started with Hootnanny winning the Juvenile Turf and returning $14.00, giving trainer Wesley Ward his first Breeders’… [Continue Reading]
Four of the 13 Breeders’ Cup races will be contested on Friday at Santa Anita, with the $1 million Juvenile Turf kicking off the action over the two-day championship event. The $1 million Dirt Mile (G1) and Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) follow, and then the ladies take center stage in the $2 million Distaff (G1).… [Continue Reading]
The Breeders’ Cup post positions were drawn and morning line odds announced on Monday with a record 174 horse entered including the winners of the spring’s Triple Crown races and five runners that won Breeders’ Cup races last year. The Breeders’ Cup will be held for the third consecutive year at Santa Anita on Oct.… [Continue Reading]
Just a month after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed two bills passed by the state legislature that would have struck down the state’s prohibition on sports gambling, he issued a directive Monday allowing the state’s casinos and racetracks to offer sports betting. According The New York Daily News, the governor said he took his… [Continue Reading]
Two downs and one to go as California Chrome won the Grade 1 $1.5 million Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on Saturday, running his winning streak to six. Now it is off to the Big Apple in three weeks for a shot at Triple Crown glory. Sent off as the 1-2 betting favorite, the colt broke… [Continue Reading]
After spending the entire spring as the early betting favorite for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby, the undefeated Verrazano will play second fiddle to Orb after the 2013 Kentucky Derby morning line odds were released on Wednesday afternoon. A field of 21 was entered in the race, with Fear the Kitten sitting on… [Continue Reading]