Thousand Words, Improbable Seek Big Wins for Baffert at Oaklawn - Posted on: April 9, 2020

By Lynne Snierson Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is loaded for bear in the two stakes on Saturday’s 12-race card at Oaklawn Park with Kentucky Derby (G1) hopeful Thousand Words in the $200,000 Oaklawn Stakes and last year’s Derby favorite Improbable in the $150,000 Oaklawn Mile. Still, the invasion from his Southern California base could have been bigger. “I wanted to send a lot more horses there but I couldn’t get them in so it didn’t work out,” Baffert said from the West Coast, where live racing has been shut down at Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields, along

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7 Handicapping Tips for a New Track - Posted on: April 7, 2020

7 Handicapping Tips for a New Track – By Ray Wallin If you are like me you are a creature of habit. You have a meet or two that you follow and play religiously and rarely deviate from that. For me, that is the New Jersey circuit. For years I would get excited for Garden State Park, Atlantic City Race Course, Monmouth Park, and finally the Meadowlands. Occasionally I would play Philadelphia Park, which is now Parx Racing, or Delaware Park since so many horses would ship in from those meets. What do you do when you are planning to

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Stallion Stories: J.O. Tobin - Posted on: April 6, 2020

(Award-winning author Margaret Ransom resumes her series of Stallion Stories, which occasionally focuses on geldings. Previous subjects in the series include Seattle Slew, Silver Charm, Grindstone, Storm Cat, Go For Gin, and geldings John Henry and Cigar) By Margaret Ransom Lexington, Kentucky native Wes Lanter has spent most of his life surrounded by some of the best thoroughbreds of the last generation. The veteran horseman served as both stallion groom and/or stallion manager at some of the most successful and well-known breeding farms in the Bluegrass, including Spendthrift Farm, Three Chimneys and Overbrook Farm. He’s also worked at the Kentucky

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Preakness update: No new date, but InfieldFest canceled - Posted on: April 4, 2020

By Richard Rosenblatt There’s no new date for the Preakness Stakes (G1) yet, but the Maryland Jockey Club and The Stronach Group said they’re “continuing to work with our key stakeholders to explore all options to set a new date for the running of Preakness 145. Translated, the Preakness is off for May 16 as most expected, but no official announcement has come from the MJC or TSG, which owns Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. What became official Friday is the cancellation of the popular InfieldFest on Preakness day — a music and food festival that draws tens of

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From bloodthirsty to blueblood: Countess Margit Batthyany used her racehorses to draw a veil over her appalling past - Posted on: April 3, 2020

By Maryjean Wall Countess Margit Batthyany was once the most powerful woman in European racing, winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 1972 with the filly, San San, and the year before that, the French Two Thousand Guineas with Caro, as well as the 1967 Epsom Oaks with Pia. She owned horse farms from Kentucky to Germany to France and befriended stalwarts of the sport. She also held a dirty secret. Few knew about her past. When European newspapers eventually did discover just what the countess had been hiding all those years, they came up with a special name

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Live Racing Becoming a Thing of the Past - Posted on: April 2, 2020

By Richard Rosenblatt Live racing in the United States continues to dwindle with the closing of a few more racetracks in California. The latest tracks to cancel live racing after county health officials instructed them to do so are Golden Gate Fields (thoroughbreds, Alameda County), and Cal Expo (harness racing, Sacramento County). Earlier this week, the Los Angeles county health department reiterated that live racing at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, was not considered an essential business and closed down racing last weekend. The decision means the Santa Anita Derby (G1), a key Kentucky Derby (G1) prep race scheduled

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Oaklawn Park Handicapping: Best Live Racing Available - Posted on: April 2, 2020

Oaklawn Park Handicapping: Coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the March and April racing calendar far and wide, but one place that so far has steadfastly kept most of its original four-day-a-week spring racing schedule in place – much to the relief of simulcast players everywhere – is Oaklawn Park. Hopefully, the track will continue to plug away more or less with a full dance card through the meet’s closing day on Saturday, May 2. At a time when horseplayers have been unable to depend on much, Oaklawn Park continues to offer handicappers some of the best live horse racing available.

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Kentucky Derby Top 10: Tiz The Law Lives Up to No. 1 Status - Posted on: April 1, 2020

Kentucky Derby Top 10: Latest Recount And now? Nothing. Tiz the Law has done everything possible to stake his claim as the nation’s top 3-year-old with his victory in the Florida Derby (G1), and thus remains No. 1 on my usracing.com/news Top 10 Kentucky Derby list of contenders. Sure, you could argue that two-time Triple Crown winning trainer Bob Baffert has a trio of undefeated colts in Authentic (No. 2), Nadal (No. 3) and Charlatan (No. 5). But who knows when or where — or if – they’ll be able to run again now that Santa Anita Derby (G1) scheduled

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Self-Isolating? Here’s 6 Ways to Boost Your Handicapping - Posted on: March 31, 2020

By now most of us are working from home. We’ve converted living rooms, family rooms, basement workshops, or some other space in our house to a makeshift office for the foreseeable future. You’ve spent more time with your spouse in the last week than you did in the last year. You realized that kid who is always hanging around is your son, but you still can’t remember his name. You are checking things off the honey-do list faster than ever. Why not take a break from fixing the gutters and take advantage of that time you are not spending on

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“We’ll Meet Again” … Gambling Fun on Hold, for Now - Posted on: March 29, 2020

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo touched off the horror that was World War I. That afternoon in Paris, between the third and fourth races at Longchamp, an army officer broke the news to French President Raymond Poincare. In “July 1914: Countdown to War,” author Sean McMeekin writes: “Although intrigued by the report, Poincare did not leave his seat, not wishing to miss the finish of the race then underway.” Talk about lack of perspective. Most historians would agree that in the grand scheme of things, The Great War turned out to be more

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