Are They Racing At Scarborough Downs? Not Anymore - Posted on: December 2, 2020

By John Furgele Goin Manstyle made a little harness racing history recently, becoming the last horse to win a race at Scarborough Downs in Maine before the grand ol’ joint closed down after a 70-year run. For the record, the 10-year-old Goin Manstyle rallied from third in the stretch and won the 10th race, a $3,600 pace, on Nov. 28 (Saturday). Winning time for the mile was 2:02.1 and the winner returned $10.20 on a $2 win bet. A few hundred fans were on hand for the final day. After 50 years of harness racing, and 20 years as a

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Bettor’s Guide to Gulfstream Park - Posted on: December 1, 2020

By Noel Michaels Yes, the winter racing season is upon us, and the best winter race meet is ready to roll at Gulfstream Park, with the 2020-21 Champions meet opening Wednesday (Dec. 2). The Gulfstream season, which continues until March 28, features the best trainers, jockeys, grass horses and stakes races at this time of year, making it a must-bet track for all serious horseplayers and handicappers. The meet contains several key 3-year-old prep races leading to the Florida Derby (G1) on March 27. The meet also features the scaled-down but still rich $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) on

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The American Way: Horses Race Counterclockwise; On Dirt - Posted on: December 1, 2020

By Maryjean Wall Spectators at Sportsman’s Hill kept an eye out for angry Native Americans during the races. If you let down your guard you could do worse than losing all on a 2-5 shot. You could wind up scalped. Sportsman’s Hill was the estate of pioneer William Whitley, who brought the racing traditions of his native Virginia with him when he crossed into Kentucky on horseback in 1775. More important was the tradition he founded: racing counterclockwise around a circular, dirt track. Stories hold that Whitley was swayed by anti-British sentiment when he decided that horses should race in

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Holiday Weekend Wrapup: All About Chad and Brad - Posted on: November 30, 2020

By Richard Rosenblatt It was the “Chad and Brad Show” over the Thanksgiving Weekend. Four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown sent the right horses out West to Del Mar for the holiday, and came away with four victories and a second in the five graded stakes turf races he entered. Truly a remarkable feat by any measure, especially from an East Coast-based conditioner shipping cross-country. And Brad Cox continued to shine in Kentucky with a strong showing at Churchill Downs as well as a Grade 1 victory at Del Mar. Brown’s charges capped a four-day run of excellence at Del

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5 Ways Marcus Aurelius Can Help You Excel As A Handicapper - Posted on: November 30, 2020

By Ray Wallin What would a Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher know about handicapping? I doubt Marcus Aurelius, the author of the famous philosophical work Meditations, was trying to figure out the contenders in the fifth race at Pompeii Downs or ever thought about making his living playing the chariot races. Instead, it was his philosophical side that lends itself to being helpful to your handicapping almost 2,000 years later. 1) Realize that many mistakes are the results of ignorance You know our track friend Newbie Nick. Even if you don’t know him, you know another guy like him. He

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Hollywood Derby: Clement Holds Strong Hand with Decorated Invader, Gufo - Posted on: November 27, 2020

By Margaret Ransom The $300,000 Hollywood Derby (G1) has been a showcase for East Coast-based trainers in recent years, and Saturday’s edition has another strong contingent looking to continue the trend. New York-based trainer Christophe Clement sends out two of the three favorites in the field of 12, 3-1 top choice Decorated Invader and 4-1 third choice Gufo. Domestic Spending, at 5-1, is trained by four-time Eclipse Award winner Chad Brown, also based in New York. Maybe there’s something in the Del Mar air that helps these East Coast invaders run well. Brown has saddled two of the past four

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Hollywood Turf Cup: Can Oscar Dominguez Pull Off a Repeat? - Posted on: November 26, 2020

By Margaret Ransom Dismissed at 11-1 odds a year ago in the Hollywood Turf Cup (G2), Oscar Dominguez came through for his backers with a neck victory over even-money favorite United and returned $24.20 on a $2 win bet. Fast forward to Friday, and Oscar Dominguez is back for another long-shot go at it when the 7-year-old gelding takes on the likes of 5-2 favorite Arklow and 3-1 second choice Laccario in a full field of 12 going 1 ½ miles on the turf at Del Mar. The odds seem appropriate since the Richard Baltas-trained Oscar Dominguez is 0-for-5 in

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Trainer Brad Cox Doubles Up in 2-Year-Old Races at Churchill Downs - Posted on: November 26, 2020

By Mike Farrell Brad Cox, fresh from his four-victory Breeders’ Cup weekend earlier this month, looks to deepen his bench of promising juveniles on the “Stars of Tomorrow II” program on Saturday at Churchill Downs. Cox is already in the early driver’s seat for next season’s 3-year-old campaign thanks to Essential Quality, the rallying winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Keeneland on Nov. 6. That victory clinched the division title, and stamped the colt as the long-range favorite for the Kentucky Derby (G1). Essential Quality is 10-1 in the first of Churchill’s Kentucky Derby Future Pools that runs

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Del Mar Thanksgiving: East Coast Presence for Red Carpet Stakes - Posted on: November 25, 2020

By Margaret Ransom Closing weekend at Del Mar will be packed with stakes races from start to finish, beginning with the $100,000 Red Carpet Stakes (G3) on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 26). The seventh running of the 1 3/8-mile race on the grass drew a field of 10 fillies and mares, including a pair from East Coast-based trainers, Chad Brown’s Orglandes (the 5-2 favorite) and Graham Motion’s Blame Debbie (the 3-1 second choice). Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Michael Cloonan and Timothy Thornton’s Blame Debbie is a 3-year-old daughter of Blame riding a three-race win streak that includes the 1 ½-mile Dowager Stakes

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Eddie Mac’s Book: Pickin’ Stakes Winners from Coast to Coast - Posted on: November 25, 2020

By Ed McNamara If you’re like me, you cut back dramatically on wagering after the pari-mutuel frenzy of the Breeders’ Cup. Although my handicapping was good, my betting was sloppy, and I should have made more than $50 on the year’s two best cards. For the past few weeks, I haven’t had much desire to look at past performances, but I’m over my hangover. There’s not much high-quality racing in December until Santa Anita opens on the 26th, and Thanksgiving weekend offers a chance to put money on good horses. I’m interested in five stakes at Churchill Downs, Aqueduct and

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