The Matt Winn

Welcome to the post-Triple Crown season. We had an incredible one this year, with Justify becoming the 13th Triple Crown winner, just a few years after American Pharoah accomplished the feat. But now we turn to the world of later-developing 3YO’s (it’s funny, in a normal year, you could consider Justify one of those) and
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The Belmont Stakes

12 furlongs on Belmont’s main track. Not your typical race for 3YO’s as they enter the summer. It’s an arcane distance, but one that also tests stamina, conditioning, and breeding. It’s a fitting conclusion to the Triple Crown and one that requires a uniquely special horse to win, especially after capturing the first two legs. This
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The Penn Mile

With one week to go before the Belmont Stakes, we take a diversion to the 3YO turf division with the GII Penn Mile from Penn National Race Course. It’s restricted to 3YO and carries a purse of half a million dollars. As the name suggests, it’s 8 furlongs — a mile on the turf. Only
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The Gold Cup at Santa Anita

It’s the 79th running of the race that was the Hollywood Gold Cup until 2014. Yes, a short field of 7 will go to the starting gate at Santa Anita in this GI affair. But in that field are three horses who should be considered leaders of the Classic division and who may duke it
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The Preakness

Justify should win the Preakness. He’s already an amazing colt — he broke the “Curse of Apollo” — something that I strongly believed in. He’s an undefeated Derby winner. He’s started his career with four Beyer Speed Figures over 100. He’s a very deserving 1/5 morning line. The one X-factor is the sloppy track — it’s been
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The Peter Pan

The Peter Pan Stakes, a GIII contest for 3YO from Belmont Park, is the focus this week. We step back from last week’s 10 furlongs in the Kentucky Derby to a more manageable 9 furlongs–the distance of the Derby final preps. A field of 7 will assemble at 6:18 Eastern Time — some with some very
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‘Twas the Night Before the Derby

It’s the night before the Kentucky Derby, and I think I finally know what to do with Justify. I’m a firm believer in historical trends and the “Curse of Apollo” is one of the strongest in sports. Churchill Downs is a zoo on Derby Day and that energy permeates throughout the racetrack. A horse is exposed to
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The Californian

Let’s take a look at the Grade II Californian, a 9-furlong affair from Santa Anita. It’s the final leg of the early P5 — making it extra-important to multi-race bettors. Although 3YO’s could enter, it’s a field full of veterans — all horses are 5YO and above. I’m going to go through the field in
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Arkansas Derby

This week, we’ll return to Oaklawn Park for the jewel of the meet — the Grade I Arkansas Derby. With 100 points to the winner, we will have reached the end of the qualifying for the Kentucky Derby (The 20 point Grade III Lexington at Keeneland will be run a few hours earlier). 9 horses will
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