The Best Pal

This year’s version of the Best Pal, a GII 6f sprint for 2YO at Del Mar, is dominated by the presence of Instagrand. He is the 1/2 morning line favorite and a deserving one. Here is his maiden race, where he shows his stamina in the stretch convincingly. He cost $1.2 million this past March and
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The West Virginia Derby

Normally, Mountaineer Park is a sanctuary for horseplayers who play at night during the week. But once a year, the track garners national attention with the GIII West Viriginia Derby. The race was a GII from 2009-2016 and, for this edition, the purse has seen a reduction to $500,000, its lowest level since 2001. But the race
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The Haskell Invitational

It’s the end of the weekend and we have a special Sunday edition of the blog. This week is the 9f Haskell Invitational, a GI $1 million dollar race from Monmouth Park in New Jersey. It’s the highlight of a weekend with 3 3YO races. At Saratoga, we’ve already seen Hofburg capture the Curlin on Friday
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The San Diego Handicap

We move to the older horses this week, possibly sniffing out some horses for the Pacific Classic, Breeders’ Cup Classic or the Mile. The race is 8.5f on the dirt. While the race is still quite compelling, news came that last year’s champion, Accelerate, who this year has won the Santa Anita Handicap as well as
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The Los Alamitos Derby

A small but intriguing field goes forward in the GIII Los Alamitos Derby later this afternoon. One of the highlights of the short summer meet, it features 5 3YO’s going 9 furlongs for a purse of $150K. Horses that run well could find themselves in any level of 3YO races left this summer, such as
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The Dwyer

We continue our post-Triple Crown tour with a trip back to Belmont Park for the Grade III Dwyer. A field of 7 3YO’s contest a 1-turn mile over Big Sandy. The purse is 300K and the top finishers likely move on to the bigger races, such as the Travers, later in the summer. The field
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The Bashford Manor

We’ll take a look at 2YO’s for the first time this year with the 117th running of the GIII Bashford Manor from Churchill Downs. We’re still months away from 2YO’s routing, but this is still an early test of stamina for this group of 13 2YO’s. It’s 6f, which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s farther
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The Ohio Derby

We return to my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio for the Grade III Ohio Derby. It’s a 9 furlong race restricted to 3YO with a purse of half a million dollars. It’s the featured event of the Thistledown meet and always a good test of 3YO after the Triple Crown races. The track is currently listed
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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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