Twilight Derby

We’ll roll into California with a 3YO turf stakes race in the Twilight Derby (GII). It is 9 furlongs and on the firm turf. With 2 scratches today, 9 horses are scheduled to enter the starting gate at 3:49 Pacific Time. Here’s a rundown: Cowboy Culture is a horse that likes to win — he’s 5
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The Sleepy Hollow $250K

We are back to routing this week as a large field of eleven goes forward in the Sleepy Hollow Stakes, a 1-mile NY-bred stakes for $250K. 1 mile on the main track at Belmont is a one-turn race. Every year, there are NY-breds in the Kentucky Derby and many more on the Derby trail.  Let’s take
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The Futurity (from Belmont Park)

Our tour of 2YO racing moves to a shorter distance this week with a Grade 3, 6-furlong sprint from Belmont Park. You never know when/how/if these speedy 2YO’s will and find their way onto the Derby Trail, so there is an advantage in watching them early. BYou’ll get the full context of their win (or
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The Frontrunner (G1)

Nothing feels like fall than 2YO’s routing for $300K in a Grade 1 major track affair. That’s what we have with the Frontrunner Stakes, a 1 1/6 Grade 1 later this afternoon at Santa Anita Park. After a summer filled with 5 furlong sprint after 5 furlong sprint, we’ll get on the America Road to the Kentucky
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Will Bayern fool the public again?

I love Bayern. Why? Not because he’s an all-time great racehorse, even though he did win a competitive installment of the Breeders’ Cup Classic last year. Instead, I like him because he befuddles the public — never winning as the favorite and winning several times at high odds. This year, he’s continued his pattern, at least
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In Review: The Oceanside Stakes

The public is a great pre-race handicapper. It is very skilled at taking the available data (i.e. past performances, visual impressions, word of mouth) and whittling it down to accurate estimation of the probability of winning. Their top choice — the post time favorite — wins more than any other horse. In fact, their probability
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Kentucky Derby Contender Profile: Mubtaahij

His path to the Derby is non-traditional, at least when it comes to producing winners. But, despite never having raced on North American soil, Mubtaahij stands a decent chance to buck history and find the Kentucky Derby winner’s circle. His strong stamina base — he has already raced twice at 9.5f — should benefit him well during the
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Kentucky Derby Contender Profile: Materiality

Despite the highest Beyer figure so far from a 3YO (110 in the Florida Derby), Materiality will likely be double-digit odds on Kentucky Derby day.  It’s a combination of figure skepticism, due to the Gulfstream surface, and also the operation of two well-known “curses.”  First, he was unraced at two. No horse since Apollo in 1882 has won
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Kentucky Derby Contender Profile: Carpe Diem

Let’s continue with our video review of top 2015 Kentucky Derby contenders with Carpe Diem, who has been targeting this race since being purchased for $1.6 million as a 2YO. Breeders’ Futurity After debuting with an impressive win over future Swale winner Ready for Rye at 5.5 furlongs, hopes were high for Carpe Diem’s first attempt at
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