Derby Prep Races

It Came from the Outside Post!

If you haven’t discovered Derek Simon’s podcast at TwinspiresRadio, you should do so now. . .or as soon as you finish reading this post. Treat your ears to the racing musings of a knowledgeable host and to lots of substantive handicapping content.
A topic that arose when he interviewed me was outside post positions. Derek expressed […]

Derby Preps: The Rebel Stakes

The Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park drew a small but interesting field of 8 horses. With a few accomplished locals, a few shippers from southern California and a top East Coast jockey, the race contains a little of everything.

The likely favorite, Tapiture (9-5), dominated Oaklawn’s Southwest Stakes last month, easily defeating three of the […]

Derby Preps: San Felipe Stakes/Tampa Bay Derby

Afew years ago when asked about a full field in a weak Derby prep, I joked that bettors should just play the 3 longest shots on the board. Surprisingly, I was right. When I half-joked about that strategy in a similar situation the next year, I was right again. I’m not joking this time.
San Felipe […]

Derby Preps: Winter Wrap-Up

Snow still covers the racetracks and crab shacks on much of the eastern edge of the Derby trail. Even so, the Kentucky Derby winter prep season is over.
March 1 marks the final Derby prep on Aqueduct’s winter surface, and Gulfstream has run the last of its 8.5-furlong preps. From here on, most horses enter […]

Derby Preps: Gotham Stakes

The Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct features two horses who staged a thrilling gate-to-wire duel in the Withers Stakes last month. The winner, Samraat (5-2), will line up as the favorite again, while runner-up Uncle Sigh (3-1) enters the race as the morning line 2nd choice. That’s a lot of misdirected money filling the pools, so […]

Derby Preps: Risen Star Stakes

Yes, Intense Holiday (8-1) moves like a lethargic tourist in the early stages of his races. Yes, he’s done too little too late in nearly every race of his career. And yes, I like him to run down the flash-and-fade locals in the Risen Star Stakes.

My speed and pace ratings show him to be […]

Derby Preps: Fountain of Youth

Oh, the energy of youth! It’s on full display today at Gulfstream Park, with 13 horses entered in the Fountain of Youth Stakes. Many will navigate 2 turns for the first time in their careers. How they ration their bountiful energy will play a big part in how they perform in the race.

A handy […]

Derby Preps: The Southwest Stakes

Despite the defection of last year’s top 2-year-olds Havana and New Year’s Day, 2-year-old form has held up well so far in the prep season. Horses who finished 2nd or 3rd to top 2-year-olds have dominated in 2014. Candy Boy won the R. B. Lewis, Kobe’s Back scored in the San Vicente and Tamarando took the El Camino Real.

That makes us […]

Derby Preps: The San Vicente

Officially, the 7-furlong San Vicente isn’t a Derby prep. However, my fond memories of Silver Charm prompt me to view it as one. Ahhh, nostalgia. It will kill you in the end. So let’s talk about value, which will save you in the end.

Kobe’s Back (2-1) secures favoritism with the linemaker. He returns from a heel-clipping tenth in the […]

Kentucky Derby Prep: R. B. Lewis Stakes

Nobody ships 3-year-old Derby prospects as successfully as Bob Baffert. For example, his winning percentage in Oaklawn Park stakes races in the past few years rings up well above 50%. So why do we find two top Baffert 3-year-olds in the same race at Santa Anita?

Chitu (7-2) enters this 8.5-furlong race off of two […]