Belmont Stakes: The Last Bastion of Racing’s Upper Crust

The Phipps family. The Whitneys. The Vances. The Vanderbilts. Racing’s wealthiest and oldest breeders and financiers. The Belmont Stakes winner’s circle has hosted them all.

But racing’s venerable stables saddle fewer classic stakes winners than they did in the past. Kentucky Derby winners and Breeders Cup champions spring from less esteemed barns and modest bloodlines […]

Always Dreaming, Always Cashing

The LazyBettor approach to betting the Kentucky Derby prevailed again. The 2017 Kentucky Derby Preview: An Embarrassment of Riches concluded with the following advice:
I recommend betting primarily on Always Dreaming, with Hence and Classic Empire as minor backups. In other words arrange your bets so that your largest potential payoff will be with an […]

Comeback Kids Converge on Churchill Downs

Americans love a good redemption story. The reverend who succumbs to the weakness of the flesh and then repents. The washed-up boxer who gets one last shot at the championship. Even American gamblers gobble up such tales. Seabiscuit comes immediately to mind.

Wise bettors realize the tellers of those tales cash in on them more […]

Kentucky Derby Speed Figures in Review

I published The Lazy Bettor’s Guide to the Kentucky Derby in November 2013. Since then, I’ve published a Lazy Bettor Kentucky Derby Preview each year. You can read the past years’ previews at for free.
Here’s a summary of how my preview picks, based on the parameters in the book, have fared compared to […]

2017 Arkansas Derby: The Last-Chance Dance

We’ve reached the final 9-furlong prep race. Handicappers should savor this gumbo of low-budget locals, potential millionaires and interesting upstarts. This year’s Arkansas Derby doesn’t lack spice.
Juvenile champion Classic Empire returns from a bevy of minor aches and pains to assume the favorite’s role. Todd Pletcher’s lightly raced overachiever Malagacy might share that lofty […]

2017 Kentucky Derby Prep Season Bets in Review

What a rough ride 2017 has been! I have more saddle sores than a greenhorn riding bareback on a porcupine.

Unlike the 2016 prep season, when I turned a small profit on my prep-race bets, I have been shut out of the winner’s circle. Fortunately, cluelessness didn’t strike me down until late February, after I […]

2017 Wood, Blue Grass & Santa Anita Derby

A trio of great Kentucky Derby preps awaits racing fans this weekend. Here’s the LazyBettor view of the events.
2017 Wood Memorial
Maiden, allowance and minor stakes winners sure can look spectacular. For pace handicappers the Great Unknown with promising young horses is how they’ll react when the early fractions speed up to graded stakes levels. […]

2017 Spiral Stakes

A field of 12 contests this year’s 9-furlong Spiral Stakes. Most are minor turf stars hoping to transition to polytrack on their way to transitioning to Kentucky Derby pay dirt. A few contenders actually own polytrack victories in minor stakes events. So which of all these Derby wannabes will win?

Bettors won’t likely find a […]

2017 San Felipe Stakes

It’s a Wild West showdown! The West Coast’s feature race for 3-year-olds this week drew 4 graded stakes winners. Among them are the top Kentucky Derby prospects for the winning trainers of the past two Kentucky Derbies, Bob Baffert and Doug O’Neill. John Shirrefs, a third trainer with a Kentucky Derby win in his pocket, also […]

2017 Tampa Bay Derby

Ten horses contest this year’s Tampa Bay Derby. There’s not a single graded stakes winner among them. With the bar set this low, expect some fireworks on the toteboard.

The lukewarm morning-line favorite is Tapwrit, a Todd Pletcher trainee who finished 2nd to the highly regarded McCracken in the Sam Davis Stakes last time out. […]