For the stakes race of the week for Saturday, Nov 12, we venture to Aqueduct in New York for the Grade III Red Smith Handicap. The male turf marathon set will travel eleven furlongs on the turf course and Wake Forest is the 8-5 morning line favorite.
Can anyone beat Wake Forest? Watch the video below for my Red Smith analysis and wagering strategies.
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The 2016 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies is a wide open betting event. The speed figures for the G1 Chandelier and G1 Alcibiades came back below par, setting up the possibility of an upset in the fourth race at Santa Anita Park on Saturday, Nov 5.
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The 2016 Travers from Saratoga is sure to be a classic renewal with a full gate of fourteen, minus the late defection of Majesto.
Santa Anita Derby, Preakness, and Haksell hero Exaggerator is the one to beat but all three of those aforementioned grade one victories were contested on a wet track and he got plenty of pace help each time.
Haskell runner-up American Freedom is back for more and a bit less pace pressure on a fast track might help him turn the tables on Exaggerator.
Belmont Stakes 1-2 finishers Creator and Destin are also back in action in a deep, competitive edition of the mid-summer Derby.
The showdown at the shore between Beholder, California Chrome, and Dortmund figures to be a real barn burner.
Beholder is the defending Pacific Classic champion exiting a rare loss to Stellar Wind in the Clement L. Hirsch. She is reportedly training well for this year’s renewal of the Del Mar showcase and patient conditioner Richard Mandella would not be running her against the big boys if she was not doing extremely well.
California Chrome has won his last four starts including the San Diego Handicap, the local prep for the Pacific Classic. He prefers to sit an outside stalking trip and jockey Victor Espinoza will have to work out a comfortable journey from the inside post.
Dortmund gave California Chrome a big scare in the aforementioned San Diego and needs to take a step forward at a longer distance in his second start after a long layoff.
The video race of the week series continues with the Grade 1 Secretariat from Arlington Park. Beach Patrol and Long Island Sound figure to vie for favoritism but it is hardly a match race.
The 9-horse field also includes graded winners American Patriot, Oscar Nominated, and Surgical Strike, along with G1 Preakness runner-up Cherry Wine.
Cupid and Suddenbreakingnews are the two likely betting favorites in West Virginia Derby 2016 following the late defections of Mo Tom and Economic Model.
Cupid only has one way to go from the rail and that is straight to the lead. If he gets pace pressure, look for Suddenbreakingnews to come charging in the lane.
The Grade 2 Jim Dandy at Saratoga Race Course on July 30 and the Grade 1 Haskell at Monmouth Park on July 31 are the marquee races for sophomores this weekend.
The Jim Dandy pits 1-2 Belmont Stakes finishers Creator and Destin against Mohaymen, who is making his first start since finishing 4th in the Kentucky Derby.
Sunday’s Haskell is a continuation of a nice rivalry between Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist and Preakness winner Exaggerator. 8-time Haskell winning trainer Bob Baffert enters American Freedom and Derby show finisher Gun Runner rounds out the serious contenders.