Archives for July 2017

A Look Towards the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot

source: Ascot

Following the wondrous 2017 Royal Ascot meeting at the Berkshire track, the next installment of top class Ascot racing takes place at the end of July, with the Group 1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes being the undoubted highlight.

First run in 1951, the twelve furlongs contest rapidly established itself as one of the most prestigious middle distance events in the world and attracts some of the top thoroughbreds from Europe and beyond. As the race is open to three-year-olds and upwards, the King George offers the first major chance for the best of the current Classic generation to take on the leading older horses over a mile and a half.

This year’s renewal looks to be another fantastic race in prospect – provided the leading contenders stand their ground, with less than two weeks till the big race.


Irish super-trainer, Aiden O’Brien has a multitude of stable stars, but the globetrotting money-machine that is Highland Reel, must surely be at the top of his list. Owned by Derrick Smith, Mrs John Magnier & Michael Tabor, the son of Galileo has accumulated almost six million pounds in prize money – and the current ante post market leader for the King George could mop up another huge prize here. Following a below-par effort in the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan back in March, the return to British racetracks has seen Highland Reel back to form with wins in Epsom’s Coronation Cup (1m4f) and Ascot’s Prince Of Wales’ Stakes over ten furlongs. One note of caution for favourite backers is that the five year-old has never won on any going worse than good ground.

Youthful chance

John Gosden’s Enable surely holds the best three-year old chance of claiming the King George after two highly impressive wins in the English and Irish Oaks. The Khalid Abdullah owned filly saw off the well-backed Rhododendron at Epsom with an eye-catching performance of speed and stamina. Most recently at the Curragh, Enable landed the Irish equivalent at short odds by spread-eagling the field to win by five and a half lengths. Following the Curragh victory, Gosden intimated that Enable “would take on the colts at some stage, but she has come back with a nick on the outside of her off-fore and we’ll have to check that out.” Gosden now has a race against time to get his star filly ready for Ascot, but the veteran trainer has several other race options to consider.

Improving colt

Following his recent Sandown victory in the Coral-Eclipse, the Sir Michael Stoute trained Ulysses has since seen plenty of ante-post market support for the King George. Ulysses rewarded trainer Stoute’s patience and faith by edging out Barney Roy in a thrilling finish to a great clash between the generations at the Esher venue, and Ascot could be next on the agenda for the improving four year-old. After finishing around a length and a half behind Highland Reel in the Prince of Wales’ Stakes, Ulysses – another son of Galileo – will have to show improvement to challenge the Coolmore horse if he is to mount a serious challenge.

Best of the rest

The likely Aiden O’Brien second string could be Idaho, who proved his wellbeing by landing the Hardwicke Stakes at the Royal Ascot meeting last month. Ridden by Seamie Heffernan, the four year-old stayed on well after claiming the lead, and now deserves his chance again at open Group 1 level. John Gosden may also be double-handed in the race with Jack Hobbs, who must put a disappointing performance behind him in Prince of Wales’ Stakes at Ascot. Godolphin’s best hope of victory could lie with Frontiersman, who put in a career best effort despite defeat to Hawkbill at Newmarket recently.

Top Trainer Bob Baffert Talking Del Mar 2017 [Video]

Del mar chantal billboardThe 78th season of horse racing at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club starts Wednesday, July 19th. Bob Baffert, one of the sports all-time best trainers, has a horse named Arrogate that will race twice at Del Mar this season.

Here’s trainer Bob Baffert talking about the …

Source: Top Trainer Bob Baffert Talking Del Mar

What are the Kentucky Derby Starters Up to this summer?

KY Derby Logo 2017Always Dreaming: The Kentucky Derby winner, who finished a poor eighth in the Preakness for trainer Todd Pletcher, is rested and headed for the Grade II Jim Dandy on July 29 at Saratoga. He’ll have plenty of competition. In fact, it could be the first …

Source: What are the Kentucky Derby horses up to this summer?

Photo Gallery: Return of horse racing at Suffolk Downs

Photographer Matt West Local Coverage Sunday, July 09, 2017 Jockey Tammi Piermarini pats Dr Blarney on the neck after a first place finish in the Rise Jim Stakes (First race ) at a day of racing at Suffolk Downs on Sunday, July 9, 2017.

Source: Gallery: Return of horse racing at Suffolk Downs

New Twist on Del Mar Pick-6 Wager

Source: Del Mar

Del Mar’s wagering menu comes with its usual full-range of betting options for 2017 and again is expected to attract some of the highest pools in racing. But additionally this year the track will include a special Pick Six bet sure to add extra buzz and further enhance one the foremost racing cards of the year, the $1-million Pacific Classic Day on Saturday, August 19.

The 36-day racing season, which begins on Wednesday, July 19, will have 14 different types of wagers available to fans throughout the summer, starting with the traditional win, place and show bets and expanding out to several five- and six-horse combinations.

Del Mar racingThe new twist in the format comes in the presentation of a mandatory Pick Six payout that – instead of being offered only on closing day – also will be on the menu for Pacific Classic Day, allowing for the track’s traditionally biggest wagering afternoon to grow bigger still with the potential of a huge payment – or payments – for those who invest in the popular Pick Six.

While new for the summer season, Del Mar initiated the “Single Ticket Jackpot” element to Southern California’s Pick Six wager last fall, setting up a separate distribution pool that could only be captured if one winning ticket existed on an individual day. This pool grew on its own, even as the regular Pick Six paid out winners and consolations on a daily basis. The idea was to build a potentially massive side pool, which in fact happened. Early in the track’s fall season, a single bettor swept the pot clean when hitting the “Jackpot” pool for a life-changing score of $1,041,696.

In the case of this year’s Pacific Classic, the standard “mandatory payout” rules of closing days at all race meets in the state will be in effect. And a Pick Six winner – or winners – would share not only in the regular pool, but the “Jackpot” pool besides. Additionally, consolation winners also would share in the total pool (“Jackpot” included).

“The TVG Pacific Classic is two-thirds of the way through our meet,” noted Josh Rubinstein, a Del Mar executive vice president and its COO. “While there are no guarantees, our hope is that the ‘Single Ticket Jackpot’ pool will have grown to a sizeable amount by this time and our bettors will have the chance to go after a massive Pick Six payout on what figures to be a top-shelf racing card.”

Besides the Pick Six, another favorite multiple-race wager – the Pick 4 – will offer a $600,000 weekend guarantee, the largest of its kind in the country. The bet, which is presented on the day’s final four races and carries a 50¢ minimum, also provides a $300,000 guarantee on weekday cards. For the TVG Pacific Classic Day card, the Pick 4 guarantee rises to $1,000,000.

An additional “exotic” wager on the agenda is the 50¢ Players’ Pick 5, available on the day’s first five races and coming with a reduced takeout rate of 14%.

The full array of Del Mar bets is as follows: $2 win, place and show (all races); $1 Exacta (all); $2 Quinella (all); $1 Trifecta (all); $2 Rolling Doubles (all except last); $1 Rolling Pick 3 (all except last two); $1 Superfecta (10¢ minimum – all); $1 Place Pick All (starts w/Race 1 or 2); $1 Super High 5 (last); $2 Pick Six (last six); 50¢ Players’ Pick 5 (first five), and 50¢ Pick 4 (last four).

Racing will be conducted on a Wednesday through Sunday basis throughout the stand with the lone exception being closing day, Monday, September 4, Labor Day. First post daily will be 2 p.m., with the exceptions of “Four O’Clock Fridays” when starting time shifts to 4 p.m. (except for the final two Fridays – 8/25 and 9/1 — when first post will be 3:30 p.m.). Friday’s races run until sunset and are followed by the hugely popular Del Mar Concert Series.

History: The Magnifica ‘Palio di Siena’ – Horse Races In Italy

The World’s Best Horse Race – Siena, Italy

Article By Kathleen Peddicord

No one knows for sure when it began or exactly why, but official record formalizes the event starting in 1310. By that time, it was already an institution. I’ve wanted to witness the spectacle firsthand since I learned of it more than 30 years ago.… [Read more…]

Premium Giveaway Days for Saratoga Racecourse 2017

Press Release

The New York Racing Association, Inc. will continue its tradition of premium giveaways with four giveaway days scheduled for the summer 2017 meet at Saratoga Race Course.All giveaways are free with paid admission, while supplies last.The 2017 Saratoga Race Course premium giveaway schedule is as follows:


The first giveaway of the 2017 season will pay tribute to the theme of opening weekend – Hats! Racing fans gather to receive a red and white Saratoga baseball cap, presented by Saratoga Casino Hotel. In addition to the Saratoga hat giveaway, the day’s festivities will include the 26th annual Hat Contest, presented by Hat Sationa! By DEI.


Racing fans will take home the second giveaway of the 2017 meet, a gray short-sleeve t-shirt featuring a red Saratoga Race Course logo. The giveaway corresponds with the weekly Berkshire Bank Family Mondays series, which features free children’s activities and entertainment at the Berkshire Bank Saratoga Pavilion.

SARATOGA COOLER BAG: Monday, August 21

The season’s penultimate premium giveaway – a red and black Saratoga cooler bag – will kick off the countdown to the $1.25 million Travers, which will be run for the 148th time on Saturday, August 26.

SARATOGA CLOCK: Sunday, September 3

Fans will celebrate closing weekend of the 2017 Saratoga meet with the final giveaway of the 2017 season – a Saratoga wall clock, presented by Foxwoods Resort Casino. The clock features an image of thoroughbreds racing down the stretch against the iconic Saratoga grandstand and clubhouse roofline.

Guests will be able to redeem up to three vouchers at Saratoga Race Course’s giveaway redemption areas, including the one they receive with paid admission and the two additional vouchers they are able to purchase at the multiple admissions line beneath the grandstand.

Saratoga canopy walk throughSeason pass and season ticket plan holders will be guaranteed a Saratoga premium giveaway item on the day of the giveaway contingent on the following: Season pass or season ticket plan holders must be in attendance at Saratoga Race Course, enter through the designated season ticket and pass holder lines and redeem the giveaway by 3 p.m. Redemptions will begin when gates open to the general public.

Season passes do not include reserved seating and are valid for one admission, which is valid for one giveaway item.

Saratoga season admission passes are currently available for purchase online at and in-person at nearly 160 Stewart’s Shops locations in the following counties: Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady and Warren.

The summer racing season will begin on Friday, July 21 and continue through Labor Day, Monday, September 4.

For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit

AGOS Horses to Watch – July 6, 2017


Belterra Park

Race #4 – Mdn Sp Wt – 5f dirt

Tempestuous Amy was a 1st time starter by I Want Revenge. She was sent off the odds-on choice and ran an even third place finish. Trainer Bill Connelly wins (20%) with his 2-yr-olds and does very well for the second trip to the races. She’ll be a major player next out.


Belterra Park, Race #7 – Allowance Optional Claiming – 1 mile  turf

Princess Drossie was making her 3rd off the layoff move for Phil Sims. She was 1/1 at BtP and had Cory Orm back in the saddle. There was a greast deal of traffic problems resulting in a DQ.  She circled the field in a 7 wide bid getting beat 1/2 length at the wire for everything.


Belmont Park

Race #7 – $100,000 Perfect Sting – 1 mile turf

#8 – Ancient Secret was making her 2nd start of the 2017 season. The Chad Brown trainee was 4/5 ITM coming into the race was in the 3 path most of the race. When they turned for home she was carried out into the 7 path running 3rd this day. – With a little racing luck she’ll be tough next out.

Race #8 – Allowance – 6f on the main track

#3 – Wicked Macho is a son of Macho Uno. He had Jose Ortiz in the saddle and was exiting the $150,000 Easy Goer. He was odds-on favorite this day and shied at the start, checked off of heels, and weakened down the lane. I am tossing this race as a “bad hair day” and look forward to his next. He looked good coming onto the track and should give a better account next out.


Ellis Park

Race #4 – O.C. 20,000 – 6f on the main track

Bourbon Cowboy shipped in from Arlington and was making the poly-dirt switch. The 3rd off the layoff looked solid as the barn wins (28%) on this move. He broke slow and once he got back on track he finished up with good late kick.

Race #7 – Mdn Sp Wt – 5f on the main track

Party Club was a first time starter by Sky Mesa. She came in for D. Wayne Lukas off a bullet work and looked good on the track. She came running late and was forced 7 wide at the top of the lane gaining ground rapidly. She’ll get better with each start and should come rolling late in the lane next out.


Is Horse Racing Dead? Ellis Park Opening Day 2017 Handle Rises Sharply

Press Release

Total betting on Saturday’s opening card at Ellis Park was $1,789,882 — up 62 percent over the $1,106,508 wagered on last year’s first day of racing. That breaks down to $232,276  bet on Ellis at Ellis (up 14 percent over 2016) and $1,557,715 bet off track on Ellis’ nine-race card (up 72 percent percent over last year’s $903,119). Another $300,993 was bet at Ellis on other racetracks, a number that does not show up in the all-sources total but which was up 10 percent, the track said.

“It was just a delightful and great day,” said track president Ron Geary. “We worked hard the whole year to get to this position. We launched a bunch of new things, the new video and tote board and a lot of interior improvements. We’re very excited. Obviously we got our purse money up, and that helps a lot. But I think our team executed quite well. We thought we’d have a good meet; this is certainly a good indicator. But we’ll see what happens in the next 30 race dates, see if it rains or anything like that.”

Is Horse Racing Dead? Summit of Speed Handle Up 50% Over 2 Years Ago

Post Parade Gulfstream Park maiden race


Press Release

Gulfstream Park set a record on Summit of Speed Day with total handle Saturday of $12,660,617.

Saturday’s handle eclipsed the previous year’s handle of $9,702 million by 30 percent and the 2015 handle of $8,071 by 50 percent.

The 14-race card featured victories by Curlin’s Approval in the Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Princess Rooney (G2) and Imperial Hint in the Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Smile Sprint (G3). Jockey Luis Saez flew in from New York to win three races, including the Princess Rooney and Azalea aboard Who’s the Lady, while Javier Castellano won aboard Imperial Hint. Jockey Edgard Zayas won three races, including two stakes.

In its last year at Calder in 2013, total handle on the Summit of Speed program was $4.678 million. After Calder did not run the Summit in 2014, Gulfstream focused on rejuvenating summer racing and the Summit of Speed.

“We want to thank the fans throughout the country for making Saturday’s Summit of Speed a success,” said P.J. Campo, Vice President of Racing for The Stronach Group and General Manager of Gulfstream Park. “Horsemen continue to support our summer program with great racing. We witnessed some incredible performances today by our equine and human athletes.

“We will continue to build summer racing in Florida and we’re excited about the rest of our holiday weekend culminating with our free Grand Illumination fireworks show.”