By Noel Michaels Blink and you’ll miss it. While horseplayers look forward to the start of the big summer meets at Saratoga and Del Mar in the next week or two, we all will be treated to a special bonus week of top-class racing at the unlikeliest of summer venues – Keeneland. Keeneland’s special one-week summer meet will run five days from July 8-12. By running this brief meet, Keeneland will manage to salvage 10 of its original 15 spring graded stakes races. That’s amazing when you consider the five-day meet will probably run a total of only about 55-60
By Ray Wallin The Cambridge Dictionary defines “reach” as “to arrive at a place, especially after spending a long time or a lot of effort traveling.” Anyone who makes their living playing the races will tell you that the path to consistent profits at the track takes time and a lot of effort. Right now you are thanking me for taking the wind out of your sails, thinking that there is no quick and easy fix to making money at the track. But before you get dejected and turn to selling a kidney to turn a profit, here are a
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By Lynne Snierson Disrupted schedules, canceled plans, and insurmountable challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic may have called off the Keeneland Spring Meet, but officials at the historic track weren’t ready to scratch the season altogether. Instead, this unique set of circumstances resulted in the idea of a short summer meet for the first time at the track in Lexington, Kentucky. The five-day Summer Meet offers 10 graded stakes worth $2.575 million. Opening day is Wednesday (July 8); closing day is Sunday (July 12). The $600,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) on July 11 (not on its usual date in
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By Richard Rosenblatt A clean break and a less-than-speedy early pace turned out to be the perfect setup for Vekoma in the $500,000 Metropolitan Mile (G1) at Belmont Park on the Fourth of July. The rising star continued his perfect 4-year-old season by leading at every call under Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano and winning the prestigious Met Mile on Saturday against one of the toughest fields in any race this year. Breaking on top in the eight-horse field that included Grade 1 winners Code of Honor and McKinzie, Vekoma led the field through a 45.87-second half mile, and
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By Richard Rosenblatt At first glance, it sounds like a fantastic matchup: the first three finishers from the 2019 Belmont Stakes go at each other a year later in Saturday’s storied Suburban Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park. A little more than a year ago, Sir Winston, Tacitus and Joevia ran 1-2-3 in the final leg of the Triple Crown, the winner a 10-1 long shot, the runner-up the 9-5 favorite and the third-place finisher at 21-1. The race may not have the same draw as a classic, but it could be a handicapping challenge to try to put the pieces
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By Mike Farrell The $500,000 Met Mile (G1) on Saturday is a classic West Coast versus East Coast confrontation From California comes McKinzie, a four-time Grade 1 winner with over $3.4 million in earnings for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. And in this corner, from right here at Belmont Park, hails local hero Code of Honor for another Hall of Famer, Shug McGaughey. Add in Hog Creek Hustle, Mr Freeze and Warrior’s Charge — a trio of worthy challengers from the Midwest — and you’ve got the makings of an outstanding coast-to-coast race. But then, a brilliant contest is
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By Margaret Ransom For the first time, this year’s Los Alamitos Derby (G3) will take a prominent position as a Kentucky Derby (G1) prep race. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, plus the four-month delay of the Run for the Roses, Saturday’s Los Al will now – maybe for the first and only time — offer coveted Road to the Derby points on a 20-8-4-2 scale to the top four finishers. The nine-furlong test, formerly known as the Swaps Stakes and contested at the now defunct Hollywood Park through 2013, drew a field of five, with two — Thousand Words and
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By Ed McNamara The Metropolitan Handicap, better known as the Met Mile, is one of the few American races dating to the 19th century — 1891, to be exact. Its tradition ranks with the Triple Crown and the Travers, and its champions include Hall of Famers Kelso, Native Dancer and Forego. The one-turn mile at Belmont Park tests speed and stamina, an uncommon blend, and it takes a top-class horse to win it. Breeders covet such thoroughbreds, and many great sires have emerged from this “stallion-maker” race, among them Native Dancer, Buckpasser and Ghostzapper. Trainer Todd Pletcher won it with
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By Mike Farrell Once again, it’s time for that “Summer Wind” to come blowin’ in from across the sea. Monmouth Park kicks off the delayed Jersey Shore racing season on Friday evening. Opening day/night arrives about two months later than usual. That’s now par for the course as every sports operation battles the delays, cancellations and disruptions triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a modest start, a six-race card beginning at 5 p.m. ET. The feature is the first edition of the $75,000 Oceanport Centennial Stakes for sprinters going 5 furlongs on the main track. Not only is this a
By Ray Wallin Everyone wants to be a success. Whether it’s at home with their family, at work, or at the track, there are definite “do’s” and “don’ts” that will either help or hinder your efforts. In 1908 a young journalist by the name of Napoleon Hill would interview the great industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. The aging industrialist would challenge the young unknown writer to interview other wealthy people in a quest to discover the formula for success. He would end up interviewing over 500 self-made millionaires. Hill would go on to pen the classics self-help books “The Law
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