Racing Dudes Beginners Series: Understanding Betting

The Basics:

Win:  This is the  simplest bet you can make on a race.  A win bet is an attempt to predict the horse that will win the race.  If the horse wins, you will collect on your bet.  The odds listed for the horses on the toteboard are the win odds for each horse.  So if you bet $2.00 to win on a horse that is 2-1, that means you’ll profit $4.00 if he wins.  Simple as that! Continue reading


Top 20 Kentucky Derby Prospects #4

Union Rags Winning the Fountain of Youth

1. Union Rags –  His freakish performance in the Fountain of Youth easily lands him in the top spot.

2. El Padrino – Hard fought win in the Risen Star at Fair Grounds was very impressive, but he loses his top spot because of Union Rags.  Still, the win was huge as he now has a nice chunk of graded earnings.

3. Out of Bounds – Will run next at Santa Anita

4. Algorithms – He scratched out of the Fountain of Youth because of a popped splint.  His Derby status is now in question but he stays on the list until we hear something official. Continue reading

Oaklawn Report #7

3 Stars of the Week:

-1st Star – Comedero (AR) – It was Arkansas bred week at Oaklawn, and the best Arkansas bred running in the states made a big return to the races Saturday.  Comedero, who battled off a serious illness earlier in the year, returned Saturday and dominated the Nodouble Breeders Stakes; winning by three and a half easy lengths.  It was the eleventh win of Comedero’s career, including a perfect four for four at Oaklawn.  I doubt he’ll ever lose one at Oaklawn, plus Comedero has proven he can go up against open company and win as well.  It was great to see him back this Saturday considering how dire his situation was at one point.  Hopefully he’ll make one more appearance this year at Oaklawn before facing open company the rest of the season.

-2nd Star – All About Allie (AR) – Comedero wasn’t the only horse winning back to back races on Saturday!  All About Allie was victorious in the Downthedustyroad Breeders Stakes for the second time in a row.  Explosive Disco hopped out to a five length lead and at one point looked as though she was going to steal the race, but All About Allie ran her down in the stretch run and eased to a three length victory when they hit the wire.  Much like Comedero, All About Allie is all most unbeatable against Arkansas breds, but can also win against open company as well.  Arkansas is lucky to have these two state bred stars carrying their banner throughout the year.

-3rd Star – Agastache (KY) – On paper Thursdays feature, an allowance for older horses going six furlongs, was supposed to be all about Hamazing Destiny, but Agastache obviously didn’t read the Daily Racing Form that morning.  Setting fast early fractions, the old war-horse had every reason to lose, but he wouldn’t let Hamazing Destiny by in the stretch run.  Both horses battled through much of the stretch but in the end it was Agastache who put his nose in front at the wire.  This race was a prep for the Hot Springs Stakes, and with the win Agastache may wind up in that race. Continue reading

Fountain of Youth Stakes (Grade 2) Preview

Likely Winners:

#2 Algorithms (KY) – When you look at this one race it’s not hard to determine that it’s going to come down to the three I have listed as likely winners.  I’m giving Algorithms the slight edge over Discreet Dancer and Union Rags for two reasons.  1. He has raced this season and Union Rags has not, and 2. He has stakes experience and Discreet Dancer does not.  I think both of those aspects will make him tough to handle in this race.  Is he the most talented race horse of the three?  That remains to be seen, but for this race I give him the edge.

#5 Discreet Dancer (FL) – There is no question Discreet Dancer has shown us the “wow factor” this year.  His two starts have been ultra impressive as he’s never was challenged in either one of them.  He’s stepping into deep waters for his first stakes try in this one, so I can’t pick him to win, but his raw ability made me put him in the likely winner category.  I also rate him one notch above Union Rags because he has raced twice this year, and both have been over the Gulfstream Park surface.

#7 Union Rags (KY) – While Algorithms and Discreet Dancer have raced this year; from an overall talent stand point Union Rags might have the advantage.  There is no questioning this horse when it comes to looks.  He is absolutely gorgeous and his races as a 2-year-old were excellent.  Now he must prove he can carry that talent over to his 3-year-old season; something that is hard to do sometimes, and he also has a little bit of distance questions to answer.  I have him rated a notch below the other two only because I need him to prove he’s going to be just as good as a 3-year-old.  If he wins this race, which he very well could, he would probably jump to number one on my Derby list. Continue reading

Risen Star Stakes (Grade 2) Preview

I’ve decided to change-up my race previews and divide the horses into four categories:  Likely Winners, Exotic Plays, Party Crashers, and Throw-outs.  Likely winners are self explanatory, Exotic plays are horses I don’t think can win but I think can hit the board, party crashers are horses that can pull off the huge upset and ruin your day, and throw-outs are horses that I don’t think have any chance to win.

Likely Winners:

#7  El Padrino (KY) – He’s the number one rated horse on my Derby Top 20 so obviously this is my pick to win the race.  El Padrino’s allowance win at Gulfstream was breath-taking, and I believe he’s on the fast track to the Kentucky Derby.  It’s a huge race for him however, considering the fact that he needs graded earnings in a big way.  Look for him to sit mid-pack and make his big move when turning for home. Continue reading

Top 20 Kentucky Derby Prospects #3

El Padrino

1. El Padrino – Running in the Risen Star Stake this Saturday at Fair Grounds.  It’s a huge race for him considering he doesn’t have the graded earnings yet.

2. Out of Bounds – Will run next at Santa Anita.

3. Algorithms – Running in the Fountain of Youth this Sunday.

4. Secret Circle – Huge win in the Southwest at Oaklawn; will go back to Santa Anita and see where Baffert sends him next.

5. Discreet Dancer – Running in the Fountain of Youth this Sunday; like El Pardino it’s a big one just because of lack of graded earnings

6. Union Rags – Also running in the Fountain of Youth this Sunday. Continue reading

Oaklawn Report #6

3 Stars of the Week:

-1st Star – Secret Circle (KY) – His performance in the Southwest was about as professional as you can get.  He rated beautifully in second, just behind Scatman, and was able to wear him down late into the stretch for a half-length victory.  He earned a 102 Beyer for the race, and probably ran the best race of his life up to this point.  There are still distance questions with Secret Circle as far as the Kentucky Derby is concerned, but there is no doubting that this is a very good horse.  I think he’ll get a mile and one-sixteenth with no issues.  Any farther is still a question mark for me.  It needs to be mentioned that second place finisher Scatman showed great promise as he almost held off Secret Circle.  He’s one to keep an eye on.  Also, Adirondack King should like it when the distance gets longer.

-2nd Star –  Castaway (KY) – In terms of his performance this week Castaway was a clear second behind Secret Circle, but if you are looking at the Kentucky Derby picture Castaway could have a better chance to get the distance that Secret Circle.  Castaway is sired by Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, and it seemed as though he barely had to exert himself to win this race.  Just add his name to the growing list of Baffert Derby contenders.  I look for this one to get better and better as we move forward.

-3rd Star –  Absinthe Minded (KY) – This five-year old mare will get lost in the shuffle from what was an incredible Monday, but Absinthe Minded’s performance on Saturday was eye-catching.  She was clearly the best when in the Bayakoa Stakes, winning by a widening four lengths over a respectable horse in Tiz Miz Sue.  Absinthe Minded is clearly the best older filly on the grounds right now.  The races will get harder from here on out, but she might be better primed than ever to take on the shippers in the Azeri and Apple Blossom. Continue reading

Kentucky Derby Sleepers

Over the past two weeks has given you two “sleepers” for the Kentucky Derby, but the two horses they have given out are really not sleepers at all.  One of them was El Padrino, who the week before ran a beyer speed figure of 100 and is at the top of our Derby list.  The other was Bodemeister, who the week before ran a beyer speed figure of 99 and is also on our top 20.  So here are three TRUE sleepers that our not on our list but we still think could make a big impact on the Derby.


1. Blingo – With just two races under his belt, I’m taking a risk putting him as my number one sleeper, but trainer John Sherriffs seems to have a lot of confidence in this one.  Blingo broke his maiden at a mile on the turf at Hollywood Park.  He then raced in the Grade one CashCall Futurity in his other start, where he finished 6th.  His owners are the same owners as Zenyatta’s; Jerry and Ann Moss, and also like Zenyatta, Mike Smith is the rider.  Wouldn’t it be great karma for the Mosses and Sherriffs to have a horse win the roses on the first Saturday in May?  With this horses distance pedigree it is possible. Continue reading

Southwest Stakes Probables

Here is an early look at the possible runners for the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn.  The race could be split into two divisions according to Oaklawn officials.  We will have a full preview of the race or races once the entries are announced.

The Shippers:

Secret Circle

Adirondack King – Has won three of six life time starts for John Servis, who trained the legendary Smarty Jones.  He ships in from Florida,  where he recently finished third at Tampa Bay Downs in the Pasco Stakes.

Castaway – This recent maiden winner for Bob Baffert ships in from Santa Anita.  He’s a Street Sense colt so you would expect him to get better as the distances get longer.

Longview Drive – Has won two stakes at Golden Gate, and recently was third in the Sham Stakes just one length behind winner Out of Bounds.  He’s trained by hall of fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.

Secret Circle – Won the Breeders Cup Juvenile Sprint for trainer Bob Baffet.  He was second in the Sham last time out, losing by just a half length.  Distance is the big question mark with him, but with the Southwest being a run at a mile he’ll be tough to catch. Continue reading

Racing Dudes Top 20 Kentucky Derby Prospects #2

This weeks Top 20 has two new members.  Bodemeister made his way onto the list with a huge maiden win at Santa Anita, and Fed Biz did as well with a huge allowance win at Santa Anita.  This week we have the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn and the San Vicente at Santa Anita.

#1 El Padrino

#2 Out Of Bounds Continue reading