DRF

King: Two overachievers worth a look in Kentucky Derby

DRF | 4 days ago
Both Materiality and International Star will have a chance to outperform expectations once again in the Kentucky Derby. Read More...

Papacoolpapacool auditions for Penn Mile

DRF | 4 days ago
Papacoolpapacool will be a heavy favorite in Saturday’s $75,000 La Puente Stakes for 3-year-olds on turf at Santa Anita. The race could be his ticket out of town. Read More...

Three Hearts fits better at Santa Barbara distance

DRF | 4 days ago
Three Hearts was third and second in consecutive graded stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf during the winter, and is back in a longer race in Saturday’s $150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap at 1 1/4 miles on turf at Santa Anita. Read More...

McGee: How I’d play Keeneland for Saturday, April 18

DRF | 4 days ago
McGee: How I'd play Keeneland for Saturday, April 18 Read More...

Shared Belief faces new challenges in Charles Town Classic

DRF | 4 days ago
Shared Belief should win the Charles Town Classic on Saturday as a very short-priced favorite. Still, several obstacles stand between Shared Belief and victory. Read More...

Crist: Politics hamstring Derby points system

DRF | 4 days ago
The end of the Kentucky Derby prep season this past week marked the third year where Derby berths have been secured under the new points system announced in 2012. On the whole, it has worked well, providing a clearer and more cohesive path to Louisville than the graded-stakes earnings plan it replaced. Some tweaking , however, still needs to be done. Read More...

Unitarian eyes repeat in Elkhorn

DRF | 4 days ago
You won’t get 18-1 on him this year, but given the depth of the opposition, Unitarian still might be a square price when the $250,000 Elkhorn Stakes is run Saturday at Keeneland for the 30th time. Read More...

Winter Dawn one to watch in 2015 debut

DRF | 4 days ago
Winter Dawn, who took the measure of the future Grade 1-placed Feathered when the pair debuted together at Saratoga in August, will kick off her 3-year-old campaign in Saturday’s $44,000 optional-claiming at six furlongs at Gulfstream Park. Read More...

That’s Who should benefit from turnback in O.D. McDonald Stakes

DRF | 4 days ago
When That’s Who made his 2015 debut last month, he led almost every step of the way in the New Mexico State University Handicap at Sunland Park before grudgingly yielding in the final strides to finish third, three-quarters of a length behind the winner. That March 14 race covered one mile and 70 yards and followed a layoff of 2 1/2 months, so with less ground to cover Saturday, a fitter That’s Who could be tough to handle in the $60,000 O.D. McDonald Stakes at the Downs at Albuquerque. Read More...

Frosted works five furlongs as Upstart jogs

DRF | 4 days ago
Two of the leading candidates for this year’s Kentucky Derby, Frosted and Upstart, had a very good morning Thursday at Palm Meadows. Read More...

Positive ROI report: Gonzalez successful after layoffs

DRF | 4 days ago
Love’s Not Fair makes his first start since March 13 in Thursday’s eighth race at Pimlico, a 1 1/16-mile optional claimer on turf. Trainer Claudio Gonzalez is winning 28 percent of his starts coming off a layoff 31-60 days, for a return on investment of $3.16. Read More...

Justalittlesmoke tests open company in Austintown Filly Sprint

DRF | 4 days ago
Trainer Bob Gorham gave some thought to shooting for a sweep of Saturday’s $75,000 co-featured stakes at Mahoning Valley Race Course by running 2014 Ohio champion juvenile filly Justalittlesmoke against statebred males in the Howard B. Noonan and relying on fast maiden winner Candy War and recent allowance winner Lonestar Angel in the Austintown Filly Sprint. Read More...

A Little Bit Sassy looks to regain form in Dahlia

DRF | 4 days ago
As 3-year-olds last summer, A Little Bit Sassy and Istanford established themselves as Grade 2-caliber turf fillies. Despite last-race running lines that look ugly, both A Little Bit Sassy and Istanford merit respect facing softer company in the $100,000 Dahlia, one of six stakes Saturday at Pimlico. Read More...

Weekend Warrior for April 18: Picks for Charles Town Classic, Elkhorn, Dahlia

DRF | 4 days ago
I’m taking an upset shot with General a Rod in Saturday’s Charles Town Classic. Read More...

Key Race report: Anna May Our Queen returns in maiden claimer

DRF | 4 days ago
Anna May Our Queen will return to action in Thursday's eighth race at Gulfstream Park, a five-furlong maiden claimer on turf. It will be her first start since a third-place finish by one length in a five-furlong turf race Jan. 31 at Gulfstream Park. The first- and second-place finishers from that maiden special weight race came back to win their next starts. Read More...

Iowa Festival of Racing highlights 67-day Prairie Meadows meet

DRF | 4 days ago
Prairie Meadows kicks off its 26th Thoroughbred racing meet, offering more than $15 million in total purses, with a nine-race card that gets under way Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Central. Read More...

Doimakeyahappy is the one to catch in turf-mile feature

DRF | 5 days ago
Doimakeyahappy, who led into the final furlong of his last start against the highly regarded Special Envoy in his second start for trainer Dale Bennett, looks like the horse to catch on Saturday when he heads a field of 10 optional-claiming routers slated to go postward in the mile headliner over the Tampa turf course. Read More...

Executive Allure tries to pick up where she left off in Whimsical Stakes

DRF | 5 days ago
Executive Allure went on a tear at the end of last year, and will be seeking her third straight win Saturday at Woodbine in the Grade 3 Whimsical Stakes, a six-furlong sprint for older fillies and mares with a base purse of $150,000. Read More...

Four veterinarians enter guilty pleas in Pennsylvania

DRF | 5 days ago
The four Pennsylvania veterinarians accused by federal prosecutors of illegally administering substances to horses on race day formally entered guilty pleas Tuesday in a Pennsylvania federal court, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, which brought the charges. Read More...

Harness: Sharp Horses and Track Trends for April 9 to April 12

DRF | 5 days ago
Bob Pandolfo's Sharp Horses and Track Trends for April 9 to 12, 2015. Read More...

Plattner wins Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award

DRF | 5 days ago
“Offerings From a Rust Belt Jockey,” by Andrew Plattner and published by Dzanc Books of Ann Arbor, Mich., was named the winner of the $10,000 Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award at a Wednesday reception at Shane Ryan’s Castleton Lyons farm near Lexington. Read More...

Favorites have mixed results in preps for European classics

DRF | 5 days ago
The prep-race season for 2015 classic races in the U.S. is over, but overseas, it is in full swing. At Newmarket in England on Wednesday, there were two such races, following a race in France on Tuesday and one last Sunday in Ireland, with more preps to come Thursday and Saturday this week. Read More...

Night Prowler up in time in Transylvania Stakes

DRF | 5 days ago
It took the length of the stretch, but Night Prowler finally reeled in the front-running Luck of the Kitten to post a neck victory Wednesday in the Grade 3, $100,000 Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland. Read More...

Sims will take his time with Don’t Tell Sophia

DRF | 5 days ago
Second to Untapable in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff last fall at Santa Anita, Don’t Tell Sophia is nearing her first breeze of the year, according to Keeneland-based trainer Phil Sims. Read More...

Sims will take his time with Don’t Tell Sophia

DRF | 5 days ago
Second to Untapable in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff last fall at Santa Anita, Don’t Tell Sophia is nearing her first breeze of the year, according to Keeneland-based trainer Phil Sims. Read More...

Meadowlands: Friday 4/17 Analysis

DRF | 5 days ago
Derick Giwner's analysis of the Friday 4/17 card at The Meadowlands. Read More...

Stevens gets mount on Sarah Sis for Kentucky Oaks

DRF | 5 days ago
Trainer Ingrid Mason has lined up Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens to ride Sarah Sis in the Kentucky Oaks, agent Craig O’Bryan confirmed this week. Sarah Sis most recently finished fifth in the April 4 Fantasy at Oaklawn Park. Read More...

DRF Plus handicapping reports for Thursday, April 16

DRF | 5 days ago
Download DRF Plus handicapping reports for Thursday’s races, including DRF Bets GamePlan, the Positive ROI Report, and Key Race Report. Read More...

Mohawk: Friday 4/17 Analysis

DRF | 5 days ago
Garnet Barndsale's analysis of the Friday 4/17 card at Mohawk Racetrack. Read More...

Good cast of 3-year-olds in Friday allowance

DRF | 5 days ago
Field size averages barely more than six horses per race during the first half of a 10-race Friday program at Keeneland, but things pick up after that. Besides the Grade 3 Doubledogdare Stakes, the latter portion of the card also includes a remarkably deep first-level allowance for 3-year-olds (race 7). Read More...

Yonkers: Friday 4/17 Analysis

DRF | 5 days ago
Brewster Smith's analysis of the Friday 4/17 card at Yonkers Raceway. Read More...

Pletcher makes plans for Protonico, Stopchargingmaria

DRF | 5 days ago
Trainer Todd Pletcher has confirmed Protonico, a five-length winner of the Grade 3 Ben Ali here last weekend, for the Grade 2 Alysheba at Churchill Downs on the May 1 Kentucky Oaks undercard. Read More...

Air Squadron will try to avoid bouncing in route feature

DRF | 5 days ago
The much-debated “bounce theory” will come into play when Air Squadron takes on five rivals in Friday’s 1 1/16-mile optional-claiming feature at Gulfstream Park. Air Squadron ran a near-career-best 86 Beyer Speed Figure when posting an easy four-length victory against a field of $8,000 claimers here on March 8. The performance was a 38-point jump over his previous start and far better than any race on his résumé dating back to the summer of 2014. The key question is whether Air Squadron will “bounce” or regress off the effort when he returns in Friday’s $44,000 main event that also carries a $16,000 claiming option. Read More...

Air Squadron looks to avoid bounce in Friday feature

DRF | 5 days ago
The much-debated “bounce theory” will come into play when Air Squadron takes on five rivals in Friday’s $44,000 optional-claiming feature at Gulfstream Park. Read More...

Hootenanny resurfaces in allowance

DRF | 5 days ago
Hootenanny, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last fall at Santa Anita, makes his 3-year-old debut Saturday at Keeneland in the fourth of 10 races, a 5 1/2-furlong turf allowance with wide-open conditions and a $64,000 purse. Read More...

California invaders lead field for Illinois Derby

DRF | 5 days ago
When it comes to the 3-year-old crop of 2015, the West is best. California-based American Pharoah and Dortmund will be the top two choices in the Kentucky Derby, while Firing Line, who romped last out in the Sunland Derby, will come in for some support, and perhaps three other California-based horses – One Lucky Dane, Bolo, and Ocho Ocho Ocho – are prospective Derby starters. Read More...

Hovdey: Shared Belief will be tough at every turn

DRF | 5 days ago
For Saturday’s Charles Town Classic, Shared Belief will be traveling by plane for the first time since he was a young horse heading West from his Kentucky birthplace. He will be asked to handle his first deepish, Eastern racing surface. He will also be required to spend most of the mile and one-eighth race turning left. Read More...

OBS April: Twelve match top mark as breeze show continues

DRF | 5 days ago
A 12-pack of juveniles completed one-furlong breezes in :10 seconds flat on Wednesday as the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. spring 2-year-olds in training sale reached its midway point. Read More...

Purse increases lure new faces to Emerald meet

DRF | 5 days ago
Positive vibes have been emanating from Emerald Downs in advance of the 2015 meeting, which begins Saturday. The track’s new owners, the Muckleshoot Tribe, got off to a popular start with horsemen when they increased overnight purses by 20 percent from 2014, and the initial response has been encouraging for all involved. The horse population has swelled, and some 15 to 20 new jockeys and trainers have set up shop for the summer. As if on cue, there’s even sunshine in the forecast for opening day. Read More...

Classic Point shifts sights from Aqueduct to Churchill

DRF | 5 days ago
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens was planning to run Classic Point in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct, but has reversed course and will now point the 6-year-old mare to the Grade 1 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs on May 2, Kentucky Derby Day. Read More...

Jerkens pair closing in on 2015 debuts

DRF | 5 days ago
Stablemates Wicked Strong and V. E. Day each put in a stamina-building workout Wednesday morning at Belmont Park as they prepare for their next engagement. Read More...

Clement has two good shots in Plenty of Grace

DRF | 5 days ago
Friday’s $100,000 Plenty of Grace Stakes – named for the multiple Grade 2 winner campaigned by Darby Darn Farm in the early 1990s – drew only five older fillies and mares to run on the turf. Read More...

Charles Town Classic: Eight challenge Shared Belief

DRF | 5 days ago
The field for the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic grew to nine when entries were taken Wednesday.Shared Belief, the top rated older horse in North America, drew post 4 and has been made the 2-5 morning-line favorite. Read More...

Pandolfo: Top speed drivers

DRF | 5 days ago
Elite drivers all excel at leaving hard off the gate. Corey Callahan, John Campbell, Yannick Gingras, Dave Palone, Ron Pierce, and Tim Tetrick fit into this category. However, my list of personal favorites includes guys like Jason Bartlett, Scott Zeron, and others. Read More...

Cozmic One set to make much-anticipated career debut

DRF | 5 days ago
Cozmic One’s highly anticipated debut will occur in Friday’s second race at Santa Anita, a maiden special weight race for 3-year-olds at a mile. Read More...

Del Mar boosts purses of two turf stakes

DRF | 5 days ago
Del Mar is offering a 43-race stakes program for its summer meeting that is similar to last year’s, with a slightly lower overall value. Read More...

When it’s time for a Baffert star to work, Garcia punches in

DRF | 5 days ago
Jockey Martin Garcia is in the unique position of having ridden both American Pharoah and Dortmund, so he, more than anyone, can compare and contrast the differences between the top two choices for this year’s Kentucky Derby on May 2. Read More...

Key Race report: Highball back in allowance

DRF | 5 days ago
Highball will return to action in Wednesday’s third race at Keeneland, a 1/16-mile turf allowance. It will be his first start since a fourth-place finish by 5 1/2 lengths in the Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap on Feb. 21. The first- and seventh-place finishers from that about 1 1/8-mile turf race came back to win stakes races in their next starts. Read More...

Melancon quietly goes about business of winning

DRF | 5 days ago
For someone who just became the 52nd winningest jockey in North American history, Gerard Melancon has to be one of the best-kept secrets on the continent. The 47-year-old native of nearby Rayne, La., posted a two-bagger on Evangeline Downs’s season-opening program on April 8, boosting his victory career total to 4,348. The pair of tallies vaulted him ahead of Pat Valenzuela, who is decidedly on the other end of the visibility spectrum. Read More...

Positive ROI report: Jerkens strong in allowances

DRF | 5 days ago
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens saddles Spark in Wednesday’s third race at Aqueduct, a 6 1/2-furlong allowance. Since Jan. 1, 2014, Jerkens is winning 31 percent of his starts in allowances, for a return on investment of $3.43. Read More...