Mary Pitt

Horse racing

Three-year-olds clash at Churchill Downs

A field of a dozen 3-year-olds clash in Saturday’s Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs. The lukewarm 5-2 favorite is Maxfield, making his seasonal debut. Unbeaten in two starts, Maxfield missed the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile due to ankle surgery. He broke his maiden at Churchill Downs last September and followed up with a win in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland in early October. Pneumatic, at 4-1, is also unbeaten in two starts, both at Oaklawn. Unraced

Horse racing

Trio of Stakes on Gulfstream Menu

A trio of stakes feature on Saturday’s Gulfstream Park menu. A field of six 3-year-olds go to post in the 6 ½ furlong Roar Stakes. The 6-5 favorite is Green Light Go. The only graded stakes winner in the field, he captured the Grade 2 Saratoga Special over this trip back in August. He followed that up with a second in the Grade 1 Champagne over a mile at Belmont in October. On his 3-year-old debut he was third in

Horse racing

Sunshine Forever is Gulfstream Feature

The Sunshine Forever Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the turf for 4-year-olds and up is Gulfstream’s weekend feature. It is named for the 1988 US champion turf male. A homebred for Darby Dan Farm, Sunshine Forever, by Epsom Derby winner Roberto, won three Grade 1 stakes in his championship season at age three: the Washington D.C. International, Turf Classic, and Man o’ War. He retired to stud at Darby Dan in Kentucky, then stood in Japan from 1996 to

Horse racing

Arkansas Derby is Where Kentucky Derby Should Be

This year, the Arkansas Derby is being run where the Kentucky Derby should be, on the first Saturday in May. However, unlike the Kentucky Derby, with its 20-horse field, the Arkansas version will be run in two divisions, each with nine runners. Trainer Bob Baffert has the favorite in both divisions. However, there are question marks about both of them. Charlatan breaks from the rail and is the even money morning line favorite in the first division. He has won

Horse racing

Gulfstream, Oaklawn Offer Trio of Stakes

Gulfstream and Oaklawn offer an interesting trio of stakes on Saturday. Favorite for Gulfstream’s Unbridled Stakes, at 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-olds, is Dr. Post. Raced only twice, he ran fourth on debut at Belmont last July. He didn’t run again until winning a Gulfstream maiden over seven furlongs last month. He steps up in class and trip. Second favorite Attachment Rate breaks from the outside in the field of seven. He broke his maiden on a sloppy Gulfstream strip

Horse racing

Apple Blossom is Weekend’s Big Stake

The Grade 1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn on Saturday is this weekend’s big stakes race. It is for fillies and mares, four-years-old and up over 1 1/16 miles and has attracted a field of 14. Ce Ce, the 7-2 favorite, breaks from the outside post. She won the Grade 1 Beholder Mile at Santa Anita on March 14 last time out. This will be her first start at Oaklawn and her first at the Apple Blossom trip. Come Dancing, the

Horse racing

Pair of Oaklawn Stakes Feature Saturday

Saturday’s action at Oaklawn includes two stakes, one for older horses and one for 3-year-olds. The Oaklawn Mile boasts a full field of 14. At the head of the betting is Tom’s d’Etat. The 7-year-old is the class of the field, having won the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on November 29. He hasn’t run since then. However, he is capable of winning off a long layoff. Prior to his Clark victory, he won the Grade 2 Fayette

Horse racing

Oaklawn Stake Is Weekend Highlight

Oaklawn in Arkansas hosts Saturday’s Purple Martin Stakes, a six-furlong contest for 3-year-old fillies. A field of ten go to post. The weather forecast is for a chance of rain. As the saying goes, slop suits speed. There is a lot of speed in this race, most of it on the inside. The 5-2 morning line favorite is Frank’s Rockette. She has only won twice in five starts. However, she has placed in graded stakes company in New York last

Horse racing

Gulfstream Forges Ahead With Florida Derby

Gulfstream Park is one of a handful of tracks forging ahead with live racing. Their big race, Saturday’s Florida Derby, has attracted a full field of 12. The morning line favorite is Tiz The Law, winner of his only start at Gulfstream, the Holy Bull Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on February 1 by three lengths over Ete Indien. They meet again in the Florida Derby. Since the Holy Bull, Ete Indien scored in Gulfstream’s 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth

Horse racing

US Racing Carries On Behind Closed Doors

What US racing there is carries on behind closed doors. This includes Fair Grounds in New Orleans, which features the Louisiana Derby on Saturday. The Louisiana Derby is usually a prep race for the Kentucky Derby, which has been postponed until September 5. Some preps are set to go ahead, while others may be delayed. The Louisiana Derby will be run at a new distance of 1 3/16 miles for the first time. Like most Kentucky Derby preps, it had

Horse racing

Kentucky Derby Postponed Until September

This year’s Kentucky Derby has been postponed until Saturday, September 5. It is only the second time the Derby will not be run in May since the first running in 1875. Seventy-five years ago, back in 1945, the Kentucky Derby had to wait until Saturday,  June 9. A ban on racing in the US had been put in place from the start of January until V-E Day, May 8. Horse racing became the only American sport to be dealt such

Horse racing

American Racetracks Take Big Hit

There can be only one topic for this blog at the moment: the coronavirus. Also known as Covid-19, it is having a major impact on all sports. Nearly every American racetrack will conduct racing behind closed doors for the time being. Only trainers, grooms and other necessary licensed persons, along with the media, will be allowed to attend. Fair Grounds in New Orleans will race behind closed doors until the end of its meet on March 29. Other tracks making

Horse racing

Big Cap Features On Big Racing Weekend

The Santa Anita Handicap, also known as the Big Cap, is one of the features of a big racing weekend that also includes some Kentucky Derby preps. It is not the strongest renewal of the Big Cap. Eight go in the 1 ¼ mile contest. The favorite is last year’s winner Gift Box. He has only run three times since then. Last May he was second in the Santa Anita Gold Cup over the Big Cap trip. In June he

Horse racing

Some Thoughts on Last Weekend’s Racing

Now for some thoughts on last weekend’s racing. The main event took place in Saudi Arabia. Saturday’s Saudi Cup is the world’s richest race, with a $20 million purse. Maximum Security scooped the winner’s share of that prize. You may remember him. Last year he became the first horse to ever be disqualified from winning the Kentucky Derby for interference. Was the ruling justified? This corner says yes. However, Maximum Security has shown himself to be a pretty good horse.

Horse racing

Fountain of Youth Is Next Step on Derby Trail

The Fountain of Youth will be run at Gulfstream Park in Florida on Saturday. The 1 1/16-mile contest is a stepping stone to the Florida Derby, a major prep for the Kentucky Derby. The morning line favorite is Dennis’ Moment. However, there are a lot of question marks about him. He hasn’t run since a bad showing as the heavy favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in November. However, he had an excuse as he stumbled badly at the start

Horse racing

Bean Is A Star

Bean is a star. A star of Twitter, that is. Bean is a horse. A seven-year-old gelding, Bean has won five races from 43 starts so far in his career. Twitter is a very popular social media platform. Rosie Margarson rides Bean. Rosie’s father, George Margarson, trains Bean. Rosie rides out Bean (aka Caribbean Spring) every day. And every day she records his morning escapades, as viewed from the saddle, on video. Rosie gives Bean plenty of treats and love

Horse racing

UK Racehorse Welfare Plan Is Announced

The Horse Welfare Board has announced the first ever UK racehorse welfare plan this week.  The five-year plan’s main focus is that every horse should lead – and be seen to lead – “a life well lived”. The independent Board began operating in April of last year. The plan covers topics such as the safety of the horse and horse health. It also deals with what happens to horses once their racing careers are over. Past owners often lose track

Horse racing

More Clues on the Derby Trail

Last weekend provided more clues on the Kentucky Derby trail. In Arkansas, Silver Prospector won Oaklawn Park’s Southwest Stakes. The gray raced on the inside most of the way. Then, once in the stretch he switched to the outside, holding off Wells Bayou in second by a length. His Southwest victory made it three wins from seven starts. The Derby trail led to New Orleans this past weekend. The Risen Star was run in two divisions. The first division went

Horse racing

Fixed Odds Betting to Come to New Jersey

  Fixed-odds betting on horse racing is to come soon to the American state of New Jersey. Australian based company BetMakers have just signed an agreement to manage and distribute this type of betting on races at Monmouth Park. Monmouth began offering sports betting through its bookmaker partners in 2018. They believe it will be more user friendly to horse racing bettors used to locking in odds. That is because bettors will be able to take a price. It can

Horse racing

Derby and Oaks Preps Offer Clues

Last weekend’s Kentucky Derby and Oaks preps offered a few more clues to the current leading contenders. Nadal won the seven-furlong San Vicente at Santa Anita in only his second lifetime start. He made his career debut on January 19, winning a 6 ½ furlong maiden by 3 ¾ lengths. He was all out to win the San Vicente by three quarters of a length. This smaller margin of victory could mean his stamina is in doubt. However, it is

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