Horse Racing

While many of the country's biggest tracks fell short of their 2019 handles, Remington Park in Oklahoma watched its handle hit nine figures for the first time in the track's 32-year history. (Image: Remington Park)

Despite Topsy-Turvy Year, Horseracing’s 2020 Handle Falls Only 1.3%

Tracks closed, spectators were absent, and schedules were changed beyond recognition. Yet, amid a year unlike any other in Thoroughbred racing, the total 2020 US handle dipped only 1.3% from its 2019 totals. What was remarkable about that modest dip — from $10.871 billion in 2019 to $10.727 billion in […]

Capo Kane and his 7/1 odds went gate-to-wire en route to the Jerome Stakes title. It put Capo Kane on the Kentucky Derby Trail. (Image: Chelsea Durand/NYRA)

Capo Kane Introduces Himself to Derby Watchers With Decisive Win

Capo Kane was the forgotten horse in the Jerome Stakes, the horse without a Kentucky Derby futures number next to his name on the two prominent Las Vegas futures boards: Circa Sports and William Hill Nevada. Now, Capo Kane is tied for fourth on the Derby points ladder with the […]

Mutasaabeq already owns a Grade 2 victory with his Bourbon Stakes win in October. He'll try duplicating the feat back on dirt in Saturday's Mucho Macho Man Stakes at Gulfstream Park. (Image: Coady Photography)

Mutasaabeq Trades Turf for Dirt As Mucho Macho Man Favorite

You’ve seen Mutasaabeq on the front page of Kentucky Derby futures prospects. Now, you’ll see him back on dirt in Saturday’s Mucho Macho Man Stakes at Gulfstream Park. When you do, you’ll see the Todd Pletcher-trained, son of Into Mischief take marquee status in Gulfstream Park’s first Derby prep of […]

Parnelli makes his fifth career start in Saturday's Sham Stakes at Santa Anita. He hasn't missed the board in his previous four: a win and three seconds. (Image: Zoe Metz Photgraphy)

Can Life Is Good Duplicate His Electric Debut In Sham Stakes?

Yes, Saturday’s Sham Stakes at Santa Anita Park is only a Grade 3. And yes, only five horses are entered. But no. These facts scare away exactly nobody interested in New Year Kentucky Derby reconnaissance. That’s because one of those five is Life Is Good. The same Life Is Good […]

Not even his most devoted supporters saw Into Mischief enter the 2020s as North America's top stallion. The sire of Kentucky Derby winner Authentic captured that honor for the second consecutive year in a runaway. (Image: Coyle Photography/Spendthrift Farm)

Into Mischief Takes Top Stallion Honors for Second Consecutive Year

That Into Mischief became North America’s leading stallion for the second consecutive year is borne out by facts that carry weight, heft and meaning beyond the breeding shed. Yes, there’s the $225,000 stud fee he commands. That hasn’t stopped would-be filly and mare owners from beating a path to his […]

This image of Tiz the Law pulling away from his foes in the stretch played out for the sixth and final time in August's Travers Stakes. The four-time Grade 1 winner and Belmont Stakes champion suddenly retired Wednesday after suffering bone bruses in his leg. (Image: Spencer Tulis/The Saratogian)

Tiz the Law Prematurely Retired After Injury During Workout

Reigning Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes winner Tiz the Law was retired to stud Wednesday, ending one of 2020’s most storied campaigns due to a veterinarian’s diagnosis. That diagnosis revealed bone bruises to his front leg bone. Those bruises were discovered when assistant trainer Robin Smullen noticed Tiz the Law […]

Sittin On Go turned in a go-go performance winning the Iroquois Stakes on the Kentucky Derby undercard. He makes his 3-year-old debut as one of the sophomores to watch in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes at Gulfstream Park. (Image: Jamie Newell/Twin Spires)

Life Is Good for Derby Prep Watchers on this Weekend’s Stakes Slate

Life Is Good returns this weekend as the leading player among several Kentucky Derby contenders and would-be contenders among three Derby preps on both coasts. And those Derby contenders and would-be Derby contenders? They lose their juvenile status and become official 3-year-olds on Friday. Aqueduct, Santa Anita Park, and Gulfstream […]

Alain Barows seized the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby lead with his Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun victory earlier this month. The undefeated colt debuted on Circa Sports' Derby Futures Board at 55/1. (Image: Tomoya Moriuchi/Horsephotos.com)

Kentucky Derby Futures Board Gets Quiet Before 2-Year-Olds Turn 3

Consider this week on the Kentucky Derby futures odds watch the lull before the Kentucky Derby prep storm. And that storm blows in this weekend, ushering in three prep races opening 2021. Those are Friday’s Listed Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct, Saturday’s Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita, and the […]

Thunder Snow (right) captured the last two Dubai World Cups. The late March race kept its $12 million purse as undercard race purses were trimmed due to COVID-19. (Image: Erika Rasmussen/Dubai Racing Club)

Dubai World Cup Keeps $12 Million Purse, Slices Undercard Purses

The Dubai World Cup announced this weekend it will retain its US$12 million purse for 2021, while, at the same time, cutting $8.5 million from its undercard purses. This keeps the March 27 Dubai World Cup as one of the richest races in the world. The late March event was […]

Representative Paul Tonko (D-NY) helped shepherd the bipartisan Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act into law. HISA became law late Sunday night when President Donald Trump signed a $2.3 trillion spending bill that included the legislation. (Image: Lucas Willard/WAMC)

Horseracing Integrity and Safety Bill Becomes Law

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020 officially became law Sunday night when President Donald Trump signed the $2.3 trillion omnibus spending bill. That bill provided $900 billion for COVID-19 relief, along with keeping the US government operating. HISA was part of that bill. Representatives Andy Barr (R-KY) and […]

Santa Anita Park' debuted its new turf chute Saturday. Highly Distorted won the 6 1/2-furlong race at 11/1. (Image: Benoit Photography)

Santa Anita Park’s New Turf Chute Makes an Early and Successful Debut

Highly Distorted became the 11/1 answer to a trivia question when he won the first race run from Santa Anita Park’s new turf chute on Saturday. The 6-½-furlong allowance race was Santa Anita’s sixth of 11 on its Saturday Winter/Spring Meet opening day card. Santa Anita Track Surfaces Consultant Dennis […]

Smooth Like Strait was the only favorite to win the five graded stakes races on Santa Anita Park's opening-day card. He nipped Storm the Court in the Grade 2 Mathis Brothers Mile. (Image: Benoit Photography)

No Crowds? No Problem as Santa Anita Park Enjoys Record Handle

With Charlatan winning Bob Baffert’s 17th Grade 1 race of 2020 headlining an 11-race, six-stakes card, Santa Anita Park set an all-time opening day handle record of $23,003,159 Saturday. That surpassed the previous record: 2018’s 11-race opening-day handle, by more than $2.51 million. And it did so without the traditional […]

Every race thus far has been a breeze like this for Nashville. The 6/5 favorite for Saturday's Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita is 3-for-3 since September, winning his races by an average of 8 1/2 lenths. (Image: Coady Photography/Keeneland)

The Malibu Stakes Puts a Rich, Plot-Filled Bow on 2020’s Grade 1 Races

The Malibu Stakes is the bow on the 2020 racing season. It gives horseplayers and racing fans a deserving end to this year’s wild, unpredictable runaway roller coaster that was Horseracing 2020. There’s Nashville, he of the freakish speed. There’s Charlatan, he of the one-time Kentucky Derby favorite status. There’s […]

Finite's last outing was this decisive Chilukki Stakes victory at Churchill Downs. She is a tepid 7/2 favorite in Saturday's Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita. (Image: Coady Photography)

It’s Finite vs. Baffert’s Infinite Depth in Wide Open La Brea Stakes

The tempting storyline in Saturday’s Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita Park is to look at the seven-furlong race through the quality vs. quantity prism. Steve Asmussen’s standout filly Finite vs. Bob Baffert’s quartet of Merneith, Golden Principal, Himiko and Provocation. Asmussen sending a multiple Grade 2 and […]

Trainer Graham Motion's Sharing already owns a Grade 1 win at the 2019 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. She goes for her second as the 3/1 favorite in the American Oaks at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Horsephotos.com)

Sharing Plants the Seed of Familiarity as American Oaks Favorite

Let no one accuse Sharing of dodging either travel or terrific competition. And the Grade 1 American Oaks at Santa Anita Park provides the 3-year-old filly both elements for her considerable resume. Run on the turf, the 1 ¼-mile American Oaks is the final Grade 1 event of the year […]

Mucho Gusto enjoyed a busy 3-year-old season. But Saturday's San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita marks only his third race of 2020. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Mucho Gusto Returns for San Antonio — With Eyes On Bigger Game

Winning more than $3.1 million in two races took so much out of Mucho Gusto that Bob Baffert, his trainer, decided Mucho Gusto needed mucho time off. Now, vacation time is over for the reigning Pegasus World Cup Invitational champion, who returns Saturday for his first race since February. After […]

Next summer's high-profile stakes races at Saratoga will be Lasix free under a re-instituted ban on the anti-bleeding medication in all New York Racing Association stakes races. (Image: NYRA)

New York Becomes Latest State Banning Lasix in Stakes Races

The New York Racing Association became the latest racing organization to ban the use of furosemide (Lasix) for stakes races when it announced the prohibition of Lasix use within 48 hours of all NYRA stakes races. The new rule takes effect Jan. 1. Instituted by the New York State Gaming […]

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) discusses the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA). Kentucky Republican Congressman Andy Barr (left) and Breeders' Cup President Drew Fleming were key supporters of the bill. (Image: Keeneland)

Congress Passes Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, a bill once thought dead, passed in the US Senate late Monday night, taking up a small part of a $1.4 trillion government funding bill that included $900 billion for COVID-19 relief. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill, which the House […]

Charlatan returns to action for the first time in seven months on a stakes-packed opening day at Santa Anita Park. (Image: Horsephotos)

Unwrap Plenty of Stars in Santa Anita Park’s Boxing Day Opener

Santa Anita Park’s opening day marks the return of this year’s Pegasus World Cup champion for the first time in 10 months. And poor Mucho Gusto; he’s not remotely the headline attraction. For that, he can thank Nashville, Charlatan, and Independence Hall, who all smashed and grabbed Mucho Gusto’s spotlight […]