Tag: Max Player

Happy Saver (right) shakes pursuer Mystic Guide in deep stretch of last year's Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup. Happy Saver seeks to be the 11th repeat champion of one of the New York Racing Association's most historic events. (Image: Chelsea Durand/NYRA)

Happy Saver Leads Chase Toward Jockey Club Gold Cup History

The Jockey Club Gold Cup trophy carries the names of four Triple Crown winners: Gallant Fox (1930), Whirlaway (1942), Citation (1948) and Affirmed (1979). You’ll find Hall of Famers like Man o’ War (1920), Hill Prince (1950), Sword Dancer (1959), Buckpasser (1966), Damascus (1967), Forego (1974), John Henry (1981), Easy […]

Undefeated Happy Saver nipped Mystic Guide (left) by less than a length to win last fall's Jockey Club Gold Cup. The two renew their rivalry in Saturday's Grade 2 Suburban Stakes at Belmont Park. (Image: Janet Garaguso/NYRA)

In-Form Stars Mystic Guide, Happy Saver Driving This Suburban Stakes

Mystic Guide comes into Saturday’s Grade 2 Suburban Stakes at Belmont Park riding a wave that crested during March’s $12 million Dubai World Cup. He’s fresh, rested, at the top of his game, and the No. 1-ranked Thoroughbred in the country, courtesy of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association poll. And […]

Aunt Pearl and Florent Geroux went gate-to-wire in last fall's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. She is the likely favorite in the Grade 2 Edgewood on the Kentucky Oaks undercard. (Image: Coady Photography)

Don’t Overlook These Kentucky Oaks, Kentucky Derby Undercards

The Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby undercards offer turf stars Colonel Liam and Smooth Like Strait. They offer filly stars Gamine, Shedaresthedevil, Sanenus, Aunt Pearl, and Envoutante. They also offer Maxfield, Roadster, and Max Player. And they offer one-time Derby hopefuls Jackie’s Warrior, Prevalence, and Gretzky the Great. It’s easy […]

Trainer Bob Baffert called Charlatan's Malibu Stakes win 'pure brilliance.' He would take more of that from his 9/5 favorite in Saturday's $20 million Saudi Cup. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Let’s Cut to the Saudi Cup Chase: It’s Charlatan vs. Knicks Go

The best-case scenario for the connections of every Saudi Cup horse not named Knicks Go or Charlatan is easy to comprehend, if not easy to realize. It goes something like this. Leaving from Post 5, Joel Rosario sends Knicks Go out like a shot. From Post 9, Mike Smith and […]

Umberto Rispoli is one of the top riders in North America. The Italian jockey won't ride in the Saudi Cup due to changing COVID-19 testing protocols. (Image: Hong Kong Jockey Club)

New COVID Protocols Scratch Saudi Cup Jockeys Rispoli, Velazquez

Star jockeys Umberto Rispoli and John Velazquez lost their mounts for Saturday’s $20 million Saudi Cup after Saudi race organizers abruptly changed their COVID-19 testing protocols. That takes Rispoli off Max Player and removes Velazquez from Tacitus. Rispoli had three mounts on the Saudi Cup card, including Cowan in the […]

The post positions are set for Saturday's Saudi Cup. The five American horses drew posts ranging from 4 to 9. (Image: Saudi Cup Twitter/@thesaudicup)

Americans Take Center Post Stages at Saudi Cup Post Draw

Between Posts 4 and 9 sit the five United States horses running in Saturday’s $20 million Saudi Cup. Most spectators’ eyes will likely gravitate to Posts 5 and 9, where Knicks Go and Charlatan start, respectively. Post positions were drawn Wednesday for the Saudi Cup. There are 14 horses representing […]

Mystic Guide comes into this weekend's Grade 3 Razorback Handicap with six in-the-money finishes. That includes his victory here in last summer's JIm Dandy Stakes at Saratoga. (Image: Coglianese Photo)

Weekend Stakes Span the Globe From Saudi Arabia to California

Looking at this weekend’s notable stakes races takes the eye halfway around the world to the $20 million Saudi Cup. Another look also takes the eye back to three races postponed from last weekend to this weekend – the Southwest Stakes, the Bayakoa Stakes, and the Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn […]

Knicks Go brings a four-race winning streak into the $20 million Saudi Cup. (Image: Coady Photography/Keeneland)

Saudi Cup Connections Exempt from COVID Ban; Knicks Go a Go

As the Saudi Cup field takes shape, the Saudi Arabian government announced connections for the $20 million race participants will be exempt from the country’s ban on entering Saudi Arabia. Citing COVID-19 concerns, the country banned entry to residents of 20 nations, including the United States and the United Kingdom. […]

Maximum Security emerged victorious from this stretch drive in the 2020 Saudi Cup. More than 100 horses from nine countries were nominated to the second edition of the $20 million race. (Image: Reuters)

Charlatan, Knicks Go, and Swiss Skydiver Headline Saudi Cup Nominees

Swiss Skydiver, Charlatan and Knicks Go are three names you’d expect to find in the world’s richest race – the $20 million Saudi Cup. And those three American stars headline a lengthy nominee list for the Feb. 20 Saudi Cup. The 1 1/8-mile Saudi Cup drew 109 nominees from nine […]

The venerable Pimlico Race Course clubhouse will play host to a small group of owners for Saturday's 145th Preakness Stakes. (Image: Getty)

The Triple Crown Ends Here: Breaking Down the 2020 Preakness Stakes

It’s October 2020, which in this bizarre of all bizarre years, means it’s Preakness Stakes time. That there is no Triple Crown at stake does not mean there is nothing at stake in the third and final jewel of a wild, 15-week Triple Crown campaign. The 2020 American Classics trail […]

Authentic and John Velazquez found the Kentucky Derby winner's circle. They are the 9/5 favorite to find the Pimlico winner's circle in Saturday's Preakness Stakes. (Image: MyRacehorse.com)

Preakness Stakes Draw: Derby Winner Authentic Takes Favorite Spot

While Preakness Stakes favorite Authentic was wrapping up his final pre-race workout, the 9/5 favorite for Saturday’s 145th Preakness drew post 9 at Monday morning’s post draw in Baltimore. In what’s already been a wild and unpredictable Triple Crown season, at least one reliable standby remains true. The Kentucky Derby […]

Max Player's owner said he looked like a hose who wanted to keep running. He'll make his next appearance in the Preakness Stakes. (Image: Coady Photgraphy)

Three New Entries Bring Preakness Stakes Probables to 10

Enter Max Player and Excession to the Preakness Stakes field. Along with Country Grammer, the two Steve Asmussen-trainees bring the field for the third and final jewel of the 2020 Triple Crown to 10 horses. They join Pneumatic, bringing Asmussen’s Preakness contingent to an appropriate three. The Hall of Fame […]

Tiz the Law brings that placid demeanor everywhere but the starting gate. It's one reason he's the favorite to win Saturday's 146th Kentucky Derby. (Image: Churchill Downs)

No Asterisks Needed: Breaking Down the 2020 Kentucky Derby

Historians 100 years from now will note the 2020 Kentucky Derby took place the first Saturday in September, instead of the first Saturday in May. They’ll note that, due to the coronavirus pandemic, America’s annual racing bacchanalia was shy of bacchanalia because Churchill Downs was shy of spectators. Barring any […]

Throw These Three Derby Hopefuls Off Your Betting Tickets

Picking a Kentucky Derby winner this year may seem easy on paper. Or chalk, as Tiz the Law and his generational-low 3/5 morning line odds illustrate. But while there’s plenty of value underneath, there are also plenty of minefields – horses you want to avoid stuffing underneath in those trifectas […]

Art Collector, seen her romping to an easy victory in the Ellis Park Derby, is one of six Kentucky Derby horses with a triple-digit Beyer Speed Figure. (Image: Coady Photography)

Speed Rules: How Fast is Your Favorite Kentucky Derby Hopeful?

When it comes to handicapping the Kentucky Derby, the speedy rule of thumb used to be simple. Bring your thumb down to the horses who ran at least a 95 Beyer Speed Figure, and begin your handicapping from there. That’s an easy place to start, considering 25 of the last […]

Kentucky Derby hopeful Max Player is on the move, from Linda Rice's New York barn to Steve Asmussen's Kentucky barn. (Image: Skip Dickstein)

Derby Hopeful Max Player Moved to Steve Asmussen’s Kentucky Barn

Three days after Max Player finished third to Tiz the Law in his second consecutive Grade 1 effort, owners for the horse switched trainers, moving him from Linda Rice to Steve Asmussen. The move came after Max Player finished third – 7 ½ lengths behind Tiz the Law at Saturday’s […]

Tiz the Law and exercise rider Heather Smullen turned in a strong pre-Travers workout last Saturday.  The Belmont Stakes champion is even-money to win Saturday's Travers Stakes. (Image: Skip Dickstein/ Albany Times Union)

Upstarts, Baffert Star All Chasing Travers Stakes Favorite Tiz the Law

The reigning Belmont Stakes victor is in the field as your deserved race favorite. So is one member of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s 3-year-old Derby Legion of Doom. And so are a wealth of upstarts seeking to make Saturday’s Grade 1 Travers Stakes another trip into Saratoga’s “Graveyard […]

Tiz the Law and Manny Franco captured the 2020 Belmont Stakes in front of an empty Belmont Park grandstand. His next race is expected to be the Aug. 8 Travers Stakes at Saratoga. (Image: Getty)

Tiz the Law Rules Again, Captures 152nd Belmont Amid Falling Handle

Even with Tiz the Law passing the “Test of a Champion” with flying colors, the all-sources handle for the 152nd Belmont Stakes and its stakes-packed undercard declined by 33.7% — yet another byproduct of the COVID-19 pandemic. Belmont Park normally welcomes nearly 100,000 people for Belmont Saturday, usually the first […]

Veteran trainer Barclay Tagg and Tiz the Law are the team to beat in Saturday's 152nd Belmont Stakes. Tagg, 82, seeks his first Triple Crown title since Funny Cide won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 2003. (Image: NY Jockey Club)

Breaking Down The 152nd Belmont Stakes, Worst To First

Yes, it’s condensed to 1 1/8 miles, instead of its typical hearty 1 ½ miles, meaning the Belmont Stakes goes from the longest Triple Crown race to the shortest. Yes, the Belmont Stakes leads off the Triple Crown season, rather than batting in the power-hitting three-hole. And yes, even in […]