Keeping Pace

Staff writer Frank Angst examines racing, handicapping, and other mysteries.

Added Seating Taking Shape at Keeneland

One of the nice things about my drive to the office is passing Keeneland each day. In the past few weeks it’s been fun to watch the tents go up that will house the various added seating for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships Oct. 30-31. Some of this added seating also will be available for the upcoming fall meeting, which begins Friday, Oct. 2. The temporary structures, which include two Trackside... Read More

Five Sires Have Two Challenge Race Winners

A tidbit to start today's blog: The three sires currently or formerly based in the U.S. to already have two different horses win Breeders' Cup Challenge races this year all boast victories in the King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I) as Tale of the Cat won the seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds at Saratoga in 1997 (when it was grade II), Hard Spun won the race 10 years later, and Henny Hughes won the previous year in 2006.... Read More

Del Mar Main-Track Challenge Races Back on Dirt

With three Breeders’ Cup Challenge races this weekend, Del Mar will be in the spotlight. Two of those three races will be on the main track, which for the first time since 2006 offers a dirt surface after an eight-year run for Polytrack. While the track record of those two main-track races, the TVG Pacific Classic Stakes (gr. I) and Pat O’Brien Stakes (gr. II), was not especially impressive in terms... Read More

Monmouth shines in memorable Haskell weekend

If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to attend the races at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J., you know that a trip there has the feel of a mini-vacation. This year’s William Hill Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I) certainly delivered that sensation both for fans and participants. Trainer Dale Romans said he loves running in the Haskell because of the excellent hospitality from the Monmouth staff that... Read More

Bramlage Discusses Bone Bruising at Safety Summit

Just days before it was reported July 12 that California Chrome would miss at least three months of racing because of a cannon bone bruise, Larry Bramlage talked about that type of injury at the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit July 8 at Keeneland. Dr. Larry Bramlage - Anne M. Eberhardt Photo At the summit Bramlage said that as horses get older, the cannon bone can become dense to handle... Read More

Belmont Distance Figures to Challenge American Pharoah

A key to Saturday's Belmont Stakes Presented by DraftKings (gr. I) will be American Pharoah's efforts to carry his brilliance through a 1 1/2-mile race, a distance his breeding suggests will not be to his liking, against some rivals who figure to like the added distance, or at least like it more than American Pharoah. American Pharoah has the highest Dosage Index of any of the eight 3-year-olds being... Read More

Use Derby Points System to Determine Post Positions

Just think if some healthy chatter on social media was going on this week about which post position the connections of International Star should choose with the first post position pick for this year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).... Read More

Mine That Bird Movie Struggles to Find Footing

Like Mine That Bird's struggles in the winter and spring before his upset victory in the 2009 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), the movie that tells his story, "50 to 1", also plods along early, seemingly unsure about what story it wants to tell.... Read More

Top 3-year-olds Separated from Pack in 2015 Derby Preps

Looking at the six U.S. races this year that the Road to the Kentucky Derby awards 100 points to the winner, four were won by favorites. Of the six races, International Star delivered the largest win payout at $6.60, a return that would have been the smallest from these six races if it had come in 2011.... Read More

Weighty Question

Frank Angst analyzes the Kentucky Derby picture following interesting prep races from the weekend, specifically weight assignments. ... Read More

Nod Goes to Breeders' Cup Classic as Year's Top Race

This year's Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) had it all: a close finish, a thrilling run through the stretch, and a lingering controversy. Having all of those elements, along with the usual ramifications on championships carried by North America's richest race, made Bayern's victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park my top choice for the best race of 2014.... Read More

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