Keeping Pace

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

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

European Depth Provides Value in B.C. Turf Races

I think every handicapper is aware of the success European-trained horses have enjoyed in the non-sprint turf races contested at Breeders' Cup, but I'm not sure as many players are aware that the value in these plays often is found in looking past the most-fancied shippers.... Read More

LoPresti Ponders Classic Start for Wise Dan

While owner-breeder Mort Fink likely will keep Wise Dan pointed toward a try at a third straight Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. I) victory this season, trainer Charlie LoPresti can't help but wonder if perhaps a new hurdle is in order: the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).... Read More

Keeping Eye on Lea, Will Take Charge

With the retirement of Palace Malice, plenty of attention will be placed on this year's 3-year-olds, starting with dual classic winner California Chrome and last year's champion 2-year-old male Shared Belief, but there are still plenty of intriguing older horses pointing to. or at least possible. for the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).... Read More

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