After the red-hot Thoroughbred action that came our way as the Breeders’ Cup. The rest of racing looks pretty much dismal. I used to be a part of this crowd. And once the Classic was declared official, I decided it was time to go to sleep until the Fair Grounds opened, or when the call-to-the-post sounded at Gulfstream. But that was then…
If you surveyed about 100 gamblers. You know, the tried and true players who come to the track in a foot of snow. I’ll bet they would be happy to sit down with you and show you that there is plenty of value to be had. Just sit right back and have sip of coffee while your guide will show just what awaits.
The “Big A” is in full swing, and there is nothing better. The jockey colony is top shelf, and the New York trainers that have held sway for years will be holding court. Todd Pletcher will stay until the weather gets brisk, and he will keep a string there to clean up the stakes and sweet allowance purses. Ever since the purses have grown, so have the quality of conditioners. Add in Steve Asmussen, Chad Brown, Mark Casse, and David Jacobson and we have a real rumble for the winner’s circle. Javier Castellano will be one of the big men on campus until he takes off for Hallandale, Florida. The Ortiz brothers are tough to pass down the lane or alone on the lead. Be sure to look for David Cohen when he jumps aboard for Mr. Jacobsen fresh off a claim. Bug riders have held their own for years in New York, and Emmanuel Esquivel has the look of a very promising rider with a five pound allowance.
They opened in 1938, and it all ends on December 22, 2013. The storied track will put on one last show before they lower the curtains for good. Rafael Bejarano is the top dog, and there are plenty of other riders who could very easily take the gold. Watch for Edwin Maldonado on early speed, and Joe Talamo any time he has a mount. Peter Miller is always dangerous, and Bob Baffert is still the chart topper when it comes to leading horses into the winner’s circle. Dick Mandella can be seen in his trademark fedora, and can’t be counted out of any race. Gary Stevens came out of retirement to keep his hat in the ring, and riders like Victor Espinoza and Julien Leparoux always have to be considered in any event. Fun in the sun all the way to the end.
Hallandale, Florida is the home of the jewel of Florida racing. Home of the Florida Derby and more stakes action than the law allows. You will see Jose Lezcano, Joel Rosario, Edgar Prado, Paco Lopez, Javier Castellano, and many more to take the saddle. There is more talent pound-for-pound than most tracks in the nation. The turf racing is some of the best in the country, and the track will unveil some of the players for that first Saturday in May. Every weekend will hold plenty of value, and you won’t want to miss one race!
Kentucky racing shifts tack to Louisville, Kentucky for this month. You will see many outfits that have been sharing the same barns for decades. Turf racing holds until the end of November, or unless Mother Nature gets ugly. There are some regular faces like Corey Lanerie, and Rosie Napravnik will be seen going to the winner’s circle many times. Be on the watch for Leandro Goncalves, and Miguel Mena will pick up the pieces. Dale Romans, Mike Maker, and Rusty Arnold will be getting their picture taken more than many. Speed and stalkers play good, and when it rains it gets even more speed favoring.
These are just a few of the tracks you’ll see this month. Winning Ponies is dialed in all year long, and we want to keep you in the game. Be sure to check back for stories, blogs, and free selections. Each and every Thursday you can tune into the ” Winning Ponies Internet Show,” with John Engelhardt. No matter what the oval, Winning Ponies has your back. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for handicapping contests, special offers, and the best in Thoroughbred handicapping data with the E-Z Win Forms. “May your winner’s be many and your photos be few!” Best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies.