A win for racing charities

Over the last week, I’ve had multiple opportunities to feel grateful. In addition to the everyday reasons to be appreciative, for family and friends and health, for a home and a job, I am grateful for having the chance to cover the Kentucky Derby, and grateful to be at Madison Square Garden last night for…

2012 Kentucky Derby Picks, by the letters

Past performances. Speed figures. Race replays. Expert commentary. To each her own in the handicapping world. And “my own” means that it would be folly to contemplate Derby picks without a serious look at the horses’ names. The 2012 Brooklyn Backstretch Derby picks, by the letters. Alpha: This is a no-brainer, right? His name means…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Kentucky Derby!

So here we are. Four months and multiple preps later, the road on which Horseplayer Now’s Brian Nadeau started us makes its stop at Churchill Downs. His analysis of the race follows; my preview comes tomorrow, with an entirely different perspective on the race (hint: it won’t have a lot to do with past performances).…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Blue Grass

Keeneland: The Grade I, $750,000 Blue Grass at 1 1/8 miles Brian Nadeau of Horseplayer Now with his weekly analysis of Derby preps… #1 Heavy Breathing: Lightly raced Pletcher colt exits a game front-running effort in the GIII Spiral at Turfway Park, when he set a fast pace and held nicely to be third in…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Santa Anita Derby

Santa Anita: The Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles, by Brian Nadeau of Horseplayer Now. #1 Creative Cause: The West Coast’s pro-tem divisional leader looked good, albeit in a misbehaving sort of way, when he rallied late to win the local GII San Felipe in his last start and looms every…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Illinois Derby

Hawthorne: The Grade III, $500,000 Illinois Derby at 1 1/8 miles #1 Romancing The Gold: Son of Medallist got back on the beam last time over Aqueduct’s inner dirt, when he beat a modest optional claiming group to go 2-for-3 since stretching out to two turns for Englehart. Drew well today and is versatile enough…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Wood Memorial

Aqueduct: The Grade I, $1 million Wood Memorial at 1 1/8 miles Brian Nadeau of Horseplayer Now checks in with his analysis of New York’s premier Derby prep (its recent history notwithstanding). He’ll be back later today and tomorrow with previews of the Illinois and Santa Anita Derbies; I’ll be back with a look at the…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Louisiana Derby

Brian Nadeau of Horseplayer Now offers his analysis of Sunday’s Louisiana Derby. Fair Grounds: The Grade II, $1 million Louisiana Derby at 1 1/8 miles #2 Fire Arm: Steps up off a slow optional claiming win over the track and will try graded stakes foes for the first time in what represents a monumental class jump.…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Sunland Derby

Sunland Park: The Grade III, $800,000 Sunland Derby at 1 1/8 miles #1 Castaway: The first of two from Baffert won the slower division of Oaklawn Park’s GIII Southwest in his last and figures to be a major pace player from this cozy rail draw. Son of Derby winner Street Sense really came to hand…