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FREE Belmont Stakes Picks The Jockey's Edge Braulio Baeza Arts and Letters Janice L. Blake

FREE Belmont Stakes Picks, The Jockey’s Edge

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The Jockey's Edge Janice L. Blake Handicapping Bet Win Preakness

FREE Belmont Stakes Picks by The Jockey’s Edge

148th running, June 11, 2016

Here are the 148th running of the Belmont Stakes’ FREE picks for this Saturday, June 11, 2016.

The Jockey’s Edge FREE Belmont Stakes Picks

A field of 13 goes to the post. On paper, it looks as if Exaggerator can’t be beat, but that’s why the race must be run, and every man, woman, and child has an opinion about it. There are more than plenty of under-contenders/spoilers in this field ready to pounce on any weakness Exaggerator may show. A workout on Monday garnered mixed reviews and from what I witnessed, Exaggerator may have reached his upper limit. Cruising around the turn on the outside lead coming into the stretch, he carried on the whole length of the stretch on that lead, not switching to the inside lead until well into the clubhouse turn ready to pull up. This may mean he is protecting himself, as horses are taught in kindergarten to change leads going into and out of the turns. We shall see. Then again, he far outclasses any others in here and may win on his class and heart alone.

I would use Exaggerator and Suddenbreakingnews with all others for the trifecta bet. The best of the rest of the field is evenly matched and any one of them could jump up for show honors.

11, 4, 5, 3

Win:    11  Exaggerator

Place: 4  Suddenbreakingnews

Show: 5  Stradivari

4th:     3 Cherry Wine

5th:      2 Destin

Analysis, see below.

The Jockey’s Edge is infinitely grateful to for generously supplying us with a copy of the past performance of all racers in the 148th running of the Belmont Stakes, 2016!
Horse and Post Position Fractional Odds
Exaggerator #11 5/4
Stradivari #5 7/1
Suddenbreakingnews #4 7/1
Cherry Wine #3 8/1
Destin #2 9/1
Brody’s Cause #12 14/1
Governor Malibu #1 14/1
Lani #10 16/1
Creator #13 16/1
Gettysburg #6 40/1
Seeking the Soul #7 40/1
Forever d’Oro #8 40/1
Trojan Nation #9 40/1
Source: Bovada

#1  Governor Malibu – The sole New York bred in the race, with impeccable breeding nonetheless. Made up a decent amount of ground in his last race and is another one who could surprise in here, given a good trip. May not be up to the competition in the Belmont Stakes, but if the others falter, he could be around to pick up a chunk of the purse. Use sparingly, but keep in mind.

#2  Destin – Did not seem to like the crowded going in the Derby. Will appreciate the larger oval here with less horses in the race. Wondering if he can get the 1 1/2 miles of the Belmont. Perfect Jockey/Trainer combo. Could sit behind the phony speed in here and wind up in the money. Then again, can he get the distance, even with his royal breeding? Looks as if he was tailing off in the Derby.

#3  Cherry Wine- Got very lucky in the Preakness to just nose out Nyquist for place honors. Looks like a horse who is getting better as time goes on and is a game competitor. Use him in trifectas with Exaggerator and Suddenbreakingnews.

#4  Suddenbreakingnews – Made up an impressive amount of ground in the Derby, after encountering trouble earlier in the race. Gets a jockey change to Mike Smith, who knows how to win this race, having won it twice before and is brilliant coming off the pace, or being right on it. Can’t go wrong with Mike Smith aboard.

#5  Stradivari- A horse who is improving with every race. Will definitely be a contender for the top three places. Lost considerable ground in the Preakness and was rank at the beginning. With that experience and the added distance, he could steal the race right out from under Exaggerator if he is that sharp and settles on the backside first behind the speedsters in here.

#6  Gettysburg-The obvious speed of the race sent out to make an honest pace for his stablemate, Creator. May just set the race up for Exaggerator anyway. No way can Creator overtake Exaggerator, no matter how many rabbits are put in the race.

#7  Seeking the Soul- Just broke his maiden all out at Churchill by a skinny neck. At this time of year, the good horses have already graduated from the maiden ranks, so the adage fits that, “He didn’t beat nobody.” He will be in the first wave of attackers against Exaggerator around the first turn, but will drop to the back when the real question is asked.

#8  Forever d’Oro- Another recent maiden graduate who fits the, “He didn’t beat nobody,” bill. Stumbling at the start does not help his cause, as this implies not paying attention, or worse, not ready to break because he’s really thinking he’d rather not. But the owner gets a free table in the big-boy room and a free meal, so why not run? And who knows, maybe the field will scratch down to a more manageable number and he will get a nice check just for showing up!

#9  Trojan Nation – Ran the race of his life in the Wood Memorial, then had trouble at the start of the Derby. Still a maiden and would be a huge surprise to win, place, or show in here. Didn’t make up ground in the Derby, just happened to pass a few tired ones in the way. Even if he runs another big one, it won’t be enough to get close to making an impact on those in here.

#10  Lani- Has been working extra hard getting himself ready for this longer distance with works coming in 3 and 4 days apart. Can he hold together for this grueling distance, against the best in the country? He made up a respectable amount of ground in the Preakness, so maybe his jockey is getting the timing down of how the races are run in this country. We’ll see if he stays closer to the front runners this time out. Could get a piece of it if he doesn’t fall too far behind and give himself too much work to do catching up at the end. Will he return to Japan after this race?

#11  Exaggerator- The class of the race and looks like he can’t be beat, or shouldn’t be beat. All jockeys will be  actively riding against him, knowing where he is at all times and trying to block his strategy without interfering with their own. Has a big bulls-eye on his silks. Had an eventful workout on Monday, coming out of the turn on the outside lead and staying on it until into the clubhouse turn. May be protecting himself. Could be open for a defeat in here. Proceed with caution. Do not use him across with board as the winner in all bets. To me, he is ripe for defeat, after having run such a grueling campaign the last two months. Can his trainer hold him together for one last massive effort? He’s got to be tired and weary from all that activity so early in his career. He is clearly not an American Pharoah super-horse type, albeit he is an above average kind. Then again, he so far outclasses the rest in here, he may just win on that alone.

#12  Brody’s Cause-Made up considerable ground in the Derby, especially after breaking from post 19. Beat Exaggerator way back in October at Keeneland, but has not improved much since that race. Could be closing for a piece of the action, along with the rest of the field if Exaggerator falters.

#13  Creator- Ran a spectacular race in the Arkansas Derby, then a clunker in the Derby. Could have just been his post position there and getting pumped hard with all those horses around him. Can sit closer to the pace if need be. Appeared to be on the upswing before the Derby, so using him in the exotics would be a good idea.

Watch Arts and Letters demolish Majestic Prince in the Belmont Stakes of 1969.

FREE Belmont Arts and Letters Janice L. Blake The Jockey's Edge

Belmont Races 3, 6, 8 June 4, 2016

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The Jockey's Edge Janice L. Blake June 4 Handicapping Bet Win

Belmont Races 3, 6, 8

June 4, 2016

As there is no rain forecast, the MTOs have been ignored.

Race 3     9, 8, 1, 7

#9  Galileo’s Song   Talented filly just broke her maiden going away with style last out. A $475,000 Keeneland graduate, from a winning barn/jockey combo and has been working consistently. On the rise and getting better.

#8 Achnaha  Should be the heavy favorite in here dropping into the Optional Claiming ranks once again. Hasn’t won lately, and doesn’t exactly like the flash of the camera, but comes off the pace nicely and is most always in the money.

#1  Blame It On Me  A filly who broke her maiden at Tampa. Why she wasn’t run at Gulfstream is a mystery except that maybe they didn’t feel she was quite good enough. Ran an impressive race there, making up almost 4 lengths on the backside and drawing off to win. An impressive effort first time out with an impressive trainer/jockey combo.

#7 Littlemissperfect  Ran a huge one on the turf last out. Could surprise in here. She’s a hard-knocking, competitive mare and looks to be sitting on a win.
Race 6     1, 7, 8, 3, 4

#1 Spearhead  A versatile horse who runs on multiple surfaces and likes them all. Has been training at Finger Lakes, where the track is notoriously hard, so he may appreciate the softer going on the turf today. Has plenty enough speed to put away all in here to steal the race handily.

#7  Tashreeh  Demolished the field in his last start. Hasn’t shown he appreciates the turf, but ran very well on an off track. Will contend with #1, Spearhead, for the lead, but may opt to sit behind.

#8 Saratoga Hunter  Doesn’t have the speed of the top two and should be right behind those 2 in the garden spot. Could pull off the upset if those 2 get into a speed tussle. One drawback is being a NY-bred in open company, but has shown he can run well in there, too.

The remaining field is up for grabs. Every horse has some type of issue that keeps him out of the winner’s circle, be it being laid up, coming in from lesser company and jumping up in class, and just plain not having the numbers to support a winning effort.
Race 8       2, 4, 8 (6)

#2  Camelot Kitten  Coming off a winning move at Churchill Downs. Beat Azar in that same race by 5 1/4 lengths. A few months younger than Azar and more lightly raced. Third off the layoff can be a charm!

#4   Azar    Trounced by Camelot Kitten at Churchill last out. They are the only 2 in the race, really. Everyone else can’t touch them in class or performance. Play 2-4 till the cows come home with everything else in here.

#8   Converge   Best of the rest in here, although the #6, Dressed in Hermes, may ding dong with this one for place honors. A consistent boy who likes to be right there when the running begins. Can make up considerable ground.

Belmont Races 7, 8, 9 May 28, 2016

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The Jockey's Edge Janice L. Blake Handicapping Bet Win Preakness

Belmont Races 7, 8, 9

May 28, 2016

As there is no rain forecast, the MTOs have been ignored.

Race 7       8, 6, 7

#8 Mark My Style Even though this is a NY-bred in Open company, he has been running well and is always right there at the end. 2nd off the layoff may prove to be his lucky charm. A light freshener doesn’t hurt a horse like this.Use this horse in any of the top 3 spots in the exotic bets.

#6 Circus Performer Shortening up the distance may do this one some good. Yielded in the stretch last time out at a mile and a half. Talented individual won first time out at Keeneland. Great trainer/jockey combo that knows how to win.

#7 Tale of Fancy A horse with tactical speed who can pour it on in the stretch and hold his postition. May go out and be close to the pace. Will hold on when the running begins.

#5 Hello Don Julio Just doesn’t seem interested enough to want to be in the game, even though his numbers are excellent. Folded twice when the real running began.
Race 8      8, 5, 1

#8 Mighty Mo Difficult to go against him. Clearly he outclasses all in here and would have to throw in a clunker to lose this walkover.

#5 Too Discreet Has already run in Stakes company twice and shows he can hold on when trouble looms. Will be close to the pace and may be battling with the #8 for lead honors down the backstretch.

#1 Conquest See Ya First time against winners, so proceed with caution. Appears to like the turf more than the Poly and that experience may move him up and his breeding dictates he should appreciate the longer distance. Has shown he can rate, so if he drafts in behind the top two, he will certainly come home with a piece of the action.

#2 Pretty much a mystery coming here from France, although he ran one here over the slop on May 4th. Will enjoy getting back on turf and hopefully a better trip will put him closer to the money this time.
Race 9      6, 1a, 2
1a, 6, 2

#6 Lord of Love With all the recent layoffs in this race, this horse is the only one who has a decent race off the layoff, which could only have done him good. Most others in here have only their works to show. Off that effort on May 7, this should prove the winner in here. Also, the addition of Ortiz, Jr. signals that the horse is ready to win.

#1a Three for Me Does this horse need another tightener to improve? Maybe not, as he was steadied in his Spring debut. The change back to Castellano signals a top effort is in order. He may be better than #6, but difficult to tell having had trouble in his last race. Use #6 and #1a interchangably in this race.

#2 Royal Asset Going back to the turf where he belongs. Has had a big break and should be all ready to go in here. Will be close to the pace, but so will the others. Will he be able to hold on to a piece of it with them? Possibly on his Royal class alone.

#1 May be in the mix based on speed alone. Not sure if he’s fit enough to hold on for a placing today.

#11 Canadian Flyer Had a layoff and finished 8th, then had another layoff. Pass on this one. Need to see one more.

Exaggerator The Jockey's Edge Janice L. Blake Bet Win

Preakness Results The Jockey’s Edge

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Preakness Results for Saturday, May 21, 2016

Preakness Results: The Jockey’s Edge correctly picked the winner and third place finisher of the Preakness Stakes on May 21, 2016!

The Jockey’s Edge Picks were 5, 7, 3.

The horses came in as 5, 1, 3.

A bet on the winner and show horses would easily pay for the price of a membership to The Jockey’s Edge! Last week, The Jockey’s Edge picked 2 winners on the Saturday card at NYRA, and a winner on the card today, the 21st, in the eleventh race. In the fourth race today, the trifecta was chosen coming in at 4, 7, 8. The Jockey’s Edge picked 8, 4, 7!

Take me to the sign-up page quick!

races Janice L. Blake The Jockey's Edge Belmont Picks

Belmont Park Races 4, 10, 11 for May 21, 2016

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Picks for the Belmont Park races

May 21, 2016

I am handicapping the Belmont Park Races 4, 10, and 11. It will rain late in the day, so take that into consideration with your picks if you are betting early. I have handicapped the races for you assuming they will stay on the turf, as Races 10 and 11 are Stakes races, and it is Preakness Day. (Race 4 may be taken off the turf, as it is a NY Bred race.)

May 21, 2016

Race 4  8, 4, 7

Win: #8  Swayed

Place: #4  Startwithsilver

Show: #7  Animal Appeal

Ditch: #1  First Charmer – has to have lead but has too many competitors for it. Will fold.

#8  Swayed  A versatile filly who can easily be rated behind the front runners in here. Has been running against winners and will appreciate the NY Bred company.

#4 Startwithsilver  Another versatile filly needing more experience. She may be right there for a piece of it based on her class alone. On the improve. First time against winners.

#7 Animal Appeal  Looks to need the turf, so be wary if this race switches to dirt. Needs to have the lead to win and may not get it in here, as there are plenty of challengers for it. Still a strong choice for hitting the board.


Race 10  3, 4, 8

Win:  #3  Lightstream

Place:  #4 Brinkley

Show: #8 Summer Reading

Ditch:  #7  Morethanjusthello- Stepping up in competition.

#3  Lightstream  The horse to beat in here. Showed her grit against winners first time back.

#4  Brinkley  Can sit behind. Doesn’t have to have the lead. Solid numbers from a solid barn. Good jockey.

#8  Summer Reading  Best of the rest in here. Only drawback is she has not raced on this surface. Has worked over it respectably, so that may be an indication. Definitely looks to be in the money here.


Race 11

Win: #1  Paulassilverlining

Place: #5  Blithely

Show: #3  Stormy Sky

Ditch: @#2 West Coast Chick (needs the lead and just not good enough to get it or keep it), Momameamaria (same as West Coast Chick) Both running to fill the race for the #1 horse and to get an assured piece of the action with only 5 runners in here.

#1  Paulassilverlining This filly is head and shoulders above the rest in here and will have to get up on the wrong side of the straw to get beat in this race. Can rate and come off the pace nicely.

#5  Blithely The next best filly in here. Will come in behind the #1 horse.

#3  Stormy Sky  Could legitimately beat the #5 horse. Do not ignore.

Preakness Free Picks The Jockey’s Edge

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The Jockey's Edge Janice L. Blake Handicapping Bet Win Preakness

The Jockey’s Edge Preakness Free Picks

141st running, May 21, 2016

Here are the 141st running of the Preakness free picks for the race tomorrow, this Saturday, May 21, 2016.

The Jockey’s Edge Free Picks

A field of 11 goes to the post. It is an interesting field, to be sure, with  with plenty of speed and rain in the forecast, it could be anybody’s race. Speed horses generally fare well in the slop, going out on the front end with no challengers. Unfortunately for Nyquist, there are plenty of speed horses in here to soften him up for the competitive closers in the field. Let’s take a look at the race and see what The Jockey’s Edge comes up with!

5, 7, 3, 2

Win: 5  Exaggerator

Place: 7  Collected

Show: 3  Nyquist

4th:  2 Uncle Lino

Analysis, see below.

The Jockey’s Edge is infinitely grateful to for generously supplying us with a copy of the past performance of all racers in the Preakness, 2016!
2016 Preakness Stakes Post Positions
Post Horse Jockey Trainer Morning Line Odds Shark
1 Cherry Wine Corey Lanerie Dale Romans 20/1 25/1
2 Uncle Lino Fernando Perez Gary Sherlock 20/1 33/1
3 Nyquist Mario Gutierrez Doug O’Neill 3/5 4/7
4 Awesome Speed Jevian Toledo Alan Goldberg 30/1 33/1
5 Exaggerator Kent Desormeaux Keith Desormeaux 3/1 15/4
6 Lani Yutaka Take Mikio Matsunaga 30/1 40/1
7 Collected Javier Castellano Bob Baffert 10/1 16/1
8 Laoban Florent Geroux Eric Guillot 30/1 40/1
9 Abiding Star J.D. Acosta Ned Allar 30/1 40/1
10 Fellowship Jose Lezcano Mark Casse 30/1 33/1
11 Stradivari John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 8/1 8/1

Source:; Odds Shark

#1  Cherry Wine – Likes a sloppy track, and closes well, but cannot compete with these.

#2  Uncle Lino – Doesn’t mind the slop. Ran a big one in California last. Could pop another big number here as he appears to be improving.

#3  Nyquist – Can he hold onto his streak? There’s more than plenty of speed in here to soften him up. Has he ever been behind horses and taken much dirt? Can he overcome traffic and pressure, even if he is much the best? Will have to leave the gate to get position, and so will some others. He may be covered up and boxed in for the first time.

#4  Awesome Speed – A true speed contender, has experience on a wet track. Liable to lay behind the real speed, but can he make up that much ground keeping up with these?

#5  Exaggerator – Has all types of experience. Is only getting better with each race. Experienced jockey. Closes well, even in the slop. The horse to beat, if Nyquist falters with the speed in here.

#6  Lani – Jockey must adjust his riding style to the American speed-based tracks. Likes to linger behind and make a run at the last minute. Could work if he follows Exaggerator around, but will he be there in the shadow of the wire?

#7  Collected – Another speed contender. Has the numbers to hold on to the end. Doesn’t mind a wet track and could hold on just long enough to get a piece of it. Pours it on at the end.

#8  Laoban – Untested in the mud. Maiden, has never beat proven winners. Can he run with these? I seriously doubt it. But the race must be run, and one never knows until then…

#9  Abiding Star – All speed. Must have the lead. Will definitely be there testing the pace the whole way. Can he hold on? Proven in the slop, but not at this level.

#10  Fellowship – Finished 3rd to Nyquist in the Florida Derby. Majesto finished 2nd in Florida Derby and almost last in the Derby. Don’t think he can compete at this level.

#11  Stradivari – Won a maiden race and first level allowance. Making a big step up in here, but from an experienced barn, with a good jockey. Can lay off the speed some. Could be a contender, but does he have the experience to overcome this field of runners?

Watch Secretariat demolish the Preakness field in 1973.

Belmont Park Result Picks May 14, 2016

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Past Reports The Jockey's Edge Janice L. Blake Handicapping Bet Win May 14, 2016

Belmont Park Result Picks May 14, 2016 

May 14, 2016

Race 7   May 14, 2016

The Jockey’s Edge picked 6, 2, 1

Horses came in: 1, 6, 3, 4

The Jockey’s Edge picked 2 out of the top 3 finishers

Race 9

The Jockey’s Edge picked 7, 3, 6

Horses came in: 7, 5, 6, 3

The Jockey’s Edge picked the winner and 3 out of the top 4 finishers.

Winner was favorite.

Race 10

The Jockey’s Edge picked 9, 7, 1

Horses came in: 9, 2, 3

The Jockey’s Edge picked the winner.

Winner was favorite.


Braulio Baeza Belmont Park The Jockey's Edge Buckpasser

Belmont Park Races 4, 7, 9 for May 7, 2016

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Picks for the Belmont Park card

May 7, 2016

I will be handicapping the Belmont Park Races 4, 7, and 9. I was going to do the Stakes races, but since most are on the turf, I assume they will be taken off for tomorrow. It is a shot in the dark to attempt to handicap a race with so many scratches before one knows what the scratches are.

Race 4

Win: Red Vine

Place: Anchor Down

Show: Samraat

Ditch: Stormin’ Monarcho

Red Vine  Clearly the horse to beat, and no surprise in this field, even with his vacation in Florida. It probably did him good, as it does most of us. Key him on top with others for nice exacta payoffs.

Anchor Down  May have physical problems, but overall is better than most in here and has been running consistently. Probably cannot beat Red Vine, unless Red Vine has a bad day or is not fit off the layoff.

Samraat  He is coming off a long layoff, so he should be well-rested and had time to heal whatever was ailing him. He ran respectably off the layoff and should improve his condition from that race. He is an honest horse and will give his all. Has plenty of back class to jump up.


Race 7

Win:  Prophet’s Cat

Place:  Here Comes Tommy

Show: Mind Your Biscuits

Ditch:  Sharpie’s Dream (first time against winners), and Pierce’s Prize (not competitive at this level)

Back Pocket Pick: Dr. Luber’s Kiss (could be ready), Mr. Harlan (good on wet track)

Prophet’s Cat  Likes the mud, won on a “good” track on the Inner. Jockey is good judge of pace. Horse is competitive.

Here Comes Tommy  Sitting on a win.Runs well on a wet track. Seasoned jockey. Enough pace in here to set it up for him at top of stretch.

Mind Your Biscuits  Broke his maiden impressively. Could be coming into form to be a decent horse, but facing winners for the first time. May not be a route horse from 2nd to last race. 7f may suit him. Use with caution, but use.


Race 9

Win: Cards of Stone

Place: Beyond the Green

Show: Sinistra

Ditch: Broman entry (Kimmel, Ubillo), All About Ashley (Need to see one more. Better on turf.)

Back Pocket Pick: Extinct Charm (dropping way down, could show something for that reason), Force (back class, but coming off long lay off), Hunt’s Road (cannot ignore Rodriquez claim. Horse has probably had an overhaul since claim).

Cards of Stone Nothing says “On Sale” like dropping to 40K after having run in the Blue Grass. Should win with his eyes closed. Picked on top but could be a tired, spent horse.

Beyond the Green Consistent, sitting on a win. Experienced horse, can sit back and watch race unfold.

Sinistra  Why claim a 6 yo gelding for 25K and run him for 40K? Horse has made 298K and with the Rodriguez/Dubb combo has certainly had the works done on him. A mysterious claim, yet hard to ignore. Use with caution. Have a look in the paddock if you can. Does not like a muddy track.

Kentucky Derby The Jockey's Edge Braulio Baeza

Kentucky Derby Picks Free The Jockey’s Edge

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The Jockey’s Edge Kentucky Derby Picks

142nd running, May 7, 2016

As promised here are my 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby free picks for the race tomorrow, this Saturday, May 7, 2016.

The Jockey’s Edge Free Picks  A full field of 20 goes to the post, with 2 Also Eligibles set in the wings ready to fulfill their destiny in case of any late scratches by Friday morning. It is an interesting field, to be sure, with plenty of deep closers, with plenty of speed and tactical speed horses to set the race up nicely for them. With every running of the race comes more traffic than the Belt Parkway on Long Island the day of the Belmont Stakes! That being said, several horses have drawn prime spots, while others could’ve certainly fared better with a closer to the rail or farther out position. Let’s take a look at the race and see how The Jockey’s Edge portends the future!

The Jockey’s Edge is infinitely grateful to for generously supplying us with a copy of the past performance of all racers a day after the draw!

Win: Exaggerator

Place: Brody’s Cause

Show: My Man Sam

Alternates: Whitmore, Trojan Nation

Analysis, see below

Kentucky Derby Draw and Morning Line

Source of Chart:  SB Nation
1. Trojan Nation, Trainer P. Gallagher, Jockey Aaron Gryder, 50-1
Let’s not forget Giacomo in the 2005 Derby. This horse is a serious, deep closer and has just enough experience to be on the upswing, while not being abused with racing too often. His post will help him settle early and be able to pass tiring horses any time he chooses. The trainer/jockey combo is irrelevant. We have all seen obscure trainers (and jockeys) jump up to win this race, think Tim Ice, John Servis. People who have been training long enough know what to do, and having a decent horse does nothing but lift them up. Aaron Gryder has won the Dubai World Cup, so he is just as capable to win this race any day of the week.
2. Suddenbreakingnews, Trainer D. Von Hemel, Jockey Luis Quinonez, 20-1
This horse to me simply says he is not good enough to win this race, although finishing 2nd in the Arkansas Derby is nothing to sneeze at. He did put together his best Beyer number in that race as well. He’s one that could also be on the upswing, although there are plenty of other horses with better numbers. Being a deep closer also helps him, in case of too much early traffic, as is the case in the Derby, especially with riders who are not used to dealing with 19 other horses in the race with them. This horse can also use himself at will, so may be able to get himself out of a jam if needed anywhere along the backside. He may be a tired horse, though, not having had much of a break since his first race back in August of 2015. The only clunker he threw in was on account of being checked/steadied at the 5/16ths, a crucial point of revving the engines in a race.
3. Creator, Trainer S. Asmussen, Jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr., 10-1
Another deep closer, this time with impeccable connections. Then again, plenty of impeccable connections have lost the race many times over. Think Native Dancer in 1953. Yet another deep closer breaking from the inside. A perfect scenario to sit back and watch the race develop before you. This is where jockeyship comes in with clocking how much horse one has and how much the others have and when to pour on the gas. A break in January seems to have set him up nicely to be at a peak this weekend. Definitely a fit horse.
4. Mo Tom Trainer T. Amoss, Jockey Corey Lanarie,  20-1
Corey Lanarie, like Calvin Borel, knows Churchill Downs like nobody else, a huge advantage here. This horse can close and can also sit closer, perfectly balanced to strike when needed. With 3 closers to the inside, there may be traffic start to build up around them and one may get squeezed back, although this horse also has a little speed to use in order to get out of a jam. With Beyers in the 90s, Mo Tom may be a contender if the others fold or give up in the stretch. Getting beat by 1 1/4 lengths by Gunruuner is no shame there. Traffic in the LA Derby most likely caused him a better position. Definitely one to watch.
5. Gun Runner Trainer S. Asmussen Jockey Florent Gerous, 10-1
A lightly raced, very talented youngster with his races chosen very well. Appears to need not be challenged in the stretch. When eyeballed in the Kentucky JC, he folded even though he had the lead early on. Has never been tested among Grade I company. Looks to be on the upswing in his conditioning. Worked an easy tuner upper :50 at Churchill on Monday. Having the 5 Post, he will have to use himself get out of the gate and get a position early. Beat Tom’s Ready and Mo Tom already this year. Will have to step up his competitive spirit to run with the shorter-priced horses in this race.
6. My Man Sam Trainer C. Brown, Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., 20-1
 A lightly raced closer with the proven ability and pedigree to come running at the end. Has shown the ability to rate showing an impressive kick. Great connections only help his cause. A wide effort in the Blue Grass certainly cost him a better position, if not the race.
7. Oscar Nominated Trainer M. Maker Jockey Julien Leparoux, 50-1
Even with a brilliant jockey like Leparoux aboard, this horse is clearly out of his league running with these fellows. Supplemented to this race for $200,000. A very nice, useful horse, but simply not at this level. Wanting to be in the Owner’s Box on Derby Day can be a temptation to great to ignore. Pass. Not to mention, he’s only run on the turf and poly. Wait’ll he gets hit with all the dirt coming his way from the 7 hole.
8. Lani Trainer M. Matsunaga Jcokey Yutaka Take, 30-1
I find this horse impossible to handicap. Apparently his owners/trainer thought he is good enough to run in here. He has one of the leading jockeys from Japan riding, so the horse has that going for him. Who knows what sort of competition he’s been running against, or how the races unfolded. You may want to use this horse with a wheel or two, but he’s just too mysterious for me to know anything about.
9. Destin Trainer T. Pletcher Jockey Javier Castellano, 15-1
Won the Tampa Bay Derby March 12th. Tampa has a sand-based track and is usually very heavy. It appears Outwork does not like a heavy track, having been beaten by Destin in that race. The track will definitely not be soft and heavy at Churchill Downs on Saturday. People like to see fast times and the track superintendent does not disappoint during The Big Show. Lightly raced, professional and has lovely tactical speed. Will have to use himself early to get position. How experienced is he? Not very and has not faced major competition yet. Will have to step up his game to compete here.
10. Whitmore Trainer R. Moquett Jockey Victor Espinoza, 20-1
Takes this horse time to get his feet under him. Looks to be on the improve and has faced decent competition already. Can close and also has tactical speed. Versatile. Seems to have issues coming out of the gate, which shouldn’t hurt him too much here, as there’s plenty of track to get warmed up before the real running starts. Has the jockey of the moment, Espinoza. Would not use this horse.
11. Exaggerator Trainer Keith Desormeaux Jockey Kent Desormeaux, 8-1
To me, this looks like the winner all over. The jockey is obviously experienced in riding this track and winning this race. He can win on the front end and come from behind. The horse is versatile in his running style and has had a couple of nice breaks in between races to freshen up and tune up. His numbers are the best of any horse in the race. He is experienced, and can rate and come running with a huge kick at the end. Seems to get over well both a hard track or a deeper one, as at Saratoga. The Kentucky Derby could be either on Saturday. If it rains, even better, he has won twice in the mud. Definitely use this horse is all kinds of exotics.
12. Tom’s Ready Trainer D. Stewart Jockey Brian Hernandez, Jr., 30-1
This horse may be fit, but he may also be tired. He’s been running hard his whole career. Trained by a Lukas Acolyte, the horse will be ready on the first Saturday in May. Is experienced, talented and well-cared for. Has run against several horses in this race already and shown a good effort in the Louisiana Derby, being beaten by Gun Runner. A nice 5f move on April 29 at Churchill. Would use farther down, not necessarily Win, Place.
13. Nyquist Trainer D. O’Neill Jockey Mario Gutierrez, 3-1
Clearly the horse to beat in this race. Undefeated. Class both top and bottom, a 400K purchase. Untested racing among company, so will have to get out of the gate and clear the field to get a good position. Has beaten several in here already, and most by proxy. I saw a video of him jogging at Churchill and he had a decidedly uneven stride. Not sure if he will run, or how well. The good horses run through their ailments and he appears to be one of those. Would use on some tickets and not others. He may not show up, then again, he might. Welcome to horse racing!
14. Mohaymen Trainer K. McLaughlin Jockey Junior Alvarado, 10-1
A speed horse, must be up front and in the clear. When eyeballed  in his last race, the Florida Derby, he folded like a cheap suit. May have gained experience from that effort but may also be indicative of his heart, or lack thereof. He may also have bled, and if that problem is addressed and fixed, he will run to his usual effort. Would use cautiosly.
15. Outwork Trainer T. Pletcher Jockey John Velazquez 15-1
Lightly raced, brilliant connections. May not like a deep track, or being eyeballed in the stretch. He will be tested on Saturday, to be sure. A bad post coming out of 15 for a horse who needs to be on the engine. Will have to be used to get a position and clear the field early. Just barely held on to beat Trojan Nation in the Wood Memorial. “He didn’t beat nobody,” springs to mind. Could have gotten beat in Tampa due to not being fit enough for the 1 1/16th coming off the 6 f race and Tampa being an extra heavy track, no matter what. Fared better in his next race. Could be set up for a big effort.
16. Shagaf Trainer C. Brown Jockey Joel Rosario, 20-1
Beat Laoban in the Gotham and got beaten by Trojan Nation in the Wood Memorial as the favorite. Lightly raced. Needs to be closer to the pace. Beyer numbers fit with many in here, but not the best. Has been working 4f consistently except for one 5f bullet workout. Considering post position, would pass on this horse. Too much to do.
17. Mor Spirit Trainer B. Baffert Jockey Gary Stevens, 12-1
A contended here. Has been running on California hard tracks. Had a nice training break around the Christmas holidays, then came back a winner. Has faced tough company and made it through the fire. Would use in top three choices.
18. Majesto Trainer G. Delgado Jockey Emisael Jaramillo, 30-1
Simply does not have the numbers to compete in here, although that never stopped horses from winning the Derby before. Still a nice horse and well-bred. Having finished 2nd in the Florida Derby has given the connections hope that the Derby may be in sight, and it just may be. Would use this horse in soem tickets but not all and more as a Place/Show holder. Needs to be near the lead. This may be problematic with this post position.
19. Brody’s Cause Tainer D. Romans Jockey Luis Saez, 12-1
A deep closer who may benefit from this outside post. Winning the Blue Grass is impressive and the way he did it was with style and panache! Had a nice rest between October and March to grow and mature. Could have needed more experience in the Tampa Bay Derby. Fabulous breeding. Not to be ignored.
20. Danzig Candy Trainer C. Sise Jockey Mike Smith, 15-1
A speed horse coming out of post number 20. That’s a tall order. Mike Smith seems better at riding route horses than speed demons. Only raced in California where the track surfaces are very different than in the Midwest. May not like to be headed, so getting to the front early and staying there may be imperative for this horse. Proceed with caution!
 Also Eligibles
21. Laoban Trainer E. Guillot Jockey Cornelio Velasquez, 50-1
This horse must have the lead, or he folds. Say he gets in, there’s not much chance of him getting the lead from post 20. Pass on him.
22. Cherry Wine Trainer D. Romans Jockey Robby Alvarado, 30-1
This is an extremely capable horse but appears to on the tired side at this point, having raced and raced  in his young life. It also appears he does not like to be looked in the eye in the stretch. If he gets in, I would not use him at all because his numbers are also not good enough for this company at this point in his career.

Past Reports

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Past Reports

Past Reports of The Jockey’s Edge by Janice L. Blake. So far there are only 2 posts but after today, there will be 3 posts. After next week, add another to bring it the Past Reports count up to 3. Each week, more and more past reports will be added, thus increasing the number.

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