This week in horse racing: Fireworks set for Saturday


Saturday should be quite a showcase for the sport of horse racing. 

Elite milers Life is Good and Speaker’s Corner are set to clash at Belmont, 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Mandaloun takes on red-hot Olympiad in Churchill’s Stephen Foster and Breeders’ Cup champion Ce Ce returns to Gulfstream to defend her title in the Princess Rooney as part of the Summit of Speed. 


Talk about your Independence Day weekend fireworks! 

Churchill Downs’ Saturday menu includes not only the $750,000 Foster, but six stakes in all. The $350,000 Wise Dan for turf performers highlights the undercard. For those betting the big Saturday card at Churchill Downs, the Betmix database offers several handicapping pointers for stakes races at the local 2022 meeting. 

Key Churchill Downs Stakes Stats 

Percentage of winning stakes favorites: 42% 

Average stakes win odds: 7.5-1 

Key Churchill Downs stakes trainers: Steve Asmussen (4-20, 20%), Brad Cox (3-13, 23%), Brendan Walsh (3-15, 20%), Chad Brown (3-18, 17%), Cherie DeVaux (2-4, 50%) 

Key Churchill Downs stakes jockeys: Tyler Gaffalione (7-31, 23%), Luis Saez (4-23, 17%), Flavien Prat (4-16, 25%), Joel Rosario (3-13, 23%), Jose Ortiz (3-13, 23%) 

What to Watch for This Week 

Racing debuts at Los Alamitos on Saturday as the Southern California scene shifts for a few weeks before Del Mar’s unveiling … Closing day at Churchill Downs for spring/summer will be Monday, July 4, with a mandatory payout in the Rainbow 6 … Delaware Park offers one of its two biggest cards of the year Saturday when the Grade 3 $300,000 Delaware Oaks is one of four stakes on the program … Laurel Park in Maryland has a pair of $100,000 stakes Saturday as well. 

Friday Weekend Firestarter 

Trainer Jose Francisco D’Angelo was otherworldly at Gulfstream Park last week, winning with six of his 10 starters (only two winning favorites and boasted a $47.20 victory). He has a lone entrant Friday in South Florida with No. 3 Dominant Joy in Race 2. This filly hasn’t been successful in her last several starts but faces easier competition while playing the hot hand. 

1/ST BET App Top Handicapping Tracks of the Week 

The free 1/ST BET app allows you to apply millions of data points across dozens of handicapping factors in mere seconds and immediately place your wagers. Here’s where the artificial intelligence was most dialed-in last week by win percentage: 

— Prairie Meadows: 57%

— Penn National: 46%

— Louisiana Downs: 46%

— Finger Lakes: 44% 

— Presque Isle Downs: 44% 

Tracks with most reliable favorites last week (by win pct.) 

— Presque Isle Downs: 59% 

— Canterbury Park: 58% 

— Evangeline Downs: 48% 

— Finger Lakes: 48% 

— Thistledown: 47% 

— Woodbine: 47% 

Tracks that were long-shot havens last week (most winners 10-1 or higher) 

— Gulfstream: 5 

— Belmont: 5 

— Indianapolis: 5 

— Laurel: 4 

— Churchill: 4 

— Lone Star: 4 

America’s hot jockeys last week 

— Edgar Perez (5-9, 55%), Gulfstream 

— Pablo Morales (7-16, 44%), Presque Isle 

— Andrew Wolfsant (6-14, 43%), Parx 

— Jamie Rodriguez (11-26, 42%), Delaware, Parx 

— Luis Fuentes (5-12, 42%), Canterbury Park 

America’s hot trainers last week 

— Shug McGaughey (5-7, 71%), Belmont, Churchill, Indianapolis, Laurel, Monmouth 

— Jorge Rosales (4-6, 67%), Emerald Downs 

— Joel Berndt (5-8, 63%), Canterbury Park 

— Eduardo Ramirez (5-10, 50%), Louisiana Downs, Evangeline 

— Jose Francisco D’Angelo (6-14, 43%), Gulfstream, Monmouth, Delaware, Parx 

Contest Players Go to Gulfstream 

Horse racing handicapping contest players at can take part Thursday-Saturday in three separate contests surrounding Gulfstream Park’s action. A pair of Thursday-Friday $50 entry feeders lead into Saturday’s $600 entry Gulfstream Park Summit of Speed “Anything Goes” Challenge, where all pari-mutuel wagers are contest-eligible. For details visit 

Statistics courtesy of