The Horse Race Insider is a privately owned magazine. All copyrights reserved. “Bet with your head, not over it.”

The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL, April 23, 2021  — With the Kentucky Derby looming in eight days, it’s only appropriate that all the Triple Crown tracks are in action this weekend.

Belmont Park opened Thursday, Pimlico Race Course drew in off the Maryland Jockey Club also-eligibles given the dirt surface travails at Laurel Park, and what could be betting than opening Derby Week on a Saturday night at Churchill Downs?

An unfortunate incident on Belmont’s opening day program whereby jockey Pablo Fragoso suffered an arm fracture as the result of a three-horse spill. Fortunately, the other riders were cleared to ride and all the horses returned safely.

Parenthetically, it was especially cruel turn of events for Fragoso who two weeks ago ran into a burning shedrow to help rescue horses trapped in a barn fire. HRI wishes him a speedy recovery.

The following a handicapping look-in at stakes races from all three venues and we will return Saturday morning with betting grids, value plays and added races. Lamentably, rain is in the forecast for Baltimore and Louisville:


Elusive Quality Stakes   RACE 8

An eight-horse field in which Chad Brown has entered three runners and Mark Casse has entered a pair. However, we won’t be surprised if Bill Mott and Christophe Clement-trained specialists have something to say about the outcome.

Of the Brown trio, only Seismic Wave (12-1), a former Mott trainee, has a race under its belt. But Brown’s horses are just coming out of their winter hibernation in South Florida and will be set for go, notably Front Run the Fed (2-1) partnered by Javier Castellano.


William Walker Stakes     RACE 9

Hopefully, the weather handicappers are wrong and this 5-1/2 furlong sprint for three year old males will remain on the turf.

The Walker has attracted a dozen entrants and is one of Saturday’s best betting races. Cowan (7-2) is a tepid early line favorite based on the company he’s kept recently.

Last out Cowan raced in the G1 Al Quoz in Dubai, prior to that in Saudi Arabia, and before that, dirt notwithstanding, was the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, in which he was a wide-trip, too-late runnerup. His best races, however, came in firm footing.

Keeneland leading trainer Wesley Ward saddles three of the 12 and one starter each from the Amoss, Asmussen, Cox, Maker and McGaughey outfits. Lots to unpack before going on record here.


Federico Tesio Stakes           RACE 10

Shades of 2020, with the traditional Preakness prep back in its regular rotation three weeks in advance of the Triple Crown’s second leg.

New connections are well represented here with early line favorite Maythehorsebwithyu (5-2), part owner by NYRA Board member Michael Dubb and The Reds (4-1), a tough trip fifth in the G3 Gotham when last seen but at maiden breaker at today’s trip.

The Tesio, named for the Italian breeder who revolutionized breeding and training methods and bred the magnificent stallion Ribot–one of the best to ever look through a bridle according to respected racing historians.

The mile-and-an-eighth nominal feature is one of six listed races on the Pimlico program and is the penultimate leg of an all-stakes Rainbow Pick 6.

Belmont Park     Race 8     Front Run the Fed to win at 2-1 or greater

Churchill Downs     Race 9    Cowan to win at 3-1 or greater

Pimlico Race Course     Race 10   The Reds to win at 5-2 or greater


Pimlico Rainbow 6 A’s, B’s, and C’s   Races 6—11

Leg 1

A:  9, 6   (Dirt: 5)

B:  3, 10

Leg 2

A:  5 

B:  1, 6, 9

C:  3

Leg 3

A:  7, 4   (Dirt: 6, 9, 14, 13)

B:  2

C:  8

Leg 4

A:  2, 7

B:  4, 1

Leg 5

A:  4, 8

B:  7

C:  3, 1, 2, 6

Leg 6

A:  1, 7, 8    (Dirt: 7, 3)

Horses in all categories listed in order of preference

Facebook Share
Twitter Share
LinkedIn Share

⚠ Before you comment

Our staff likes nothing better than to engage with the HRI Faithful and provide a forum for interaction on horseracing and sports. In that spirit, please be kind and reasonable; keep the language clean, and the tone civil. Comments from those who cannot comply will be deleted. Thank you.

6 Responses

  1. Belmont Park

    8th race- Value Proposition (1) Lightly raced 5 year old gets rail in comeback race after 217 days off. This horse clearly needs more distance. Most handicappers may venture a guess that he may need a race and then stretch out. Completely plausible. Yet there are reasons to believe he may fire today. Brown is waking up. This 5 year old has had only 6 lifetime starts. Obviously he’s had some physical issues. The best time to fire is your first race back when your dealing with physical issue’s. He has speed and the rail. His best race lifetime was at Belmont with a number that’s competitive here. With any improvement it puts him right there. At 5 he’s fully matured and of the 3 horses Brown has entered in this race Ortiz Jr. ends up here. Value.

    Front Run The Fed-(6) Distance suits and the best back numbers in the field. Castellano up and he’s riding well. The one to beat.

    Use those 2 with the (4) Therapist and the (7) Seismic Wave

    Gentleman, Let’s go get the bad guys, Vin

    PS. Next Friday the Oaks and Saturday the Derby. It doesn’t get any better than that.

    1. VIN, agree that Brown is waking up and longer uncoupled mates never a bad idea when going for top outfits.

      Oaks and Derby? Right again, doesn’t get any better than that and from a handicapping and betting perspective; Oaks is as fascinating as the Derby…

  2. Pletcher trained Curlin filly, Malathaat, will be a short priced favorite in Oaks. Curlin was Eclipse Award American Champion 3-Year-Old Male Horse in 2007 and it looks like Malathaat will be tough to beat on the last day of April. Oh yeah, Curlin ran third to Street Sense (Calvin Bo Rail) that same year but then won the Preakness, JCGC, BC Classic, etc. Throw in Dubai World Cup in 2008 and you get the picture.

    1. Simply stated, you believe Malathaat will be the Oaks favorite, lose, and win the 2022 Dubai World Cup??

      1. Good one. No, just always loved Curlin and this daughter of his appears to be a really good one. Here at HRI we sometimes veer off topic, even you. I know you indicated the Oaks was an interesting betting prospect but Malathaat looks best.

        1. I called a friend in Vegas to ask if anyone had future odds on Malathaat to win the Kentucky Derby, that’s what I thought of her at 2…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *