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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL, August 22, 2023 – Saturday’s Travers Stakes instantly became one of the greatest renewals ever when post positions drawn Monday evening included the winners of this year’s Triple Crown events: The Derby winner vs the Preakness winner vs the Belmont winner.

The temptation is to say you can’t get any better than that, but this year you can.

The horse who would have been favored over all had he the opportunity to face two of the three on Derby day brings championship credentials to this matchup and extremely likely to go favored come post time.

Race dynamics will have a significant say in the outcome and any of the four would have strong and well reasoned support.

Even though he was able to win the Test of the Champion, Arcangelo has that second season look about him and that’s the way Jena Antonucci is playing it. Clearly she believes, as we do, that his best is yet to come.

After getting a late start, the Derby winner danced more significant dances than the Triple Crown players. His connections have treated Mage like the good horse he is, they formulated a plan and are sticking to it.

Arcangelo, like Chicago, is feeling stronger every day, and while his main rivals are there already—for the most part, you get what you see and know what their ‘A’ race looks like—Arcangelo still has upside.

Forte is the ‘now’ horse. The blinkers had their desired effect. His racing schedule has normalized. And even though his campaign has been Triple Crown-adjacent, he is the acknowledged divisional leader.

He will solidify, or forfeit, that position on Saturday should any of the Triple Crown horses win the Derby of Midsummer.

If any of the Fab Four are upset, Tapit Trice, with an equipment change, with a jockey change, has the engine to run them all down with one run.

And that’s been the problem. They’ve been trying to get him into his races earlier, which we think is the wrong tack. Jose Ortiz has worked with him four or five times this year.

My instructions would be let me come out of there comfortably, get him in a good rhythm, and make your move midturn, inside out if possible. Make the best run the last run.

The pace in this race figures to be moderately quick for the distance. And since I vowed off picking him again, I most probably put him right into the circle.

The post positions and early line odds for the fabled mile and a quarter, one of the most anticipated in this or any other era:

1-Forte 7-5

2-Arcangelo 5-2

3-Tapit Trice 12-1

4-Mage 4-1

5-National Treasure 8-1

6-Disarm 8-1

7-Scotland 12-1

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5 Responses

  1. Yeah, nice group of horses, but I would rather have a few more horses since the Top Two are overwhelmingly favorites with inside posts, better numbers, less excuses and especially, Forte ( Strong) seems to have just about everything in his corner. I will be rooting for Ms Antonucci’s charge even if the trainer does not win as often as her competing trainers. My other horse is # 6, for place and show behind 1,2 ,in gimmicks. Now that I’ ve read the PPs, I’m hoping that some other races will be more intriguing, money wise. Oh, yes , I often mention how well I’m doing , well, I’m on a SIX race losing streak after hitting an early $ 340 triple. As long as I (early) hit an exacta over $ 44 , I’ll be back on top. There are a very few things more annoying than hitting a puny payoff while you’re shooting blanks. C’est la vie! That’s life. Questa e’ la Vita !

    1. Golden Gate race track’ s two bits memories. The first ‘ alternate’ track with that dark looking top. Cheap claiming horses running as if they were allowance entries, and of course ,Russell Baze with his curvature style, or body composition, winning all of those races at short prices with the same percentage that Walter Case was triumphantly , simultaneously ‘ achieving’ at the Yonkers racetrack. At OTB ,GG was showing when almost everyone was either gone home or following harness racing from Yonkers, an especially Meadowlands, in its better era with top name riders, trainers and better purses than the Yonkers. West Coast racing came on when most gamblers- bettors were tired, or lost money, hungry.. and maybe a combination of all the mentioned reasons . The same thing Should happen in other states like Pa, Md. and maybe even in Kentucky. Time will tell, but I guess that all comes down to politic$ and who is bidding for control.. without a beep from patrons-bettors whose addiction , despair makes them even weaker and more gullible, almost robotic. ” If it’s post time, I gotta be there ! If it’s kick off time, my bet is in !!” Talk about barflies.. ( track flies?).….. A( Bility),B(elief), C( onfidance ,sort of).. Always Be Closing, as I watched the ‘ Glengarry Ross’ movie about selling wasteland in Florida, Arizon, etc. If you don’t trust yourself, your experiences, whom are you going to trust and/ or blame? That guy looking at me in the mirror.. Minus Seven races, in an unusual situation, so the bet is over $500 on the second race. Bingo! $ 55 exacta multiple times, and its $ 84 triple, a few less times as I was more interested in recouping yesterday’s lo$$e$ .Then won but not made $ in the Third, followed by a similar deal in the Fifth. Hit the Sixth $ 40 exacta with just three horses. Same with the Seventh , but again ,not worth my time.. weather changed and I stopped since what I look for was not offered in the last three races… Besides that fact that I was sweating x a while early in the day… Another, maybe, still unanswered question x today , to the experts. In my” ignorant “experience with turf racing, was there a better bred Turf horse than Sadler Wells ? ( maybe I should ‘ ve asked that question to that ‘ Conte on the Green’ guy from the Nassau Downs, L. l. sheet !! . If the track will be wet we will have more excuses for our losses… ( So , why bet ?).

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