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Mike Dempsey's Pick Sample

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Mike Dempsey Pick Samples
Join Mike Dempsey today for live horse racing throughout the year. No horse racing expert puts more effort into his daily selections than Mike!

Mike’s report includes his selections for each race, detailed analysis for his top picks and a race rating to determine whether to go big or keep the action small. He also provides the morning line compared to his fair odds line as well as wagering recommendations including Win bets, Exactas, Trifectas and more!

Mike handicaps the New York circuit of Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga year round, along with the Keeneland spring and fall meetings on the weekends as well as all of the major horse racing events including the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup! His Best Plays each weekend are a must for simulcast players. He provides his strongest plays on Saturday and Sunday from tracks throughout the U.S. in his Multi-Track package.

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Best Plays
Saturday April 12
By Michael Dempsey
Today's tracks: Aqueduct, Keeneland and Oaklawn Park
No. AQU Race 4 Clm $25,000 (2:53 ET) ML FAIR
8 Precious Metal 6-1 7-2
5 Exporter 5-1 4-1
1 Le Deluge 5-2 7-2
2 Money in Motion 3-1 4-1
Analysis: Precious Metal was squeezed back coming out of the gate, and then made a mild late rally to finish fourth last out at this tag in his first start off the claim by the Barbara barn. His last trip on turf came last October at Belmont Park where he beat state bred Alw-1 optional claimers. The gelding is a four time winner on grass and picks up CVel.
Exporter was not a threat last out in a seventh place finish last out on the inner track off a two month break. The winner of the race was Sokitumi Samurai who came back to beat $35,000 claimers in his next outing on April 5. The gelding has done his best work on turf, landing in the exacta in all five trips on the weeds.
Race Rating: $$$
WIN: #8 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 5,8 / 1,2,5,8
TRI: 5,8 / 1,2,5,8 / 1,2,5,6,8

No. AQU Race 6 Md Sp Wt (3:55 ET) ML FAIR
3 Mischievously 5-2 2-1
5 Divine Energy 2-1 2-1
6 Better Man 5-1 9-2
9 Qui C'est Moi 12-1 8-1
Analysis: Mischievously makes his first start since last fall where the colt checked in fourth in his third career going a mile. The winner of that race was Wicked Strong, who won the Wood Memorial (G1) in his last outing. The colt comes back here with lasix added for the Shug barn that is 22% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff. The colt is a half to $1.1 million earner Gone Astray.
Divine Energy set the early fractions and weakened to finish third last out trying to get two turns on the poly at Keeneland as the beaten favorite. He put in a good effort at Belmont Park two back, beaten just 3/4 of a length for the top spot. He has worked sharply for his return for the Pletcher barn that is 21% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff.
Race Rating: $$$
WIN: #3 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 3,5 / 3,5,6,9
TRI: 3,6 / 3,5,6,9 / 3,5,6,7,9

No. AQU Race 7 Alw $57,000N1X (4:26 ET) ML FAIR
3 White Crane 3-1 5-2
6 Moonlit Sonnet 2-1 5-2
8 Selenite 7-2 7-2
1 Spritely Mambo 8-1 6-1
Analysis: White Crane is back on turf here for the Rice barn and this gal is coming off a decent third last out on the inner track at this level. She has two turf tries, both in sprints and in her turf debut she was beaten just a nose last summer at the Spa. She is a bit on the light side pedigree wise, by First Defence out of the dirt stakes winner Livermore Valley ($330,202) who never tried turf and this is her only foal to race. The barn is 16% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from dirt to turf.
Moonlit Sonnet makes her first start since last summer where she set the early fractions and tired to finish sixth at this level at the Spa as the beaten favorite. She landed in the runner up spot in her two previous outings on turf and has landed in the money in five of her six trips on turf. She is in a crafty barn with Lisa Lewis who is showing a 0 for 8 mark with runners coming back off a +180 day layoff. If she is ready to go the money will likely turn up.
Race Rating: $$$
WIN: #3 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 3,6 / 1,3,6,8
TRI: 3,6 / 1,3,6,8 / 1,3,5,6,8

No. AQU Race 8 Alw $62,000N1X (4:57 ET) ML FAIR
6 Crafty Dreamer 4-1 3-1
5 Truth Is 2-1 5-2
1 Real Estate Rich / 1a Salutos Amigos 5-2 3-1
8 Bobby V. 6-1 5-1
Analysis: Crafty Dreamer stalked the early pace and came with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot over a racing strip that was kind to horses on or near the lead. The third place finisher Bobby V. came back to beat $50,000 claimers in his next outing. This guy has run well in both of his trips on the main track here and the extra furlong here should suit this guy.
Truth Is makes his first start since last November for the McLaughlin barn that is 24% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff. The colt showed some promise last year breaking his maiden in his debut at the Spa and has a couple of bullet works on the morning tab.
Race Rating: $$$
WIN: #6 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 5,6 / 1,5,6,8
TRI: 5,6 / 1,5,6,8 / 1,2,5,6,8

No. KEE Race 3 Alw $60,000N2L (1:36 ET) ML FAIR
8 Forfeit 10-1 9-2
6 Green Mask 3-1 5-2
1 Twang 2-1 5-2
2 Ghostly Wonder 8-1 6-1
Analysis: Forfeit returns off a 2 1/2 month break here where last out the gelding tracked the early pace and weakened to finish fourth. The winner was Harry's Holiday, who came back to finish third in the Battaglia and last out was beaten just a nose in the Spiral (G3). The gelding ran well in a runner up finish for a $30,000 tag in his debut before breaking his maiden at Turfway versus maiden special weight company and had a quick drill over the surface here on March 29. We should catch a decent price on this gelding.
Green Mask broke his maiden in his debut here at the fall meeting and then ran fourth in the Real Quiet when shipped to the west coast. He was not much of a threat last out at Ocala over Tapeta in a restricted stake and is better than he showed last out. If he runs back to his debut effort here that would be good enough to put him right in the mix here.
Race Rating: $$$
WIN: #8 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 6,8 / 1,2,6,8
TRI: 6,8 / 1,2,6,8 / 1,2,3,6,8

No. KEE Race 7 The Commonwealth G3 (3:40 ET) ML FAIR
5 Undrafted 8-1 9-2
1 Laugh Track 2-1 5-2
3 Dimension 8-1 6-1
7 Longhunter 5-2 4-1
Analysis: Undrafted is coming off a third place finish against Alw-1 optional claimers on the main track at Gulfstream Park in his first start off the layoff. The winner of that race was Happy My Way, who came back to win the Sir Shackleton by 5 3/4 lengths and earn a 107 Beyer. Our top pick broke his maiden over the poly here back in the spring of '12 and was on the Triple Crown trail until he faded in the Blue Grass (G1). He gets a jock upgrade from the big to Johnny V. and is going to be a decent price in this spot.
Laugh Track was seventh in the Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3), racing down along the inside after the rail draw and not offering much in the stretch, He has done his best work on the fake stuff including a second in the Phoenix (G3) here at the fall meeting. He rarely runs poorly but not too crazy about the rail draw again or the likely short price.
Dimension was beaten three lengths when fifth in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1) on the downhill turf course last out at Santa Anita. He comes back here off a five month layoff and is back on ply. He has landed in the exacta in four of his five trips on synthetics including a neck loss when second in the Bold Venture (G3) over the poly at Woodbine. He gets some class relief here and is worth tossing in the mix here at a price.
Race Rating: $$$
WIN: #5 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 1,5 / 1,3,5,7
TRI: 1,5 / 1,3,5,7 / 1,3,5,7,9

No. KEE Race 8 The Shakertown G3 (4:11 ET) ML FAIR
9 Hogy 5-1 7-2
6 Havelock 4-1 7-2
3 Shrinking Violet 12-1 8-1
13 Gantry 5-1 9-2
Analysis: Hogy was beaten just a neck last out on the main track at Hawthorne in his first go off a 5 1/2 month layoff. He came off the bench last year to win a race in slop at Hawthorne and then ship here to finish sixth in this race at 6-1. The gelding has won four of six on turf in his career including winning the Troy over yielding turf at the Spa last summer. He figures to move forward second off the layoff and may end up getting overlooked on the tote in this spot.
Havelock made a god late rally to get up late and win this race last year at 8-1. He is making his first start since running 10th in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1) where he was off a beat slow and then only beaten four lengths for the top spot. The gelding has won four of his five starts over the turf here at Keeneland and he came off the bench to win the Woodford (G3) here at the fall meeting. The Miller barn is 28% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff.
Race Rating: $$$
WIN: #9 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 6,9 / 3,6,9,13
TRI: 6,9 / 3,6,9,13 / 3,6,8,9,13

No. KEE Race 9 The Madison G1 (4:42 ET) ML FAIR
4 Judy the Beauty 8-5 8-5
7 Byrama 6-1 4-1
9 Eden Prairie 10-1 6-1
2 Apropos 4-1 9-2
Analysis: Judy the Beauty looks primed to win her first Grade 1 race here as she makes her second start of the year. She came back off a four month break last out with a sharp win in the Las Flores (G3) over the main track at Santa Anita. She has done some of her best work on the fake stuff, winning four of five including the TCA (G2) here last fall. She is perfect in three trips over the Keeneland poly and she figures to move forward in her second start off the bench for the Ward barn that is 20% winners (with a +ROI) with runners making the second start off a 61-180 day layoff.
Byrama was beaten just a nose last out in the Ten Palms on the main track at Gulfstream Park in her first start off a 4 1/2 month break. The winner Ready Signal came back to win the Powder Break in her next start at Gulfstream Park on April 5. She is just one for 7 on synthetics but one of here best efforts was a neck loss in this race last year. She came into last year's race off a one mile prep on turf and her 6-1 morning line looks fair enough.
Race Rating: $$$
WIN: #4 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 4,7 / 2,4,7,9
TRI: 4,7 / 2,4,7,9 / 2,4,6,7,9

No. KEE Race 10 The Jenny Wiley G1 (5:13 ET) ML FAIR
6 Fitful Skies 8-1 9-2
8 Discreet Marq 6-1 9-2
2 Stephanie's Kitten 5-2 3-1
1 Kitten's Point 5-1 6-1
Analysis: Fitful Skies put in a solid effort in her first start after shipping in from across the pond, missing winning the E.P. Taylor (G1) at Woodbine by just a hear at 8-1. The mare comes back here off a 5 1/2 month layoff as she makes her first start for the McLaughlin barn that is 24% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff. She was just a Group 3 winner in Germany and the Taylor has come up tougher in past years, but this mare tries every time out, landing in the exacta in nine of her 11 career starts. Decent value if she goes off near her 8-1 morning line.
Discreet Marq returns off a four month break and makes her first start since getting beaten in the Matriarch (G1) by just a nose last out when shipped to Hollywood Park. The filly won four of her eight starts last year including the Del Mar Oaks (G1). There is not a ton of speed signed up to go here so she should have things relatively easy up front. Speed does not fare that well over this turf course but is should be a fair price. The Clement barn is 19% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180 day break.
I have always liked Centre Court but she was a mess during schooling this week in the paddock, so she is one to watch pre race today.
Race Rating: $$$
WIN: #6 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 6,8 / 1,2,6,8
TRI: 6,8 / 1,2,6,8 / 1,2,6,8,10

No. KEE Race 11 The Toyota Blue Grass G1 (5:45 ET) ML FAIR
3 Pablo Del Monte 12-1 6-1
14 Gala Award 5-1 9-2
5 Bobby's Kitten 3-1 7-2
11 Coastline 8-1 6-1
Analysis: Pablo Del Monte stretches out to nine furlongs for the first time in his career and returns to polytrack. The colt took to the surface in his first two career starts, breaking his maiden at Keeneland in his debut and then earning a solid speed figure beating Alw-1 foes by 7 ½ lengths in his first start against winners. The Wesley Ward barn shipped him to the west coast where he was fifth in the Generous (G3) in his turf debut, and then he was fourth in the Gulfstream Park Derby, which was his first start on conventional dirt. Last out he cut back to seven furlongs and ran third in the Hutcheson (G3), beaten 5 ¼ lengths. The colt stalked the early pace toward the inside, had to wait briefly for some running room nearing upper stretch and did not have enough punch left late. Three runners have exited the Hutcheson to win next out. The winner Wildcat Red came back to win the Fountain of Youth (G2) and then was beaten just a neck in the Florida Derby (G1). The colt has put in four good works over the poly here since his last outing and picks up Victor Espinoza. The colt offers decent value here if he goes off near his 12-1 morning line and keep in mind no betting favorite has won this race in over a decade.
Gala Award is one of three in here sent out by the Todd Pletcher barn. The colt is coming off a victory in the Palm Beach (G3) on turf at Gulfstream Park going nine furlongs in his first start against winners. The colt makes his first start on polytrack but is bred to run on it. The $1.55 million Keeneland purchase is by Bernardini out of a Carson City mare that produced Stormello ($700,100), who won the 2006 Hollywood Futurity (G1) over a synthetic surface. The colt draws a tough post but looks as if he has as much upside as any in the field.
Bobby’s Kitten will attempt to become the first betting favorite to win this race since Peace Rules in 2003. The colt won the Pilgrim (G3) and ran third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) as the beaten favorite last year. His first start in 2014 was a good-looking gate to wire score over the turf at Tampa Bay Downs against allowance company. The colt makes his first start on polytrack here for the Chad Brown barn that is showing a two for eight mark moving runners from turf to synthetics. The colt had a good breeze over the surface on April 5. The colt has been the chalk in all five of his career starts and the price is likely going to be on the light side again in this spot.
Race Rating: $$$
WIN: #3 to win at 6-1 or better.
EX: 3,14 / 3,5,11,14
TRI: 3,14 / 3,5,11,14 / 3,5,11,12,14

No. OP Race 10 The Oaklawn Handicap G2 (5:27 CT) ML FAIR
2 Will Take Charge 1-1 6-5
6 Golden Lad 4-1 7-2
7 Prayer for Relief 12-1 8-1
5 Moreno 9-2 9-2
Analysis: Will Take Charge earned a career top speed fig in his runner up finis to Game On Dude, who ran huge wining the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) last out. The Lukas trainee was eight lengths clear of the rest of the field and has now landed in the exacta in seven straight starts and is proven over the main track here, winning last year's Rebel (G2). It looks as if he will get a good pace set up as the pace should be honest and while he is spotting some wight and is going to be a short price, he is going to be real tough to go against here.
Golden Lad won the Razorback Handicap (G3) last out in his stakes debut for the Pletcher barn, his fourth win in a row. The colt has some tactical speed and should get a good trip sitting just off the pace. Of this entire group he appears to have the most upside and Pletcher seems to have him at the top of his game now. He will need to pop another career top to pull off the upset.
Race Rating: $$
WIN: #2 to win at 6-5 or better.
EX: 2,6 / 2,5,6,7
TRI: 2,6 / 2,5,6,7 / 1,2,5,6,7

No. OP Race 11 The Arkansas Derby G1 (6:07 CT) ML FAIR
9 Strong Mandate 9-2 3-1
8 Bayern 2-1 5-2
6 Commissioner 8-1 5-1
3 Tapiture 9-5 5-2
Analysis: Strong Mandate makes his third start over the Oaklawn Park main track and is seeking his first win. The colt was no match for Tapiture two back in the Southwest (G3) but was coming back off a 3 ½-month break and did not have the best of trips. He was caught in traffic on the first turn and had to come five wide heading for home, drifting out late. Next up in the Rebel (G2) the colt dueled for the early lead and was caught in tight and squeezed back just inside the final furlong, checking in fourth. The extra ground here will suit him and he just needs to get a better trip. The colt is a half to stakes winner Clear Mandate ($1.08 million).
Bayern makes his stakes debut for the Bob Baffert barn and when the Hall of Fame trainer ships to Hot Springs, they are usually live. Over the past five years, Baffert has started 27 horses here and has won 15 races (56%). The colt broke his maiden in his debut by 5 ¼ lengths and came back with a huge effort beating first level allowance foes going a mile, drawing away to win by 15 lengths and earning a 98 Beyer Speed Figure. Baffert won this race in 2012 with Bodemeister who was making just his fourth start and went on to run second in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1). Only one of the last six winners of the Arkansas Derby used the Rebel as a prep and three of them raced at Santa Anita in their last start, which may “bode” well for this guy.
Commissioner will be saddled by Todd Pletcher who won this race last year with Overanalyze. The colt has not lived up to his billing in his last two starts after beating the highly regarded Top Billing in his three-year-old debut. The colt faded to finish sixth in the Fountain of Youth (G2) and then was off a beat slow and raced wide much of the trip in a third place finish in the Sunland Derby (G3) over a surface that was kind to inside speed. The colt is bred to be a good one, by A.P. Indy out of a Touch Gold mare that has dropped a couple of other nice runners in Flaming Heart ($245,961) and Laugh Track ($555,557). Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith picks up the call as his regular rider John Velazquez is at Keeneland riding Gala Award in the Toyota Blue Grass (G1). The colt is worth a good look if he goes off near his 8-1 morning line.
Race Rating: $$$
WIN: #9 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 8,9 / 3,6,8,9
TRI: 8,9 / 3,6,8,9 / 3,6,7,8,9

Good Luck today!

Please check all program numbers and post times before wagering.
Prices listed are the morning line odds followed by fair odds.

Race Ratings:
$$$$: The strongest play of the day. Some days there will not be a race at this rating, but when there is, it's straight to the betting window.
$$$: These races are the best wagering opportunities of the day. I either have a strong opinion on my top pick or feel this is a great race for value in the exotics.
$$: These races are usually races where I do not have a strong opinion, or feel my top pick may end up going off at a short price. A moderate investment only.
$: These races are in most cases a pass. Usually races with short fields offering little value or just inscrutable. Small investment or pass.

I post win, exacta, and trifecta betting recommendations. For trifecta players, as a general rule I do not play trifectas or superfectas in fields of seven or less. When playing trifectas, I usually will key top 2 over top 3 over 4 or 5 horses. On occasion I will key top pick over second and third choices over the field, and top pick over field over second and third choices if the race looks chaotic. In the early and late double, I usually use my top pair in each race. Pick 3's and Pick 4's will offer good value as long as the ML favorite is not my top pick in two of the races.

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