Mike Maker-Trained Runners Loom Large in Elkhorn Stakes

Zulu Alpha winning the Sycamore Stakes (G3) - Keeneland Photo Is it possible trainer Mike Maker could sweep the trifecta in Saturday’s $250,000 Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes (G2) going 1 1/2 miles at Keeneland? I don’t think it’s a far-fetched notion. Certainly a victory would come as no surprise. Maker’s former claimer #10 Zulu Alpha seems to have forgotten how to lose, with four wins from his last five starts, including graded stakes triumphs in the Sycamore Stakes (G3), [...]

How to Bet Keeneland’s Lexington Day All-Stakes Pick 4

Rushing Fall winning the Jessamine Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland. Photo: Keeneland/Coady Photography The second Saturday of the 2019 Keeneland spring meet features another action-packed afternoon of high-class racing, including the Jenny Wiley Stakes (G1) and the Lexington Stakes (G3). Those much-anticipated events comprise the last two legs of an all-stakes Pick 4 that has the potential to yield a nice payoff, but only if you can identify the winners of the Ben Ali Stakes (G3) and the [...]

Why I’m Betting Anothertwistafate in the Lexington Stakes

Anothertwistafate winning the El Camino Real Derby - © Vassar Photography/Shane Micheli When ten horses line up to contest Saturday’s $200,000 Lexington Stakes (G3) at Keeneland, the one sure bet is that I’ll be all-in with my support of #4 Anothertwistafate. The 1 1/16-mile race serves as a final, desperate qualifier for the 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1), and offers 20 qualifications points to the winner. Those points alone are unlikely to yield a spot in the starting gate, but [...]

Vekoma Much the Best in Blue Grass Stakes

Vekoma winning the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II) - Keeneland Photo With few exceptions, the top contenders in Saturday’s $1 million Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland ran to expectations as favored Vekoma led home a parade of short-priced, proven stakes winners in the 1 1/8-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race. Coming off of a third-place finish in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, his seasonal debut, Vekoma took a nice [...]

Why I’m Betting Signalman in the Blue Grass Stakes

Signalman winning the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) - Coady Photography To be honest, you could pick a name out of a hat and probably have as good a chance at picking the winner of Saturday’s $1 million Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland as any handicapper employing a more analytical approach. That’s because this 1 1/8-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race has attracted a full field of fourteen starters without any particular standouts. [...]

How to Bet the Hagyard Fayette Stakes

Hofburg training at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography When seven accomplished runners line up to contest the $200,000 Hagyard Fayette Stakes (gr. II) on Saturday at Keeneland, the feature race on the last day of the meet, most eyes will be focused on the lone three-year-old in the field, #6 Hofburg. That’s certainly understandable, since the Bill Mott-trained son of Tapit has compiled a promising record this year, most notably finishing second in the Florida Derby (gr. I) [...]

Keying Longshot Savannah Belle in the Dowager Stakes

Keeneland Photo In handicapping Sunday’s $125,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland, I find it hard to have a great deal of confidence in any of the ten starters. Actually, it’s hard to even predict who will be favored in this 1 ½-mile turf race, because the most accomplished runners on paper aren’t very consistent. The well-bred #10 Vexatious wasn’t disgraced when finishing seventh against males in the Northern Dancer Stakes (gr. I) last time [...]

Why I’m Betting Amy’s Challenge in the Raven Run Stakes

Amy's Challenge winning the Dixie Belle Stakes - Coady Photography As handicappers and racing fans, we all have horses that we follow and support for better or worse. Usually it’s because, at some point early on, we saw them flash significant talent that suggested the future was bright, pushing our expectations so high that we’re tempted to offer up our wagering dollars every time they run. One such horse of mine is running in Saturday’s $250,000 Lexus Raven [...]

How to Bet the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes

Rushing Fall winning the Jessamine Stakes (gr. III). Photo: Keeneland/Coady Photography This is hardly a creative opinion, but on paper it’s hard to make much of a case against #8 Rushing Fall in Saturday’s $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland. Need convincing? Let me give you a few reasons why Rushing Fall should not lose this race: She’s undefeated in two starts over the Keeneland turf course, winning the 2017 Jessamine Stakes (gr. [...]

How to Bet the Jessamine Stakes Trifecta

My Gal Betty winning the Catch a Glimpse Stakes (Michael Burns Photo) After nine months of racing in a dozen countries, the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series will reach its annual conclusion with the running of the $200,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine Stakes (gr. II) on October 10th at Keeneland. The 1 1/16-mile turf test is the last of the 85 “Win and You’re In” prep races that comprise the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, and with a free berth to [...]