2018 Year in Review: Horse Racing’s Top 5 Biggest Upsets

Knicks Go winning the Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) - Keeneland Photo Although 2018 was generally a very productive year for racing’s established stars, that doesn’t mean the season went by without any memorable (and occasionally monumental) upsets. Some upsets featured high-priced winners, while others featured favorites that were defeated at very short prices. Comparing and ranking them is tricky, but after going back through the year’s results, here’s my opinion on five of the biggest racing upsets [...]

Monomoy Girl Keeps On Winning in Breeders’ Cup Distaff

Monomoy Girl winning the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) - Coady Photography Just how good is the three-year-old filly Monomoy Girl? Well, between February and November, she crossed the wire first in seven straight graded stakes races, including six Grade 1 events, and she proved her mettle against older mare by winning the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I) on November 3rd at Churchill Downs in professional fashion. That’s pretty remarkable, no? On several occasions, Monomoy Girl has [...]

How to Bet the Multi-Day Breeders’ Cup Doubles

Serengeti Empress winning the Pocahontas Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography A two-day double wager linking the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) with the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) has been a staple of the Breeders’ Cup wagering menu for nearly a decade, but with changes to the race schedule for 2018, the wager has been replaced with three new multi-day doubles that offer plenty of options and excitement for handicappers. With the Distaff moving to [...]

Keying Blue Prize in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff

Blue Prize winning the Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (gr. I) - Keeneland Photo I can certainly understand why many handicappers are viewing the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I) on November 3rd at Churchill Downs as a two-horse race between #2 Abel Tasman and #11 Monomoy Girl. At first glance, the race does look like something of a showdown between those two top contenders. They’ve already proven their worth at Churchill Downs by winning the last two renewals of [...]

2018 Breeders’ Cup Pre-Entries By the Numbers

Boosted by a new race that proved extremely popular at the entry box, a record-breaking 221 horses have been pre-entered for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at on November 2-3 at Churchill Downs. The complete fields were revealed on Wednesday, October 24th, just over a week before the much-anticipated championships will begin. The complete lists of pre-entrants for each race can be viewed on the Breeders’ Cup website. We’ll have lots of handicapping previews coming during the next week, [...]

2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic vs. Distaff: Which Will Be the Better Race?

Monomoy Girl winning the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) - Coady Photography The $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic… the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff… they’re arguably the two most important races of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, but which one is shaping up to be the bigger highlight 2 ½ weeks from now at Churchill Downs? Well, that depends on your point of view—that is, whether you’re primarily a bettor seeking a big wagering score or a racing fan [...]

Four Weeks Out: Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Top 10 Rankings

Promises Fulfilled edges Whitmore in a thrilling renewal of the Phoenix Stakes (gr. III) - Keeneland Photo With the vast majority of the Breeders’ Cup prep races having been completed, now is the perfect time to start mulling over the top contenders for each race and shaping our early opinions of who might win and who might be vulnerable to defeat. Over the last several months, I’ve been posting lists of my top ten contenders for various Breeders’ [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff Top 10: Setbacks for the Favorites

Monomoy Girl winning the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) - Coady Photography The disqualification of Monomoy Girl. The no-show effort from Abel Tasman. The season-ending injury to Elate. Suffice to say, the top contenders for the November 3rd Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs have had some setbacks in recent weeks, with the loss of Elate from the prospective field being a particularly unfortunate blow. But from a betting perspective, at least the race is shaping up to [...]

BARN Podcast 10/2/18

We discuss the Oklahoma Derby and Zenyatta Stakes from Sunday and welcome in Jeremy Balan from the Bloodhorse to discuss all the latest news in Southern California including the Santa Anita weekend stakes, his article on OXO Equine, talking with trainers, and much more!

Abel Tasman Stands Out in Zenyatta Stakes

Abel Tasman edging Elate in the Personal Ensign Stakes (gr. I) - Photo by NYRA/Coglianese Photography/Viola Jasko In this day and age, with an increasing number of top-class horses skipping the final round of Breeders’ Cup prep races in favor of training up to the championship, it’s encouraging to see the highly accomplished Abel Tasman among the six fillies and mares entered in Sunday’s $300,000 Zenyatta Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita. Abel Tasman certainly could have trained [...]