2019 Racing Preview: 5 Races You Won’t Want to Miss

Winx - Photo: Australia Turf Club/Sky Racing. With 2019 on the horizon, I’m already looking forward to another sensational year of racing and anticipating some of the exciting showdowns and matchups that we’ll witness across the globe. Five races in particular are already on my radar as intriguing events that I’m excited to watch unfold. In chronological order, they are…. The Pegasus World Cup Invitational (gr. I) When: January 26 Where: Gulfstream Park, Florida The first two editions [...]

Back for More: Eight Breeders’ Cup Champs Could Seek Repeat Wins

Mendelssohn winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (Photo by Ting Shen/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup) As the fields for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup races continue to take shape, it’s becoming increasingly clear that we could see an impressive number of past winners return with an eye on adding additional Breeders’ Cup titles to their records. All told, eight previous Breeders’ Cup winners—six from 2017 and two from 2016—could see action at Churchill Downs four weeks from now. Some will be attempting [...]

Catalina Cruiser Wins Again in Pat O’Brien Stakes

Catalina Cruiser winning the Pat O'Brien Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar - © Benoit Photo Four starts, four victories by a combined margin of 18 ½ lengths. Fast times. Eye-catching speed figures. Just how good is Catalina Cruiser? There’s no telling at the moment. All we know is that he looked like a beast winning the 8.5-furlong San Diego Handicap (gr. II) last month, and he was just as impressive while cutting back to seven furlongs for [...]

Breeders’ Cup Winners Meet in Pat O’Brien Stakes

Roy H winning the Breeders' Cup Sprint - Photo by Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup Who would have guessed that a Grade 2 sprint race would wind up being perhaps the best race of the entire Del Mar summer meet? It’s not something I would have figured, but Saturday’s $200,000 Pat O’Brien Stakes (gr. II)—a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I)—has attracted a field of eight that includes two Breeders’ Cup winners plus [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Classic Top 10: Accelerate Moves to the Top

Accelerate winning the Pacific Classic (gr. I) - © Benoit Photo The retirement of Triple Crown winner Justify has certainly had a significant impact on the landscape for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. Justify was a clear early choice to win the Classic, and in his absence, coming up with a Top 10 list of contenders for the 1 ¼-mile race is a more difficult task. In terms of speed figures, relatively few [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Classic Top 10 – 7/16/18

West Coast winning the Travers Stakes (gr. I) - Photo by NYRA/Coglianese Photos/Chris Rahayel Suffice to say, a lot has happened since I published my first ranking of the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) contenders back in June. With the uncertainty surrounding the racing future of Triple Crown winner Justify, I have decided to at least temporarily remove him from my Top 10. He’ll rejoin my list when or if he resumes serious training. In the meantime, here’s [...]

Handicapping 101: Playing Pedigrees on Muddy Tracks

Always Dreaming winning the 2017 Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography When handicapping major races like the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of data available to help you make your selections. Fractional times? Workouts? Running styles? Pedigrees? Jockey assignments? Post positions? Obscure statistics? It can be hard to weigh all of these factors and come up with confident bets. With so much information available, it can seem counter-intuitive to toss most of [...]

Lessons from tough Breeders’ Cup for punters

World Approval was one of just two favorites to win at the Breeders' Cup. Pic: Coglianese Photos/Susie Raisher. OK, hands up – who out there thought Mor Spirit, Moonshine Memories, Unique Bella, Lady Aurelia, Lady Eli, Drefong, and Bolt d’Oro would all be beaten at the Breeders’ Cup? It’s not often that only two one of the 13 Breeders’ Cup favorites win, as happened at Del Mar this year. But in an unpredictable year, only World Approval and [...]

Mor Spirit the one to beat in Dirt Mile

  Mor Spirit is the early favorite for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. There’s plenty of class on offer in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, but one prep race stands out when trying to work out who might win. Facing a field including two of his Dirt Mile opponents, Mor Spirit romped away with the one-mile Metropolitan Handicap (G1) at Belmont Park June 10. He was 6-1/4 lengths in front of runner-up Sharp Azteca, with Tommy Macho third [...]