2019 Kentucky Oaks Final Top 5 Rankings

Bellafina winning the Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar - © BENOIT PHOTO The Kentucky Oaks, on the Friday before the Run for the Roses, is shaping up to be incredibly competitive. Last year, Monomoy Girl easily won the Oaks, but this year’s favorite, Bellafina, could face some serious competition. No doubt, Bellafina’s the chalk. She’s at the top of my final Kentucky Oaks Top 5 because she’s a dynamite racehorse and the most accomplished of the [...]

No Shortage of Derby Contenders Boasting Triple-Digit BRIS Speed Figures

Game Winner winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) - Coady Photography Generally speaking, Beyer and BRIS speed figures are arranged on a similar scale. A young horse that posts a triple-digit number is a fast and probably stakes-caliber runner with a bright future. But interestingly, the Beyer and BRIS speed figures paint differing pictures of the 2019 Triple Crown contenders. On the Beyer scale, just two members of this foal crop have cracked the triple-digit barrier, those [...]

How to Bet the Las Virgenes Stakes

Bellafina winning the Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar - © BENOIT PHOTO In my opinion, the only way to make a meaningful profit playing Saturday’s $200,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita is to play the exotics straight and hope that your selections are absolutely perfect. Just five three-year-old fillies have been entered in this one-mile Road to the Kentucky Oaks prep race, and on paper, the four-time graded stakes winner #3 Bellafina towers [...]

Dubai Carnival Update: Walking Thunder Carries Derby Dreams for Dubai

Thunder Snow winning the 2018 Dubai World Cup - Coady Photography From the deserts of the Middle East to the bluegrass of Kentucky, who’s coming to Churchill Downs by way of Dubai? With 170 Kentucky Derby qualification points on the line in the March 30 UAE Derby (UAE-II) at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, we're bound to see one or two horses use the desert challenge as a springboard to Churchill Downs. Although no UAE Derby starter has ever [...]

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 [...]

Bellafina Favored in Deep Renewal of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies

Bellafina winning the Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar - © BENOIT PHOTO At some point in the lengthy history of the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), there has probably been a better field than the one that has assembled for Friday’s renewal of the race at Churchill Downs. But I’d be hard-pressed to tell you which field that might have been, because quite frankly, the 2018 Juvenile Fillies is shaping up to be [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Top 10

Bellafina winning the Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar - © BENOIT PHOTO If you think you’ve still got plenty of time to wait before diving into handicapping the 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships… think again! The deadline for pre-entries is October 22nd, just one week away, and the prospective fields will be released to the public shortly thereafter, so we’re definitely in the homestretch of the lead-up to these much-anticipated championship races. Certainly one of the [...]

Bellafina Completes Rare Sweep in Chandelier Stakes

Bellafina winning the Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar - © BENOIT PHOTO No matter how you slice it, it takes a pretty special filly to sweep the Sorrento Stakes (gr. II), Del Mar Debutante (gr. I), and Chandelier Stakes (gr. I), California’s three major prep races for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). Over the last 40 years, only four fillies have completed this impressive three-race streak, starting with Arewehavingfunyet (1985) and continuing with the [...]

Will Someone Upset Bellafina in the Chandelier Stakes?

Bellafina winning the Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar - © BENOIT PHOTO If you have a strong opinion on who will win Saturday’s $300,000 Chandelier Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita, feel free to let me know, because in my opinion you can make a reasonably strong case for every filly in this field! That’s not to say that the race doesn’t have a clear favorite. Actually, #6 Bellafina was much the best in both the [...]

Del Mar and Saratoga 2yos Analysis: Grade 1s Close Out the Meets

Instagrand winning the Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar - © BENOIT PHOTO Although we’re nearing the conclusions of the 2018 summer meets at Del Mar and Saratoga, there’s still plenty of top-notch juvenile racing still to come. In fact, the meets are going to end with a bang in that respect! Saturday will see fillies take the stage in the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) at Del Mar and the Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) at [...]