May 2019 Breeders’ Cup Overview: Who Leads Each Division?

Bricks and Mortar winning the Old Forester Turf Classic (G1) - Coady Photography Don’t look now, but the 2019 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park is just more than five months away, and the first North American leg of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series kicks off this weekend. Handicappers will be happy to know several key Breeders’ Cup divisions look wide open this year, which should make the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races exciting and competitive. Let’s quickly [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff Top 10: Division is Deep

Monomoy Girl winning the 2018 Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) - Coady Photography The potential field and top contenders for the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) might be unclear at this point, but the same can’t be said for the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), which could be among the highlights of the championship series at Santa Anita Park this fall. There’s no shortage of high-class fillies and mares targeting the Distaff, and in compiling an initial Top 10 [...]

Reflections on My Up-and-Down Derby Week Handicapping

Maximum Security and Country House battle to the wire in the Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography From a handicapping and wagering perspective, Kentucky Derby week at Churchill Downs was a mixed bag for me. If I’m being honest, the week got off on the wrong foot when my confident top choice for the Derby—Omaha Beach­­—scratched from the race with an entrapped epiglottis, which sent me scurrying to regroup and rethink my plays. Overall, the week was filled with [...]

Frontrunning Tactics Pays Off for Serengeti Empress in Kentucky Oaks

Serengeti Empress winning the Kentucky Oaks (G1) - Coady Photography A bold, frontrunning gambit paid off for Serengeti Empress in the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 3 at Churchill Downs, surprising many handicappers who were expecting anything but a gate-to-wire winner. A full field of 14 3-year-old fillies, many of them speedy frontrunners or pace-pressers, lined up to contest 145th running of the Kentucky Oaks, so a fast and contested pace was widely expected. But when [...]

How to Bet the Kentucky Oaks Pick 4

World of Trouble winning the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint Stakes - © Leslie Martin/Adam Coglianese Photography Good luck to anyone playing the stakes-packed Pick 4 ending with the $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs this afternoon. It might require a big budget to hit. The sequence is filled with deep and competitive races, starting with the $500,000 La Troienne Stakes (G1), the eighth race on the card. #2 Blue Prize loves Churchill Downs, but she’s making her [...]

How to Bet the 2019 Kentucky Oaks

Flor de La Mar jogging at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography There’s no shortage of speed entered in the 145th Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 3 at Churchill Downs, which could present challenging circumstances for several key contenders in the 1 1/8-mile race. A full field will turn out to contest the Oaks, which pits the best 3-year-old fillies from across the U.S. against each other in an interstate showdown. But many of the favorites share similar running [...]

What Are the 2019 Kentucky Oaks Odds?

2019 Kentucky Oaks post position draw - Coady Photography On a quiet Monday morning, entries for the Kentucky Oaks (G1) were finalized during the much-anticipated post position draw at Churchill Downs. The 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-old fillies carries a purse of $1.25 million and is scheduled to be run May 3, one day prior to the Kentucky Derby. The race will be shown live on NBCSN as part of a 6 1/2-hour broadcast that kicks off at noon [...]

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 [...]