How to play the Stephen Foster Day all-stakes Pick 4

Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Six weeks after the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs will return to the spotlight with a terrific evening of racing Saturday. The 11-race card features five consecutive graded stakes races, so fans of multi-race wagers will have plenty of all-stakes options to choose from. My personal focus will be on the Pick 4, which kicks off in the sixth race. I’ve previewed each race separately for BetAmerica, but since intra-race and multi-race wagers require [...]

Why I’m betting Tom’s d’Etat in the 2019 Stephen Foster Handicap

Tom's d'Etat winning an allowance race at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography There will be no shortage of quality horses for handicappers to choose from in Saturday’s $600,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (G2) at Churchill Downs. The 1 1/8-mile event is the highlight of the racing weekend in North America, offering a hefty purse and a “Win and You’re In” berth to the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). On five occasions, the Stephen Foster winner has gone on to [...]

How to bet the 2019 Fleur de Lis Handicap

Blue Prize winning the Falls City Handicap (gG1) - Coady Photography Three fillies and mares stand above the others in Saturday’s #250,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2) at Churchill Downs. #2 She’s a Julie, #3 Elate and #5 Blue Prize are all grade 1 winners who figure to put on a show in this 1 1/8-mile “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). In terms of Brisnet speed figures, they’re significantly faster than their [...]

How to play the all-stakes Pick 4 on Belmont Stakes Day

Bricks and Mortar winning the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) - Photo by Ashley Blum/Adam Coglianese Photography Belmont Stakes Day Pick 4 There will be no shortage of wagering options on Belmont Stakes Day at Belmont Park, but one of the most appealing bets is the Pick 4 that kicks off in Race 8. The all-stakes sequence has a guaranteed pool of $1.5 million, so with the right combination of longshot winners, the potential exists for a huge [...]

Betting a horse for the course in the Jaipur Invitational

Disco Partner winning the 2017 Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational - © NYRA/Susie Raisher/Adam Coglianese Photography When handicappers tackle the tricky multi-race wagers on Belmont Stakes Day at Belmont Park, you can bet many of them will focus in on #8 World of Trouble as a possible single in the $400,000 Jaipur Invitational (G1). The 4-year-old son of Kantharos looms as an obvious choice on paper. He’s won six of his last seven starts for trainer Jason Servis, with [...]

Looking for longshots in the 2019 Belmont Stakes

Intrepid Heart winning an allowance race - Keeneland Photo There is a surprising lack of genuine speed horses entered in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park. The 1 1/2-mile “Test of the Champion” serves as the third and final leg of the Triple Crown, but although the stakes are high, don’t expect to see jockeys getting aggressive for tactical positions. At least half of the 10 starters can be counted as deep closers, who will settle off [...]

Keeler Johnson’s 2019 Belmont Stakes fair odds line

Intrepid Heart winning his debut at Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography Upon release of the 2019 Belmont Stakes (G1) entries Tuesday evening, I immediately started work on my annual fair odds line for identifying wagering value. The concept behind my fair odds line is simple. For each horse in the field, I ask myself, “What are the chances of this horse reaching the winner’s circle?” After assigning a probability of winning to each horse (25%, 12.50%, etc.), I [...]

How to bet the 2019 Manhattan Stakes

Bricks and Mortar winning the Old Forester Turf Classic (G1) - Coady Photography Trainer Chad Brown seems to be throwing the kitchen sink at Saturday’s $1 million Manhattan Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park, where he's entered four graded stakes winners in a quest to extend his domination of the 1 1/4-mile race. The Manhattan is one of eight grade 1 races scheduled to be run at Belmont on Belmont Stakes Day, and Brown will be tough to beat. [...]

Why I’m betting Firenze Fire in the 2019 Met Mile

Firenze Fire winning the Champagne Stakes (G1) - Photo courtesy of NYRA/Coglianese Photography The Belmont Stakes (G1) is going to be an exciting race, but from a sporting standpoint, the highlight of the spectacular June 8  card at Belmont Park is the $1.2 million Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap (G1). The field for this prestigious one-mile race is packed with some of the best older horses in training. There’s #2 McKinzie, a two-time grade 1 winner entering off a dominant performance in the Alysheba Stakes [...]

Why I’m opposing Serengeti Empress in the Acorn Stakes

Serengeti Empress winning the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) - Coady Photography #1 Serengeti Empress is by far the most accomplished filly entered in Saturday’s $700,000 Acorn Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park, but that doesn’t mean she’s the most likely winner. The 3-year-old daughter of Alternation has three graded stakes wins under her belt and enters the one-mile Acorn off a gate-to-wire victory in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs, where she turned back a challenge from Liora [...]