Elate rebounds in Fleur de Lis Handicap

Elate winning the Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2) - Coady Photography Very good horses are able to overcome adversity to win major races, and it’s safe to say Elate is a very good horse. The 5-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro had every excuse to lose the $250,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2) on June 15 at Churchill Downs. She broke sluggishly from the gate, then wound up boxed in behind horses, unable to shift out for a clear run [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Patience Pays Off, She’s a Julie Wins La Troienne

She's a Julie winning the La Troienne Stakes (G1) - Coady Photography She wasn’t the favorite—three rivals started at shorter prices—but when push came to shove, She’s a Julie was indisputably the best filly in the $500,000 La Troienne Stakes (G1) on Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs. She’s a Julie is a perfect example of a horse who needed time to mature before reaching peak form. After winning her debut as a 2-year-old at Churchill Downs, the [...]

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 [...]

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 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 Picks and Plays for Keeneland Opening Weekend

Keeneland Photo Get ready, everyone! The much-anticipated Keeneland fall meet kicks off on Friday, and opening weekend is packed with top-class stakes races featuring some of the best horses in the country. With high-class competition, large fields, and low-takeout wagers, Keeneland is always popular among horsemen and handicappers alike. Looking to get in on the action? Here are a few prospective picks and plays to get you started…. Friday, October 5 Race 8: Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes [...]

Eskimo Kisses, Blue Prize Among Big Names in Keeneland’s Spinster Stakes

Blue Prize winning the Falls City Handicap (gr. II) - Coady Photography There’s a good chance that when the dust settles after Sunday’s $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, a new Grade 1 winner will have been crowned. The 1 1/8-mile race has attracted a deep, competitive field of eleven fillies and mares—all vying for the winner’s share of the purse plus a “Win and You’re In” berth to the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I)—but [...]