Picks and Plays for the Las Cienegas and La Canada Stakes

Santa Anita - Photo by © Breeders' Cup/Todd Buchanan 2014 Although most of the attention at Santa Anita this time of year is focused on three-year-olds and Kentucky Derby prep races, the upcoming Saturday card is a bit different, aimed at showcasing older mares on both dirt and turf. The 6.5-furlong $100,000 Las Cienegas Stakes (gr. III) over the unique downhill turf course is first on the agenda, and will be followed two hours later by the 8.5-furlong [...]

Top 10 Highlights of the 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships

Enable winning the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I) - Coady Photography No matter how you slice it, the 2018 Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs was a clear-cut success. Total wagering may have been down slightly from 2017, but the figures were still strong overall, and the racing was nothing less than top-notch. A decision to move all of the juvenile races to Friday (while transferring the historic Distaff back to Saturday) was an inspired idea, giving the two-year-olds [...]

Monomoy Girl Keeps On Winning in Breeders’ Cup Distaff

Monomoy Girl winning the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) - Coady Photography Just how good is the three-year-old filly Monomoy Girl? Well, between February and November, she crossed the wire first in seven straight graded stakes races, including six Grade 1 events, and she proved her mettle against older mare by winning the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I) on November 3rd at Churchill Downs in professional fashion. That’s pretty remarkable, no? On several occasions, Monomoy Girl has [...]

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 [...]

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 Race Order, Post Times, and Wagering Menu

On the same day that pre-entries for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships were released, the Breeders' Cup also revealed the official schedule of races and wagering opportunities for the two-day event. The action will kick off on Friday, November 2nd at 12:55 p.m. Eastern, with five Breeders’ Cup races among the ten events on the Churchill Downs card. The following day, a twelve-race card featuring nine Breeders’ Cup races will get underway at 10:45 a.m. Eastern. $2 WPS, $1 exactas, [...]

2018 Breeders’ Cup Pre-Entries By the Numbers

Boosted by a new race that proved extremely popular at the entry box, a record-breaking 221 horses have been pre-entered for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at on November 2-3 at Churchill Downs. The complete fields were revealed on Wednesday, October 24th, just over a week before the much-anticipated championships will begin. The complete lists of pre-entrants for each race can be viewed on the Breeders’ Cup website. We’ll have lots of handicapping previews coming during the next week, [...]

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’ [...]

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 [...]