2018 Year in Review: In Remembrance of Racing’s Departed Stars

Private Zone winning the Forego Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga - Photo by NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography With 2018 winding down, the following is a brief remembrance of equine and human stars who passed away during the course of the year. Though hardly a complete list, we hope to shine a spotlight on some of these memorable figures and their unforgettable accomplishments in the sport of horse racing. John Asher During his 21 years of work at Churchill Downs—the [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Classic Top 10: Yoshida Enters the Picture

Yoshida winning the Woodward Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga - Photo by Susie Raisher/Adam Coglianese Photography A lot has changed since I posted my last Top 10 ranking of contenders for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. Major races like the Travers Stakes, Woodward Stakes, and Pennsylvania Derby have significantly influenced the landscape of contenders, while a wildly talented European has joined the list of possible starters. So with six weeks to go, here [...]

Who Are the Top Contenders for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic?

Accelerate winning the Pacific Classic (gr. I) - © Benoit Photo In recent years, the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) has not been the most competitive race from a handicapping perspective, turning instead into a showcase showdown between two star runners (Arrogate and California Chrome in 2016, Gun Runner and Arrogate in 2017) or just a simple coronation of an undisputed champion (American Pharoah in 2015). However, the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic promises to be different. With the [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Classic Top 10: Accelerate Moves to the Top

Accelerate winning the Pacific Classic (gr. I) - © Benoit Photo The retirement of Triple Crown winner Justify has certainly had a significant impact on the landscape for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. Justify was a clear early choice to win the Classic, and in his absence, coming up with a Top 10 list of contenders for the 1 ¼-mile race is a more difficult task. In terms of speed figures, relatively few [...]

Diversify Overcomes Obstacles in Whitney Stakes

Diversify in the winner's circle after winning the Suburban Stakes (gr. II) - Photo by NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography A sloppy, sealed track. A 45-minute weather-related delay. A fast pace. A quality field. You certainly can’t claim that Diversify had things easy in Saturday’s $1.2 million Whitney Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. Quite to the contrary, the Richard Violette, Jr.-trained runner faced challenges and obstacles at seemingly every turn, both before and during the running of the prestigious nine-furlong [...]

How to Bet the Whitney Stakes

Diversify in the winner's circle after winning the Suburban Stakes (gr. II) - Photo by NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography He may have been a last-minute entrant, but #6 Diversify certainly looms as the horse to beat in Saturday’s $1.2 million Whitney Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga, a prestigious “Win and You’re In” prep race on the road to the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I). Simply put, Diversify has been a beast in his home state of New York. Trained [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Classic Top 10 – 7/16/18

West Coast winning the Travers Stakes (gr. I) - Photo by NYRA/Coglianese Photos/Chris Rahayel Suffice to say, a lot has happened since I published my first ranking of the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) contenders back in June. With the uncertainty surrounding the racing future of Triple Crown winner Justify, I have decided to at least temporarily remove him from my Top 10. He’ll rejoin my list when or if he resumes serious training. In the meantime, here’s [...]

Top Programs for 2yos, 3yos Highlight 2018 Saratoga Stakes Schedule

Saratoga - Photo by Adam Mooshian/Coglianese Photos Summer may have officially arrived in June, but for horsemen, racing fans, and bettors, the season doesn’t truly begin until the annual summer meets at Del Mar and Saratoga open for business in mid-July. Both meets are packed with rich stakes races that are expected to attract some of the most accomplished runners in the nation, as well as some of the most promising two-year-olds with 2019 Triple Crown aspirations. We’ve [...]

How to Bet the Grade 2 Suburban

The New York Racing Association has put together a strong stakes laden card this Saturday afternoon that includes five-graded stakes races over the 11-race slate. The Grade 1 Belmont Derby and the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks attracted world class fields and will receive the most attention, but the Grade 2 Suburban also drew a competitive group of older handicap horses for the mile and a quarter trek over the main track. The field is led by a pair of runners [...]

Belmont’s Memorial Day Card Packed With State-Bred Stakes Races

Belmont Park - Chelsea Durand/Coglianese Photography If you thought that the upcoming racing action on Saturday and Sunday at Belmont Park seemed a bit thin in terms of stakes races, you’re correct, but that’s because Belmont is saving most of the weekend action for Memorial Day. Six of the ten races on Belmont’s Monday card are stakes races for New York-breds, and all of them are shaping up to be competitive events with plenty of options for bettors. [...]