Breeders’ Cup Classic Top 10: Maximum Security moves up

Maximum Security winning the Haskell Invitational (G1) - © Bill Denver/Equi-Photo Slowly but surely the top contenders for the Nov. 2 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita are sorting themselves out. The Haskell Invitational (G1) and the Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) served to clarify aspects of the 3-year-old division, while a quartet of top-ranked older runners will square off in the Aug. 3 Whitney Stakes (G1) at Saratoga, a race that will surely shake up the division [...]

Distaff division update: Midnight Bisou, Point of Honor impress

Midnight Bisou (far right) edging Elate (far left) in the Azeri Stakes - Coady Phototgraphy One week after Elate threw down a challenge to her fellow Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) contenders with a sensational victory in the Delaware Handicap (G2), a handful of talented fillies and mares responded with eye-catching performances of their own. The Breeders’ Cup Distaff is shaping up to be among the most exciting and competitive races at the Breeders’ Cup in November at Santa [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff top 5: Elate takes over

Elate winning the Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2) - Coady Photography As we head into summer, the top contenders for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) are beginning to build their credentials for the championship showdown at Santa Anita. Elate has re-emerged as one of the favorites, following an impressive victory in the Delaware Handicap (G2), Midnight Bisou has continued her winning ways with a triumph in the Ogden Phipps (G1) and the 3-year-old Guarana has burst onto [...]

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 [...]

BARN Podcast 6/17/19

We look back at a huge Saturday night card at Churchill Downs which included the Stephen Foster, Elate winning the Fleur de Lis, and more.  We also talk about the Poker Stakes at Belmont and Maximum Security's return to the races at Monmouth Park. 

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 [...]

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 [...]

Will Escape Clause Upset the Apple Blossom Handicap?

Midnight Bisou (far right) edging Elate (far left) in the Azeri Stakes - Coady Phototgraphy There are only six fillies and mares entered in Sunday’s $750,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) at Oaklawn Park, but I’d argue that you won’t find a higher-quality field anywhere in the country this weekend. Five graded stakes winners, two grade 1 winners, and a two-time Canadian classic winner are among the entrants, which is why—despite what the tote board might try to tell [...]