Breeders’ Cup Classic top 10: Thunder Snow impresses in defeat

Thunder Snow winning the 2018 Dubai World Cup (G1) - Coady Photography A busy Saturday of racing at Belmont Park on Belmont Stakes Day saw a handful of contenders for the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) enhance their résumés. Others faltered under the bright lights and will have to rebound this summer. No clear favorite has emerged for the 1 1/4-mile race Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park. Your guess is as good as mine when it comes [...]

Which Horses are Bred to Handle the Belmont Stakes Distance?

Intrepid Heart winning his debut at Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography While many handicappers will argue pedigrees are no longer a key factor in determining the winner of the Kentucky Derby, they remain an important aspect to consider when analyzing potential contenders for the Belmont Stakes. The 1 1/2-mile distance of the “Test of the Champion" places more emphasis on stamina than the 1 1/4 miles of the Kentucky Derby, so generally speaking Belmont winners tend to boast [...]

Which Horses Have the Best Chance to Win the Belmont Stakes?

Game Winner winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) - Coady Photography With entries due in less than two weeks, the field is slowly coming together for the final leg of the Triple Crown, the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 8 at Belmont Park. At least 11 horses are under consideration for the 1 1/2-mile “Test of the Champion,” and more could join the field during the coming weeks. The Belmont figures to come up deeper [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Classic Top 10: Wide Open

Thunder Snow winning the 2018 Dubai World Cup - Coady Photography Who exactly are the early favorites to win the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita Park? A dearth of proven star power among the older horses and a 3-year-old division lacking clarity makes that question difficult to answer. But as we prepare to enter the second half of the 2019 racing season, here’s how I rank some of the top contenders for the 1 1/4-mile [...]

Reflections on My Up-and-Down Derby Week Handicapping

Maximum Security and Country House battle to the wire in the Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography From a handicapping and wagering perspective, Kentucky Derby week at Churchill Downs was a mixed bag for me. If I’m being honest, the week got off on the wrong foot when my confident top choice for the Derby—Omaha Beach­­—scratched from the race with an entrapped epiglottis, which sent me scurrying to regroup and rethink my plays. Overall, the week was filled with [...]

Five Takeaways from the 2019 Kentucky Derby

Maximum Security and Country House battle to the wire in the Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography The Kentucky Derby is nicknamed “the greatest two minutes in sports,” but it’s safe to say the 2019 renewal could also be considered “the most controversial two minutes in sports.” Seemingly everyone—even the President of the United States—has shared an opinion on the disqualification of Maximum Security, who crossed the wire first only to be disqualified for interference on the far turn, [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby Horse-by-Horse Trip Notes

The finish of the 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1) - Coady Photography The 2019 Kentucky Derby will go down as one of the strangest and most controversial in history, but for handicappers, it’s just another race to dissect the same as any other. While most of the attention is being focused on the disqualified Maximum Security, the upgraded winner Country House and the troubled pair of War of Will and Long Range Toddy, it’s important for handicappers to take a [...]

2019 Kentucky Oaks/Kentucky Derby Double Will Pays

Serengeti Empress winning the Kentucky Oaks (G1) - Coady Photography The frontrunning 13-1 upset by #13 Serengeti Empress in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs has produced some eye-catching potential payoffs in the Kentucky Oaks/Kentucky Derby Double. Bettors who successfully picked Serengeti Empress in the first leg of the two-day double will be live to $1 payoffs between $110.60 and $1,679.30, depending on which horse(s) they paired her with in the Kentucky Derby. The complete list of “will [...]

How to Bet the Oaks/Turf Classic/Derby Pick 3

Bricks and Mortar winning the Pegasus World Cup Turf (gr. I) - Photo by Ashley Blum/Adam Coglianese Photography There are a handful of interesting multi-day bets on the agenda at Churchill Downs, each one pairing races on Kentucky Oaks Day with races on Kentucky Derby Day. Yesterday I shared my wagering strategy for the popular Oaks/Derby Double, but I encourage you to check out the similar Pick 3 that sandwiches the Oaks and Derby around the $1 million Old Forester [...]

How to Bet the 2019 Kentucky Oaks/Kentucky Derby Double

Abel Tasman winning the Kentucky Oaks (G1) - Coady Photography Do you think you’ve identified the most likely winners of the 2019 Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs? Then why don’t you combine your opinions and play the popular Oaks/Derby Double? This specialty bet pairs the May 3 Kentucky Oaks with the May 4 Kentucky Derby in a classic “daily double” and attracts a few million dollars in wagers each year. If you can [...]