Dubai Carnival Update: Walking Thunder Carries Derby Dreams for Dubai

Thunder Snow winning the 2018 Dubai World Cup - Coady Photography From the deserts of the Middle East to the bluegrass of Kentucky, who’s coming to Churchill Downs by way of Dubai? With 170 Kentucky Derby qualification points on the line in the March 30 UAE Derby (UAE-II) at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, we're bound to see one or two horses use the desert challenge as a springboard to Churchill Downs. Although no UAE Derby starter has ever [...]

How to Bet the Pegasus World Cup

City of Light (outside) battles to victory over Accelerate in the Oaklawn Handicap - Coady Photography Accelerate or City of Light—who’ve you got? It seems that the majority of handicappers will be picking one of those two runners to win the $9 million Pegasus World Cup (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park, and it’s easy to understand why. They both won Breeders’ Cup races in November and will be tough to beat if they run to form at Gulfstream. [...]

Should You Bet Deep Closers in the Pegasus World Cup?

Question: Will deep closers who rally from the back of the pack have any chance to contend for a significant piece of the purse in the 2019 Pegasus World Cup (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park? It seems like nine-furlong races at Gulfstream Park often receive special scrutiny since they start so close to the first turn and there’s always concern about horses drawn outside getting hung wide and losing all chance. But might the running style of each individual horse [...]

Accelerate Fits Profile of Past Pegasus World Cup Winners

Accelerate winning the Pacific Classic (gr. I) - © Benoit Photo The Pegasus World Cup Invitational (gr. I) will be held for the third time on January 26th, and while two previous renewals isn’t much of a sample size for identifying race trends, already we’re seeing that it takes a special kind of horse to win North America’s richest horse race. One trend is already obvious. The first two winners of the Pegasus World Cup were Arrogate and [...]

Breeders’ Cup Depth Runs Deep in Third Pegasus World Cup

Accelerate winning the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) - Coady Photography For the third straight year, the top two finishers from the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) are set to contest the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park, but this time around the Breeders’ Cup representation will extend well beyond just the Classic. Accelerate and Gunnevera were the gallant 1-2 finishers in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs, and that would [...]

2019 Racing Preview: 5 Races You Won’t Want to Miss

Winx - Photo: Australia Turf Club/Sky Racing. With 2019 on the horizon, I’m already looking forward to another sensational year of racing and anticipating some of the exciting showdowns and matchups that we’ll witness across the globe. Five races in particular are already on my radar as intriguing events that I’m excited to watch unfold. In chronological order, they are…. The Pegasus World Cup Invitational (gr. I) When: January 26 Where: Gulfstream Park, Florida The first two editions [...]

Accelerate Completes Sensational Season with Breeders’ Cup Classic Victory

Accelerate winning the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) - Coady Photography Long ago, there was some doubt about Accelerate’s ability to handle 1 ¼ miles in top company. He was more of a miler, or so the thinking went; a talented horse no doubt, but not exactly a superstar. But Accelerate has proven to be a classic example of a horse who requires time to mature and reach his peak, and now that he's reached his peak, his [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]