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 [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Top 5: Never Too Early

Hop Kat winning his debut at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography The 2019 Triple Crown season isn’t over yet, but surely it isn’t too early to be thinking about 2-year-olds and the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, right? Forgive me if I’m jumping the gun, but the juvenile racing action will be heating up before we know it, and I already have my eyes on a few promising colts who could make some noise during the summer and fall. [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Classic Top 10: Roaring Lion Takes the Spotlight

West Coast winning the Travers Stakes (gr. I) - Photo by NYRA/Coglianese Photos/Chris Rahayel We’re less than two weeks away from the 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs, and pre-entries for the fourteen championship races are set to be revealed on Wednesday. The Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) is shaping up to be among the most competitive races with an oversubscribed field expected to be entered. Who will claim the winner’s share of the $6,000,000 purse? [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Top 10

Bellafina winning the Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar - © BENOIT PHOTO If you think you’ve still got plenty of time to wait before diving into handicapping the 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships… think again! The deadline for pre-entries is October 22nd, just one week away, and the prospective fields will be released to the public shortly thereafter, so we’re definitely in the homestretch of the lead-up to these much-anticipated championship races. Certainly one of the [...]

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’ [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Top 10: Game Winner Leads the Way

Game Winner winning the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) - © Benoit Photo Now that the final major prep races for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) have been run, we can start analyzing the prospective field and rank the top contenders with significantly greater knowledge and information than we would have possessed even a week ago. So I’ll kick off the new week by sharing my Top 10 contenders for the much-anticipated Churchill Downs championship…. Game [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff Top 10: Setbacks for the Favorites

Monomoy Girl winning the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) - Coady Photography The disqualification of Monomoy Girl. The no-show effort from Abel Tasman. The season-ending injury to Elate. Suffice to say, the top contenders for the November 3rd Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs have had some setbacks in recent weeks, with the loss of Elate from the prospective field being a particularly unfortunate blow. But from a betting perspective, at least the race is shaping up to [...]

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 [...]