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 [...]

Mia Mischief Wins Humana Distaff with Rapid Mid-Race Move

Mia Mischief winning the Humana Distaff (G1) - Coady Photography Mia Mischief has always shown talent, but on racing’s biggest days she’s had trouble delivering on her potential. But everything changed on Kentucky Derby Day, when Mia Mischief delivered a dominant victory in the $500,000 Humana Distaff (G1) going seven furlongs at Churchill Downs, the first top-level win of her career. Considering the manner in which she prevailed, additional grade 1 wins could well be in her future. Disregarded [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Saturday Spot Plays

Divisidero winning the 2016 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. I) - Coady Photography As usual, the Breeders’ Cup Saturday card is packed with large fields, competitive races, and exciting wagering opportunities. When you pit this many talented horses against each other, you’re bound to find an abundance of live contenders offering appealing odds. With this in mind, I’ve gone through the Saturday card gathering up a few “spot plays.” Basically, I’m just looking for non-favorites and longshots that [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff Top 10: Abel Tasman Stays On Top

Abel Tasman edging Elate in the Personal Ensign Stakes (gr. I) - Photo by NYRA/Coglianese Photography/Viola Jasko Since posting my first Top 10 list of contenders for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I), the complexion of the race has changed significantly. The retirement of Unique Bella was certainly a blow, as was the injury that knocked the promising three-year-old Red Ruby out of Distaff contention. But since then, a few other promising runners have emerged on the [...]

Marley’s Freedom Impresses in Ballerina Stakes

Marley's Freedom winning the Ballerina Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga - Photo by NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography The Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has won a lot of big races through the years, but one that has proven elusive is the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I), the season-ending championship race for female sprinters. However, it appears that Baffert will have a very strong chance to check off that box in November thanks to Marley’s Freedom, [...]

Price Horses to Consider on the Travers Day Card at Saratoga

Logical horses are likely to win the majority of Grade 1 events at Saratoga on Saturday afternoon, but it is also possible that the “graveyard of favorites” will produce a longshot or two on the Travers Stakes Day card. Here are a few runners that are listed at double digit odds on the morning line and are worth consideration in your exotic wagers if not on the Win end: Ballerina Stakes (Race 8) #5 Finley’sluckycharm, #6 Lewis Bay and #7 [...]

How to Bet the Ballerina Stakes

Finley'sluckycharm winning the Chicago Handicap (gr. III) - Coady Photography There certainly aren’t many speed horses entered in the $500,000 Ballerina Stakes (gr. I) on Saturday at Saratoga, which means that the pace of the seven-furlong race could be on the slow side. It might not be as slow as last year, when By the Moon got away with turtle-like fractions of :24.05 and :47.81 on her way to a gate-to-wire victory, but with #5 Finley’sluckycharm looming as the [...]