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 [...]

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 [...]

Top 10 Highlights of the 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships

Enable winning the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I) - Coady Photography No matter how you slice it, the 2018 Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs was a clear-cut success. Total wagering may have been down slightly from 2017, but the figures were still strong overall, and the racing was nothing less than top-notch. A decision to move all of the juvenile races to Friday (while transferring the historic Distaff back to Saturday) was an inspired idea, giving the two-year-olds [...]

Monomoy Girl Keeps On Winning in Breeders’ Cup Distaff

Monomoy Girl winning the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) - Coady Photography Just how good is the three-year-old filly Monomoy Girl? Well, between February and November, she crossed the wire first in seven straight graded stakes races, including six Grade 1 events, and she proved her mettle against older mare by winning the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I) on November 3rd at Churchill Downs in professional fashion. That’s pretty remarkable, no? On several occasions, Monomoy Girl has [...]

How to Bet the Multi-Day Breeders’ Cup Doubles

Serengeti Empress winning the Pocahontas Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography A two-day double wager linking the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) with the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) has been a staple of the Breeders’ Cup wagering menu for nearly a decade, but with changes to the race schedule for 2018, the wager has been replaced with three new multi-day doubles that offer plenty of options and excitement for handicappers. With the Distaff moving to [...]

Keying Blue Prize in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff

Blue Prize winning the Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (gr. I) - Keeneland Photo I can certainly understand why many handicappers are viewing the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I) on November 3rd at Churchill Downs as a two-horse race between #2 Abel Tasman and #11 Monomoy Girl. At first glance, the race does look like something of a showdown between those two top contenders. They’ve already proven their worth at Churchill Downs by winning the last two renewals of [...]

2018 Breeders’ Cup Pre-Entries By the Numbers

Boosted by a new race that proved extremely popular at the entry box, a record-breaking 221 horses have been pre-entered for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at on November 2-3 at Churchill Downs. The complete fields were revealed on Wednesday, October 24th, just over a week before the much-anticipated championships will begin. The complete lists of pre-entrants for each race can be viewed on the Breeders’ Cup website. We’ll have lots of handicapping previews coming during the next week, [...]

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 [...]

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’ [...]