Watch Out, Roy H: Mitole Impresses in Churchill Downs Stakes

Mitole winning the Churchill Downs Stakes (G1) - Coady Photography It’s safe to say the transformation of Mitole from a promising youngster into one of the nation’s leading sprinters was rendered complete during the $500,000 Churchill Downs Stakes (G1) on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs. In the span of 1:21.21, Mitole lived up to the promise he’s shown since 2018 and gave notice he’ll be a force to reckon with this season. Trained by Steve Asmussen, the [...]

Picks and Plays for Dubai World Cup Night

Almond Eye winning the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) - Photo courtesy of the Japan Racing Association By far the best race card in the world this Saturday will take place at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, where the eight Thoroughbred races on Dubai World Cup Night will pit high-class runners from around the world against each other in a series of rich stakes events. I’ve gone through the card and have put together a list of horses that interest me [...]

2018 Year in Review: Horse Racing’s Top 5 Biggest Upsets

Knicks Go winning the Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) - Keeneland Photo Although 2018 was generally a very productive year for racing’s established stars, that doesn’t mean the season went by without any memorable (and occasionally monumental) upsets. Some upsets featured high-priced winners, while others featured favorites that were defeated at very short prices. Comparing and ranking them is tricky, but after going back through the year’s results, here’s my opinion on five of the biggest racing upsets [...]

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 [...]

Roy H, Imperial Hint Meet Again in 2018 Breeders’ Cup Sprint

Promises Fulfilled edges Whitmore in a thrilling renewal of the Phoenix Stakes (gr. III) - Keeneland Photo Nine runners. Eight stakes winners. Seven graded stakes winners. Four Grade 1 winners. One champion. Those are the characteristics that define the field for the $2 million TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) on November 3rd at Churchill Downs, one of the most wide-open and competitive races of the 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Never mind that the nine-horse field represents 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 Picks and Plays for Keeneland Opening Weekend

Keeneland Photo Get ready, everyone! The much-anticipated Keeneland fall meet kicks off on Friday, and opening weekend is packed with top-class stakes races featuring some of the best horses in the country. With high-class competition, large fields, and low-takeout wagers, Keeneland is always popular among horsemen and handicappers alike. Looking to get in on the action? Here are a few prospective picks and plays to get you started…. Friday, October 5 Race 8: Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint Top 10: Will a 3yo Prevail?

Promises Fulfilled winning the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) - Photo by Leslie Martin/Coglianese Photography With the 2018 Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs rapidly approaching—it’s just eight weeks away—the fields for the 14 championship races are starting to take shape. At the moment, it appears that the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) will be among the deepest and most contentious races, so sorting through the numerous talented candidates for the race isn’t an easy task. But I’m [...]

How to Bet the Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens Stakes

Promises Fulfilled winning the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) - Photo by Leslie Martin/Coglianese Photography The first graded stakes race on the Travers Day card is the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes (G1.) The event formerly known as the King’s Bishop Stakes is contested at seven furlongs over the main track. The field is led by the impressive winner of the Dwyer Stakes (G3) #8 Firenze Fire. The son of Poseidon’s Warrior had a strong two-year-old campaign capturing [...]