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 [...]

Exploring the Advantages of First-Time Lasix

Cairo Cat (left) rallies to defeat Tight Ten in the Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography If you’ve followed horse racing for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard phrases like “first-time Lasix” or “racing without Lasix.” But what does it all mean? For the most part, racehorses in North America are treated with Lasix a few hours prior to post time in order to lessen the likelihood of them suffering from exercise-induced pulmonary [...]

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 [...]

From Last to First, Sippican Harbor Wins the Spinaway

Sippican Harbor winning the Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) - Photo by NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography It might seem like a difficult task to rally from last-to-first in the final three furlongs of a seven-furlong sprint, but Sippican Harbor certainly made the task look easy enough in Saturday’s $350,000 Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. The first Grade 1 of the year for two-year-olds attracted eleven starters, but not even a large field and a wide trip could stop Sippican [...]

Del Mar and Saratoga 2yos Analysis: Grade 1s Close Out the Meets

Instagrand winning the Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar - © BENOIT PHOTO Although we’re nearing the conclusions of the 2018 summer meets at Del Mar and Saratoga, there’s still plenty of top-notch juvenile racing still to come. In fact, the meets are going to end with a bang in that respect! Saturday will see fillies take the stage in the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) at Del Mar and the Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) at [...]

Why I’m Keying Restless Rider in the Spinaway Stakes

Restless Rider winning the Debutante Stakes - Coady Photography The East Coast, Midwest, and West Coast will all be well represented in Saturday’s $350,000 Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga, so there’s no guarantee that the East Coast’s first major prize for two-year-old fillies will be won by a local runner. Twelve promising juveniles have turned out to contest this seven-furlong "Win and You're In" prep race for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), with #4 Catherinethegreat [...]

Keying Restless Rider in the Debutante Stakes

Shanghai Rain (outside) winning her debut at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography You have to admire any horse that overcomes adversity to win a race. And when the horse in question is an unraced two-year-old filly making her debut, you have to wonder if you’re looking at an above-average runner. In handicapping Saturday’s $100,000 Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs, a six-furlong sprint for juvenile fillies, I’m drawn to the chances of #5 Restless Rider. Why? Well, just read [...]