Distaff division update: Midnight Bisou, Point of Honor impress

Midnight Bisou (far right) edging Elate (far left) in the Azeri Stakes - Coady Phototgraphy One week after Elate threw down a challenge to her fellow Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) contenders with a sensational victory in the Delaware Handicap (G2), a handful of talented fillies and mares responded with eye-catching performances of their own. The Breeders’ Cup Distaff is shaping up to be among the most exciting and competitive races at the Breeders’ Cup in November at Santa [...]

Elate rebounds in Fleur de Lis Handicap

Elate winning the Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2) - Coady Photography Very good horses are able to overcome adversity to win major races, and it’s safe to say Elate is a very good horse. The 5-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro had every excuse to lose the $250,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2) on June 15 at Churchill Downs. She broke sluggishly from the gate, then wound up boxed in behind horses, unable to shift out for a clear run [...]

How to play the Stephen Foster Day all-stakes Pick 4

Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Six weeks after the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs will return to the spotlight with a terrific evening of racing Saturday. The 11-race card features five consecutive graded stakes races, so fans of multi-race wagers will have plenty of all-stakes options to choose from. My personal focus will be on the Pick 4, which kicks off in the sixth race. I’ve previewed each race separately for BetAmerica, but since intra-race and multi-race wagers require [...]

How to bet the 2019 Fleur de Lis Handicap

Blue Prize winning the Falls City Handicap (gG1) - Coady Photography Three fillies and mares stand above the others in Saturday’s #250,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2) at Churchill Downs. #2 She’s a Julie, #3 Elate and #5 Blue Prize are all grade 1 winners who figure to put on a show in this 1 1/8-mile “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). In terms of Brisnet speed figures, they’re significantly faster than their [...]

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 [...]

4 Racing Storylines to Follow in Summer 2019

Newspaperofrecord winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) - Coady Photography With the Kentucky Derby complete and the spring racing season well underway, I’m already looking ahead to some of the great racing action we can expect to see this summer. The 13 graded stakes races held at Churchill Downs on Derby week produced some interesting storylines to keep an eye on during the second half of the year. Here are just a few of my main [...]

Reflections on My Up-and-Down Derby Week Handicapping

Maximum Security and Country House battle to the wire in the Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography From a handicapping and wagering perspective, Kentucky Derby week at Churchill Downs was a mixed bag for me. If I’m being honest, the week got off on the wrong foot when my confident top choice for the Derby—Omaha Beach­­—scratched from the race with an entrapped epiglottis, which sent me scurrying to regroup and rethink my plays. Overall, the week was filled with [...]

Patience Pays Off, She’s a Julie Wins La Troienne

She's a Julie winning the La Troienne Stakes (G1) - Coady Photography She wasn’t the favorite—three rivals started at shorter prices—but when push came to shove, She’s a Julie was indisputably the best filly in the $500,000 La Troienne Stakes (G1) on Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs. She’s a Julie is a perfect example of a horse who needed time to mature before reaching peak form. After winning her debut as a 2-year-old at Churchill Downs, the [...]

How to Bet the Kentucky Oaks Pick 4

World of Trouble winning the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint Stakes - © Leslie Martin/Adam Coglianese Photography Good luck to anyone playing the stakes-packed Pick 4 ending with the $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs this afternoon. It might require a big budget to hit. The sequence is filled with deep and competitive races, starting with the $500,000 La Troienne Stakes (G1), the eighth race on the card. #2 Blue Prize loves Churchill Downs, but she’s making her [...]