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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Whitmore Rides the Rail to Victory in Forego Stakes

Whitmore winning the Forego Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga - Photo by NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography/Chelsea Durand It was a tale of two trips, and how differing circumstances can favor one horse while putting others at a disadvantage. You really won’t see a more clear-cut example how trips can affect the outcome of a race than the example we witnessed in Saturday’s $600,000 Forego Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. The seven-furlong sprint was won in determined fashion by the [...]

Deep Field Assembles for Forego Stakes

Limousine Liberal wins the Aristides Stakes at Churchill Downs. Pic: Coady Photography. If you’re looking for a future winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile or Breeders’ Cup Sprint, you are strongly advised to check out the field for Saturday’s $600,000 Forego Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. The prestigious seven-furlong event offers a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, but since the distance of the Forego falls directly in between the distances of [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint Top 10 – 7/27/18

Chief Cicatriz winning the Aristides Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography As part of my ongoing “Breeders’ Cup Top 10” series, I decided this week to rank my Top 10 contenders for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. Given the large number of talented sprinters in North America, this was not an easy list to compile. I chose to leave off such prominent runners as Mind Your Biscuits, who might be [...]

Limousine Liberal Edges Whitmore in Thrilling Belmont Sprint Championship

Churchill Downs specialist Limousine Liberal is shaping up to be a major contender for the 2018 Breeders' Cup Sprint - Photo by Coady Photography. With a “Win and You’re In” berth to the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) on the line, there was more at stake in Saturday’s $350,000 Belmont Sprint Championship (gr. II) at Belmont Park than the winner’s share of a hefty purse. Whether that fact played in the minds of the jockeys down the homestretch can’t [...]

Why I’m Betting Shaft of Light in the Belmont Sprint Championship

Shaft of Light winning the Russell Road Stakes at Charles Town - Coady Photography The field might be small, but you can’t knock the quality of Saturday’s $350,000 Belmont Sprint Championship Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park, a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) in November at Churchill Downs. Six horses, ranging in age from four to seven, have been entered in the seven-furlong sprint, with weight assignments ranging from 116 to 122 [...]