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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff Top 10: Setbacks for the Favorites

Monomoy Girl winning the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) - Coady Photography The disqualification of Monomoy Girl. The no-show effort from Abel Tasman. The season-ending injury to Elate. Suffice to say, the top contenders for the November 3rd Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs have had some setbacks in recent weeks, with the loss of Elate from the prospective field being a particularly unfortunate blow. But from a betting perspective, at least the race is shaping up to [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff Top 10: Abel Tasman Stays On Top

Abel Tasman edging Elate in the Personal Ensign Stakes (gr. I) - Photo by NYRA/Coglianese Photography/Viola Jasko Since posting my first Top 10 list of contenders for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I), the complexion of the race has changed significantly. The retirement of Unique Bella was certainly a blow, as was the injury that knocked the promising three-year-old Red Ruby out of Distaff contention. But since then, a few other promising runners have emerged on the [...]

Abel Tasman Edges Elate in Thrilling Personal Ensign Stakes

Abel Tasman edging Elate in the Personal Ensign Stakes (gr. I) - Photo by NYRA/Coglianese Photography/Viola Jasko Neck and neck, nose to nose, Abel Tasman and Elate came roaring down the homestretch in Saturday’s $700,000 Personal Ensign Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga, a “Win and You’re In” prep race for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I). The two accomplished fillies had met once before at Saratoga, pushing each other to the limit in a thrilling renewal of [...]

Why I’m Betting Elate in the Personal Ensign Stakes

Abel Tasman (left) beats Elate in the Coaching Club American Oaks. Photo: Coglianese Photos/Chelsea Durand. On paper, it’s not hard to reach the conclusion that Saturday’s $700,000 Personal Ensign Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga is essentially a match race between #1 Abel Tasman and #6 Elate. That’s certainly an exciting prospect considering the fantastic show they put on over this track and distance in the Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) last summer, a race in which Abel [...]