2019 Kentucky Derby: Trainers, Facts and Trends

Bode Baffert (and Mike Smith) holds up the Derby trophy as his father, trainer Bob Baffert (second from left), enjoys the moment after Justify won the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs (Skip Dickstein/Times Union) Some of the best-known trainers in North American horse racing will be represented by major contenders in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, but as usual, the “Run for the Roses” will make room for a few newcomers as well. Sixteen different [...]

Kentucky Derby Make the Case: Omaha Beach and By My Standards

Omaha Beach winning the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) - Coady Photography The 2019 Kentucky Derby is so deep it only makes sense to discuss the chances of the likely favorite winning in the same blog about the chances of one of the longest shots on the board. Omaha Beach should enter the Kentucky Derby as either the first, co-first, or second choice. Omaha Beach has beaten Game Winner and Improbable in his last couple of races. He looks [...]

Kentucky Derby Make the Case: Vekoma and Tax

Vekoma winning the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II) - Keeneland Photo Not a lot of love is flowing towards Bluegrass Stakes winner Vekoma and Wood Memorial runner-up Tax. Nobody’s talking about either horse having a shot to win the May 4 Kentucky Derby. That might be an issue because both appear well-suited for decent Derby runs. First up? Vekoma. After making the case for and against Vekoma to win the Run for the Roses, we’ll turn our attention [...]

Kentucky Derby Make the Case: Maximum Security and Spinoff

Maximum Security wins Florida Derby(Coglianese Photos) Because 20 horses enter into the Kentucky Derby starting gate, there’s a chance that many runners will offer overlay odds. Two of those horses offering overlay odds on May 4 should be the Todd Pletcher trained Spinoff and the Florida Derby winner, Maximum Security. Both are quality three-year-olds who deserve to be in the starting gate. But, questions surround both, which is why to get a real idea of whether either has [...]

Kentucky Derby Make the Case: Improbable and Tacitus

Improbable wins Street Sense S. (Coady Photo/Churchill) The Kentucky Derby on May 4 figures to be one of the most difficult to handicap in years. The 2019 Derby is incredibly deep. There won’t be a clear-cut favorite like Justify last year. That’s why it’s important to think about the pros and cons of each entrant. In this blog, I provide a Derby case for and against both Improbable and Tacitus. The Bob Baffert trained Improbable could go off [...]

Kentucky Derby Make the Case: Roadster and Game Winner

Game Winner wins American Pharoah S.(Benoit Photo) Two time Triple Crown winning trainer Bob Baffert will saddle three horses for the May 4 Kentucky Derby. All three should garner plenty of action. Two of the three are Roadster, the Santa Anita Derby winner, and last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champion Game Winner. Both appear to have what it takes to win the Run for the Roses. Not only are they trained by arguably the top three-year-old horseman of [...]

Who Do Ya Like Podcast: Kentucky Derby Chat With Churchill Downs’ Joe Kristufek

On this week's Who Do Ya Like Podcast on the Bet America Radio Network, host Scott Shapiro welcomes in Churchill Downs' handicapper and on-air analyst Joe Kristufek. Now in his 5th Kentucky Derby, Joe discusses his top contenders for the world's most famous horse racing and how he approaches the Greatest Two Minutes in Sports both as a handicapper and a bettor.

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10: Omaha Beach Stays on Top

Code of Honor wins Fountain of Youth Stakes (Coglianese Photos/Leslie Martin) Now that the Kentucky Derby prep races are complete, it’s safe to say morning training sessions have moved to the forefront of everyone’s attention as the Derby draws nearer. I haven’t seen anything in the various workouts and gallops to strongly shift my opinions of the top contenders, but that could change over the next week or so, as the 20 Derby candidates wrap up their serious [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby: Keeler Johnson’s Morning Line Projection

Churchill Downs - Coady Photography In recent years post-time favorites in the Kentucky Derby have been starting at relatively short prices, especially when you consider the uncommonly large size of the annual Derby field. This has coincided with a historic streak of six consecutive winning favorites. Orb, who prevailed in the 2013 Derby at odds of 5.40-1, has been the only member of the current streak to start above 5-1. He’s been followed into the Derby winner’s circle [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby: Contender Birth Dates and Historical Trends

Omaha Beach wins the Arkansas Derby (Coady Photo/Oaklawn) Based on their birth dates, it appears that the 2019 Kentucky Derby contenders are skewing a bit younger than usual this year. You can usually count on there being a handful of January-born contenders, along with a few born in May, while the majority will have been born during the February/March/April window. But 2019 is shaping up to be a bit different. Not a single top 25 Derby contender was [...]