Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10: Game Winner Challenged By His Stablemate?

Bob Baffert at Saratoga - Photo by Courtney Heeney/Coglianese Photography For the first time this season, a horse has emerged to challenge Game Winner for the top spot in my Kentucky Derby Top 10, a position that the son of Candy Ride has tenaciously held since September. Ultimately, Game Winner narrowly retained his leadership spot, but the fact that a horse as talented and accomplished as Game Winner isn’t first by a mile speaks volumes about the talent [...]

Baffert’s Got Another Strong Derby Hand

It's almost become a foregone conclusion that the great Bob Baffert heads into the New Year with the top 3-year-olds on the planet. No exception to 2019. Bob's stable has at least 4 Derby contenders already with more on the way. Just as a reminder to all of us, his Triple Crown winner this year didn't even break his maiden until 2018. So, we can't expect Bob's top Triple Crown runner to come from the 4 horses I list here, [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby Contender Profile: Improbable

Improbable winning the Los Alamitos Futurity (gr. I) - © Benoit Photo Trainer Bob Baffert is well accustomed to wheeling and dealing with expensive horses. Triple Crown winner Justify cost $500,000. Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Arrogate cost $560,000. Two of Baffert’s flashy maiden winners this year cost $925,000 and $625,000. But some of Baffert’s best runners this season have been quite inexpensive by those standards, and that includes Improbable, who sold for just $200,000 at the 2017 Keeneland [...]

Watch Out, Game Winner: Improbable Impresses in Los Alamitos Futurity

Improbable winning the Los Alamitos Futurity (gr. I) - © Benoit Photo Question—which horse is the most talented two-year-old currently residing in the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert? Prior to the running of the December 8th Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity (gr. I) at Los Alamitos, most racing fans would have quickly answered Game Winner, the three-time Grade 1 winner and probable champion two-year-old male of 2018. But then Baffert sent out Improbable to crush the [...]

Betting a Baffert Exacta in the Los Alamitos Futurity

Improbable winning the Street Sense Stakes - Coady Photography Just how many times has the Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert won the $300,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (gr. I), which will be renewed for the 38th time on December 8th? Well, technically, Baffert has never lost the Los Alamitos Futurity. Since the race was moved to Los Alamitos in 2014, Baffert has prevailed in every edition, and he also won the race six times during its glory days at [...]

Six Juvenile Stakes Races Scheduled for December 8th at Gulfstream Park

Gulfstream Park (Coglianese Photos) As part of an action-packed afternoon of racing on December 8th, Gulfstream Park will host not only the Clasico Internacional del Caribe series (showcasing some of the best horses from Latin America and the Caribbean), but also a half-dozen stakes races for two-year-olds. Those juvenile races comprise the first six events on the massive card, which kicks off at 11:50 p.m. Eastern. And since you never know where the next Kentucky Derby (gr. I) [...]

Betting Regional Class Advantages, Part 2

Coady Photography In a recent article here on BetAmerica, we discussed how regional class advantages can exist throughout the sport of horse racing and produce to profitable wagering opportunities. Our first example noted how turf horses from the East Coast tend to be superior to their counterparts from the West Coast, but when we turn our attention to dirt racing, the picture looks very different. Specifically, when it comes to three-year-old dirt horses—Kentucky Derby candidates—the west has been [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10: Maximus Mischief On the Rise

The field rounds the first turn of the 2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Although no new names have joined my Kentucky Derby Top 10 following the weekend of December 1-2, that doesn’t mean my rankings have gone completely unchanged. To the contrary, Maximus Mischief has moved up following an eye-catching victory in the Remsen Stakes (gr. II), while Code of Honor has dropped a slot after unexpectedly missing the Remsen. My [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby Contender Profile: Maximus Mischief

Maximus Mischief winning the Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct - Photo by NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography/Chelsea Durand Is there anything more exciting in racing than an undefeated, graded stakes-winning Kentucky Derby contender? Hard to say, but in the quiet months of winter such a horse has to rank pretty high on the excitement meter, and Maximus Mischief has the racing world abuzz after bringing his race record to a perfect 3-for-3 with a victory in the December 2nd Remsen [...]

Maximus Mischief Handles Class, Distance Tests in Remsen Stakes

Maximus Mischief winning the Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct - Photo by NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography/Chelsea Durand Big steps up in both class and distance can be problematic for some horses, but they were certainly no obstacle for Maximus Mischief in Saturday’s $250,000 Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct, as the speedy colt kept his unbeaten record intact with another eye-catching victory. With qualifications points for the 2019 Kentucky Derby on the line, the 1 1/8-mile Remsen marked [...]