Keying Tower of London in the Asahi Hai Futurity

Tower of London (Photo courtesy of the Japan Racing Association) With a purse of ¥134 million (more than $1.2 million) and Group 1 status, the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes at Hanshin racecourse has historically been the championship race for two-year-olds in Japan. The 1,600-meter (about one mile) race will be contested on December 17th, and with a large field of sixteen starters, the Asahi Hai Futurity promises to be a competitive event with plenty of opportunities to make [...]

Pure Silver, Miss Hot Stones Face Off in New York Stallion Series

Pure Silver winning the Adirondack Stakes at Saratoga (Photo by NYRA/Coglianese Photos) As the old saying goes, a good horse can come from anywhere, and with the quality and talent of New York-bred Thoroughbreds rising to great heights in recent years, it could pay to keep an eye on the $150,000 New York Stallion Series Stakes (Fifth Avenue Division) coming up on Saturday at Aqueduct. The six-furlong race is restricted to New York-bred two-year-old fillies that are eligible [...]

Harlan’s Holiday Stakes Tops Saturday Racing Action at Gulfstream

Creator defeats Destin in the 2016 Belmont Stakes (Photo by Chelsea Durand/Coglianese Photos) The Gulfstream Park Championship Meet showcases top-notch racing all winter long, and the upcoming December 16th card—featuring five graded stakes races—is no exception. The first stakes on the card is the $100,000 Rampart Stakes (gr. III) at a mile for fillies and mares, in which the Gulfstream sensation Curlin’s Approval (7-for-10 at the track) will seek to rebound from a 13th-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10 – 12/13/17

Le Vent Se Leve winning the Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun at Kawasaki Racecourse (Photo courtesy Akihiro Takeda/Churchill Downs) As a general rule, I try not to get too excited about horses that prep for the Kentucky Derby outside of North America. We’ve seen some very good horses come to the Derby by way of Dubai—Desert Party, Mubtaahij, and Lani all come to mind from recent years—but all have inevitably faltered at Churchill Downs, and you have to go back to 1971 [...]

Combatant Could Offer Value in Competitive Springboard Mile

Combatant breaking his maiden at Churchill Downs (Coady Photography) The $400,000 Remington Springboard Mile on December 17th at Remington Park has been rapidly gaining prestige since its inaugural running in 2009, and this year—for the first time—the race will offer Kentucky Derby qualification points to the top four finishers. Perhaps as a result, the race has drawn a large and competitive field of twelve lightly-raced juveniles. Steve Asmussen, by far the leading trainer at the current Remington meet with [...]

Tenacious Stakes Highlights Stakes-Filled Fair Grounds Card

Dazzling Gem training at Churchill Downs (Coady Photography) If you like huge race cards filled with stakes events and large, competitive fields, then the Saturday card at Fair Grounds is definitely for you. The thirteen races on the card drew 134 entries, or an average of more than ten horses per race, and the six stakes races in particular have drawn quality fields. Leading the way is the $75,000 Tenacious Stakes at a mile and seventy yards on [...]