Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Top 5: Never Too Early

Hop Kat winning his debut at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography The 2019 Triple Crown season isn’t over yet, but surely it isn’t too early to be thinking about 2-year-olds and the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, right? Forgive me if I’m jumping the gun, but the juvenile racing action will be heating up before we know it, and I already have my eyes on a few promising colts who could make some noise during the summer and fall. [...]

Preakness Stakes Make the Case – Improbable & War of Will

On Saturday, Improbable should offer favorite’s odds. War of Will figures to go off second choice. There are reasons to like both horses to win the Second Jewel of the Triple Crown. There are also reasons to go against both. Check out the case for and against Improbable and War of Will Preakness Stakes Case For & Against Improbable & War of Will Preakness Case for and against Improbable Bob Baffert trains the City Zip sired three-year-old. That [...]

Kentucky Oaks Day: A Pick 3 Play for the Eight Belles Stakes

Newspaperofrecord winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) - Coady Photography The graded stakes action on Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs kicks off in the fifth race, the $250,000 Eight Belles Stakes (G2) for three-year-old fillies. The seven-furlong sprint is also the first leg of a Pick 3 that includes the $250,000 Edgewood Stakes (G3) for sophomore fillies traveling a mile on turf and the $400,000 Alysheba Stakes (G2) for older horses negotiating 1 1/16 miles [...]

How to Bet the Kentucky Derby on Different Budgets

Bob Baffert at Saratoga - Photo by Courtney Heeney/Coglianese Photography Last year’s “How to bet the Kentucky Derby on Different Budgets” was well received, so I figured I would run it back for the 2019 Run for the Roses. After much deliberation I have landed on 2-year-old champion #16 Game Winner as my key horse and top choice for this year’s Derby. The son of Candy Ride has yet to win in two starts this year, but I [...]

Who Do Ya Like Podcast: Kentucky Derby Analysis With Churchill Downs’ Travis Stone

On this week's episode of the Who Do Ya Like Podcast over the Bet America Radio Network, host Scott Shapiro welcomes in the voice of Churchill Downs Travis Stone. Scott and Travis discuss how the draw on Tuesday morning impacted the potential race shape of the 2019 Kentucky Derby and dive deep into the field of twenty set to break from the gates on Saturday evening. Travis also discusses his favorite Kentucky Derby race calls and reveals how he would [...]

How to Bet the 2019 Kentucky Oaks

Flor de La Mar jogging at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography There’s no shortage of speed entered in the 145th Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 3 at Churchill Downs, which could present challenging circumstances for several key contenders in the 1 1/8-mile race. A full field will turn out to contest the Oaks, which pits the best 3-year-old fillies from across the U.S. against each other in an interstate showdown. But many of the favorites share similar running [...]

Shapiro’s Top Contenders Eight Days Out From the 2019 Kentucky Derby

The field rounds the first turn of the 2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography We are eight days away from the 2019 Kentucky Derby, and you can feel the excitement in the air more and more each morning at legendary Churchill Downs. With half of the field still to arrive in Louisville over the next few days, it is far too early to lock down my top choices for this year’s Run [...]

Betting Against the Proven Class in the Santa Margarita Stakes

Santa Anita - © Breeders' Cup/Todd Buchanan 2014 There might be a couple of established grade 1 performers entered in Saturday’s $200,000 Santa Margarita Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park, but for various reasons I’m inclined to oppose both in this 1 1/8-mile test. #8 Paradise Woods is by far the most accomplished mare in this eight-horse field, but the two-time grade 1 winner hasn’t won a race since September 2017, and she seems to have lost the [...]

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: 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 [...]