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 [...]

Keying Mother Mother in the Starlet Stakes

Mother Mother winning the Rags to Riches Stakes - Coady Photography At first glance, the December 8th $300,000 Starlet Stakes (gr. I) at Los Alamitos isn’t the most appealing race from a betting perspective—with just six starters, payoffs could be on the small side. But then again, the 1 1/16-mile Road to the Kentucky Oaks prep race is packed with quality, so it’s not like there’s an overwhelming favorite towering over the field. And if we can beat the [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1: Three Longshots to Consider

Roadster winning his debut at Del Mar - © Benoit Photo On a busy weekend with two Kentucky Derby prep races in the United States and Japan, bettors will have an opportunity to lock in early value on some of the top Derby contenders thanks to Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1. This special wagering opportunity (which opens Thursday and runs through approximately 6:30 p.m. Eastern on Sunday) offers Derby fans a chance to get a bet down [...]

Baffert Runners Look Tough in Bob Hope Stakes

Bob Baffert at Saratoga - Photo by Courtney Heeney/Coglianese Photography If Del Mar ever decides to rename the $100,000 Bob Hope Stakes (gr. III), all they would really have to do is change “Hope” to “Baffert” and it would be perfectly understandable, considering how thoroughly the Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has dominated the Bob Hope. Through the years, Baffert has won this seven-furlong sprint for two-year-olds eight times, including four times since 2011—a remarkable streak when [...]

Early Impressions on the Road to the 2019 Kentucky Derby

The field rounds the first turn of the 2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography With less than six months remaining until the 2019 Kentucky Derby, we’re about to enter what I like to consider the second stage of the qualification process. The first stage included the major Breeders’ Cup prep races such as the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) and American Pharoah Stakes (gr. I) and culminated with the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10: Game Winner the Early Leader

The field rounds the first turn of the 2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Well, the 2018 Breeders’ Cup is in the history books, and you know what that means—it’s time to start looking ahead toward the 2019 Kentucky Derby! A handful of official prep races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby have already been run, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, and less than six months remain until the first Saturday [...]

Game Winner Gamely Wins the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile

Game Winner winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) - Coady Photography He came, he ran, he conquered. When the dust settled after the running of the November 2nd Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, no one could deny that the unbeaten Game Winner was the best horse on the day, and indeed, the most accomplished two-year-old seen in North America this year. A stoutly-bred son of Candy Ride out of an A.P. Indy mare, Game Winner’s [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Saturday Spot Plays

Divisidero winning the 2016 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. I) - Coady Photography As usual, the Breeders’ Cup Saturday card is packed with large fields, competitive races, and exciting wagering opportunities. When you pit this many talented horses against each other, you’re bound to find an abundance of live contenders offering appealing odds. With this in mind, I’ve gone through the Saturday card gathering up a few “spot plays.” Basically, I’m just looking for non-favorites and longshots that [...]