Memorable Racehorses Named After Famous Sports Figures

Nyquist winning the 2016 Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography Sometimes, racehorses are given short, powerful names like Affirmed or Justify. Other times, they’re named after their ancestors. And once in a while, they’re named after athletes. Horses name in honor of sports figures aren’t as common as you might expect due to official naming restrictions, but through the years there have been some noteworthy runners named after ball players, hockey players, and even Olympic champions. Want some examples? [...]

Keying Bee Jersey in the Metropolitan Handicap

Bee Jersey winning an allowance race at Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography If you’re looking for a great betting race to play this Saturday, look no further than the $1.2 million Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park. The historic “Met Mile” has drawn eleven starters, but lacks a clear standout. As a result, the odds on several appealing contenders could be enticing and open up the possibility of making a truly memorable score. Generally speaking, I prefer [...]

2018 Kentucky Derby: A Horse-By-Horse Recap

Justify winning the Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography The results of the 144th Kentucky Derby are in the history books, and it was a day for records to broken. Record rainfall. Record wagering. The demise of the fabled “Apollo Curse.” Throw in the fact that favored Justify delivered with a huge victory, and you have an unforgettable Kentucky Derby. But the Preakness and Belmont Stakes are still to come, so Triple Crown season is far from over. With an [...]

Betting the Kentucky Derby Trifecta on a $100 Budget

Coady Photography $5,464. Favorites may have won the last five renewals of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (gr. I), but the average payoff for the trifecta over that time frame has still been a hefty $5,464, because let’s face it—hitting the trifecta in a race with twenty horses isn’t easy. That said, I think the task could be more manageable this year because I feel strongly that #7 Justify stands above his rivals and will be [...]

Keeler Johnson’s 2018 Kentucky Derby Fair Odds Line

Good Magic galloping under the Twin Spires - Coady Photography The field is set, the post positions have been drawn, and the countdown to the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (gr. I) continues. One of the final factors that bettors will consider while handicapping the Derby is the morning line odds, which attempt to estimate how the public will bet the race. While the morning line odds are never a perfect match with the [...]

Justify Draws Lucky Seven at Kentucky Derby Post Position Draw

The post positions for the 2018 Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography Trainer Bob Baffert was late in arriving at the post position draw for the 2018 Kentucky Derby, but if he was worried about where his horses would draw, he needn’t have been. By the time Baffert arrived, his Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Justify had drawn post seven in the “Run for the Roses,” an ideal position that has cemented the unbeaten colt as the horse [...]

Poll Vault: Unlocking the Secrets of Shapiro’s Derby Top 10

Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Racing fans tend to be some of the most opinionated folks I know and at no time is that more obvious than the days and weeks leading up to North America’s most prestigious race. Handicappers use a number of methods to communicate those opinions, but one thing my colleagues and I enjoy as a means of debating our thoughts and evaluating contenders for the Kentucky Derby is discussing our top ten lists. Some [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10 — 4/24/18

Justify - © Benoit Photo Twelve days, folks. Just twelve days remain until twenty of the best three-year-old Thoroughbreds from North America and Europe vie for supremacy in the 2018 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Since the start of December, I’ve been compiling a weekly ranking of the top Kentucky Derby contenders, an enjoyable exercise that is equal parts challenging and fun. Many names have come and gone from my list, but now the prep races are complete [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10 — 4/18/18

Magnum Moon winning the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) - Coady Photography It’s been a long and winding road, but the final prep races for the 2018 Kentucky Derby were run last Saturday, meaning that the field for the “Run for the Roses” is more or less established. From now until the Derby, the main focus will be on the pre-race workouts, with handicappers watching the morning training sessions to get a glimpse of each contender and gauge how [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10 — 4/10/18

Good Magic winning the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II) - Keeneland Photo With just two prep races remaining to be run, the field is pretty much set for the 2018 Kentucky Derby, leaving handicappers to debate the merits of the many impressive performances we’ve seen over the last several months. For me, the results of Saturday’s three major prep races—the Santa Anita Derby, the Blue Grass Stakes, and the Wood Memorial—did little to change my opinions of the [...]