Keeler Johnson’s 2019 Belmont Stakes fair odds line

Intrepid Heart winning his debut at Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography Upon release of the 2019 Belmont Stakes (G1) entries Tuesday evening, I immediately started work on my annual fair odds line for identifying wagering value. The concept behind my fair odds line is simple. For each horse in the field, I ask myself, “What are the chances of this horse reaching the winner’s circle?” After assigning a probability of winning to each horse (25%, 12.50%, etc.), I [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Preakness Stakes Top 5

Anothertwistafate winning the El Camino Real Derby - © Vassar Photography/Shane Micheli Most years you can expect the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico to be won by a tried-and-true Triple Crown contender who ran in the Kentucky Derby (G1) two weeks prior. The stats are impressive: 31 of the last 35 Preakness winners exited a start in the Kentucky Derby. So it’s safe to say “new shooters” have been at a disadvantage in the second leg of the [...]

Which Horses Will Run in the 2019 Preakness Stakes?

Improbable winning the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) - © Benoit Photo Which horses are expected to compete in the 2019 Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico? At this point, a better question might be “which horses are not expected to compete in the Preakness?” The potential field for the second leg of the Triple Crown is still in flux, but it’s safe to say the biggest names will be absent from the May 18 classic. Country House, the official [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby: Contender Birth Dates and Historical Trends

Omaha Beach wins the Arkansas Derby (Coady Photo/Oaklawn) Based on their birth dates, it appears that the 2019 Kentucky Derby contenders are skewing a bit younger than usual this year. You can usually count on there being a handful of January-born contenders, along with a few born in May, while the majority will have been born during the February/March/April window. But 2019 is shaping up to be a bit different. Not a single top 25 Derby contender was [...]

During Kentucky Derby Prep Season, Less is Often More

Possible Kentucky Derby favorite Omaha Beach will have to break the "Smarty Jones Curse" in order to win the roses. Photo by Coady Photography While it used to be common for horses to employ busy prep schedules in advance of the Kentucky Derby, in recent years, Derby winners have been taking a “less is more” approach to their winter/spring racing action. Gone are the days when a Derby winner might run seven times as a 3-year-old prior to [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby: Who’s on the Bubble?

Anothertwistafate winning the El Camino Real Derby - © Vassar Photography/Shane Micheli How many qualification points will be required to run in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, and which horses will secure the last few slots in the starting gate? That’s the question everyone is asking now that the 2018-19 Road to the Kentucky Derby is complete, and the field of 20 horses is pretty much set. It would be set in stone ,except that there are still 19 [...]

Maximum Security Finishes Fast in Florida Derby

Maximum Security winning the Florida Derby (gr. I) - © Adam Coglianese Photography The name of the game in Saturday’s $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park was “catch me if you can,” and when the dust settled, you could practically hear the front-running Maximum Security taunting his rivals as he pulled away down the homestretch to score a convincing victory in the 1 1/8-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race. Granted, the pace setup for Maximum [...]

How To Bet the Florida Derby Podcast

The Kentucky Derby favorite could come from the Florida Derby, as Hidden Scroll looks to rebound from his fourth-place behind Code of Honor and Bourbon War in the Fountain of Youth, Maximum Security looks to breakout in his stakes debut, and Harvey Wallbanger is out to prove his Holy Bull was no fluke. All that plus Current's return to dirt, and the intriguing maiden Bodexpress! Danny Zucker of Predicteform.com discusses with Ed DeRosa of Brisnet.com how to bet the Florida [...]

How to Bet the Florida Derby

Code of Honor winning the Fountain of Youth Stakes - © Adam Coglianese Photography In analyzing the contenders for Saturday’s $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park, I think the top finishers from last month’s Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) might be a cut above their challengers in this 1 1/8-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race. Specifically, those would be #9 Code of Honor, #4 Bourbon War, and #1 Hidden Scroll, who ran [...]