Dubai Carnival Update: Walking Thunder Carries Derby Dreams for Dubai

Thunder Snow winning the 2018 Dubai World Cup - Coady Photography From the deserts of the Middle East to the bluegrass of Kentucky, who’s coming to Churchill Downs by way of Dubai? With 170 Kentucky Derby qualification points on the line in the March 30 UAE Derby (UAE-II) at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, we're bound to see one or two horses use the desert challenge as a springboard to Churchill Downs. Although no UAE Derby starter has ever [...]

City of Light Shines Bright in Pegasus World Cup

City of Light winning the Pegasus World Cup (gr. I) - Photo by Lauren King/Adam Coglianese Photography For the second straight year, the Pegasus World Cup (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park marked the last hurrah for a brilliant five-year-old at the peak of his powers. The manner in which City of Light won the Pegasus on January 26—defeating a stacked field of graded stakes winners with complete authority—leaves fans simultaneously marveling at the brilliance of his performance and [...]

How to Bet the Pegasus World Cup

City of Light (outside) battles to victory over Accelerate in the Oaklawn Handicap - Coady Photography Accelerate or City of Light—who’ve you got? It seems that the majority of handicappers will be picking one of those two runners to win the $9 million Pegasus World Cup (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park, and it’s easy to understand why. They both won Breeders’ Cup races in November and will be tough to beat if they run to form at Gulfstream. [...]

Breeders’ Cup Depth Runs Deep in Third Pegasus World Cup

Accelerate winning the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) - Coady Photography For the third straight year, the top two finishers from the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) are set to contest the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park, but this time around the Breeders’ Cup representation will extend well beyond just the Classic. Accelerate and Gunnevera were the gallant 1-2 finishers in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs, and that would [...]

Year in Review: The Best Race of 2018

Justify winning the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) - Jim McCue Photography Horse racing fans were treated to some highly memorable moments in 2018. From Justify’s sweep of the Triple Crown to Accelerate’s season-defining victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the racing year was packed with exciting action and thrilling finishes. As a result, trying to define the single greatest race of the year is a task easier said than done, and one fraught with caveats and clarifications. Are [...]

Who Are the Top Contenders for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic?

Accelerate winning the Pacific Classic (gr. I) - © Benoit Photo In recent years, the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) has not been the most competitive race from a handicapping perspective, turning instead into a showcase showdown between two star runners (Arrogate and California Chrome in 2016, Gun Runner and Arrogate in 2017) or just a simple coronation of an undisputed champion (American Pharoah in 2015). However, the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic promises to be different. With the [...]

Surface Switch No Issue for Catholic Boy in Travers Stakes

Catholic Boy winning the Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga - Photo by NYRA/Coglianese Photograpy/Elsa Lorieul Turf to dirt? No problem! A switch in racing surfaces might be tricky for some horses to handle, but it certainly wasn’t an issue for Catholic Boy, who utilized his exceptional talent and stamina to crush nine rivals in Saturday’s $1,250,000 Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. It’s not like Catholic Boy had never shown an affinity for dirt—last winter, he pulled [...]

How to Bet the Travers Stakes

Good Magic winning the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II) - Keeneland Photo No matter how you slice it, Saturday’s $1,250,000 Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga is the best race of this coming weekend. With its hefty purse, huge field, challenging 1 ¼-mile distance, and competitive list of entrants, the Travers Stakes is certainly the most prestigious race of the week, and it promises to be a fantastic betting race as well. Truthfully, a case can be made [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Classic Top 10: Accelerate Moves to the Top

Accelerate winning the Pacific Classic (gr. I) - © Benoit Photo The retirement of Triple Crown winner Justify has certainly had a significant impact on the landscape for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. Justify was a clear early choice to win the Classic, and in his absence, coming up with a Top 10 list of contenders for the 1 ¼-mile race is a more difficult task. In terms of speed figures, relatively few [...]

Good Magic Rebounds to Win Haskell Invitational

Good Magic at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography It’s hard to keep a champion down. Good Magic may have been overshadowed by Triple Crown winner Justify during the first half of the season, but with Justify now retired, Good Magic is already doing his best to work some magic and reenter the spotlight. Just look at the impression that last year's champion two-year-old male made while winning Sunday’s $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park with [...]