2018 Year in Review: Horse Racing’s Top 5 Biggest Upsets

Knicks Go winning the Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) - Keeneland Photo Although 2018 was generally a very productive year for racing’s established stars, that doesn’t mean the season went by without any memorable (and occasionally monumental) upsets. Some upsets featured high-priced winners, while others featured favorites that were defeated at very short prices. Comparing and ranking them is tricky, but after going back through the year’s results, here’s my opinion on five of the biggest racing upsets [...]

Rating the First Round of 2019 Kentucky Derby Preps

Game Winner winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) - Coady Photography With the running of Sunday's Remington Springboard Mile, the last North American Kentucky Derby prep race of the year entered the history books, bringing to a close the first stage of qualification for the 2019 “Run for the Roses.” From September through December, nine Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races were conducted across the country, and while the majority offered the same number of qualification [...]

Knicks Go Posts Stunning 70-1 Upset in Breeders’ Futurity

Knicks Go winning the Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) - Keeneland Photo If you had stated prior to the running of Saturday’s $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland that Knicks Go would not only win, but do so by 5 ½ lengths, the majority of handicappers would have scoffed at the notion. After all, the Maryland-bred son of Paynter had previously finished a distant third in the Arlington-Washington Futurity and appeared to be overmatched against his [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Picks and Plays for Keeneland Opening Weekend

Keeneland Photo Get ready, everyone! The much-anticipated Keeneland fall meet kicks off on Friday, and opening weekend is packed with top-class stakes races featuring some of the best horses in the country. With high-class competition, large fields, and low-takeout wagers, Keeneland is always popular among horsemen and handicappers alike. Looking to get in on the action? Here are a few prospective picks and plays to get you started…. Friday, October 5 Race 8: Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes [...]

Betting Longshot Signalman in the Breeders’ Futurity

Keeneland Photo What do you do when faced with handicapping a full field of fourteen lightly-raced two-year-olds, the majority of them stretching out around two turns for the first time? Well, pretty much the best you can do is analyze the field, pick a few horses you like, and hope for the best. That’s what I’ll be doing for Saturday’s $500,000 Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland, a 8.5-furlong “Win and You’re In” prep race for the 2018 [...]

Bolt d’Oro seeks third grade I in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile

Bolt d'Oro dominates the field for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Photo: Benoit Photos. There’s one major question heading into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Saturday: is Bolt d’Oro for real? The son of Medaglia d’Oro has swept all before him in three starts in California. He won his maiden well, rallied from well back to win the Del Mar Futurity (G1), and produced an outstanding effort to rout his opposition in the FrontRunner Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita. [...]

Juveniles take center stage at Churchill Downs

Mia Mischief wins her maiden impressively at Keeneland Oct. 8. Photo: Coady Photography.   Thoroughbred racing’s immediate future – and some probable future Kentucky Derby contenders – head to Churchill Downs Oct. 29 for a day of galloping devoted to 2-year-olds. Eleven races are on the card, and all are for juveniles only. The Street Sense Stakes heads the card, but there are three other important races: the Rags to Riches Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, and two $200,000 [...]

Free Drop Billy, Givemeaminit Head Breeders’ Futurity

Two colts who just missed winning the Hopeful Stakes (G1) at Saratoga are seeking compensation – and direct entry into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) when they contest the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland Oct. 7. Free Drop Billy (2-1 on the morning line) and Givemeaminit (7-2) were less than half a length behind Sporting Chance in the Hopeful, and though both benefited from the winner running erratically in the final 100 yards, that form should translate well to [...]