Pace, Track Favored My Boy Jack in Southwest Stakes

My Boy Jack winning the Southwest Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography Racing fans were treated to an eye-catching sight on Monday when My Boy Jack produced an explosive rally from off the pace to win the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park. From a visual perspective, My Boy Jack looked terrific. Reserved at the back of the pack early on in the 8.5-furlong Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race, My Boy [...]

Will Combatant Upset Mourinho in the Southwest Stakes?

Mourinho (right) leads Combatant (white and black silks) into the homestretch of the Smarty Jones Stakes - Coady Photography In recent years, no trainer has dominated the Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races at Oaklawn Park more thoroughly than Bob Baffert. Since 2010, the Hall of Fame trainer has won 13 of the 30 Derby prep races contested at Oaklawn, including four editions of the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III). Baffert will have a strong chance to [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10 — 2/12/18

Mourinho (right) leads Combatant (white and black silks) into the homestretch of the Smarty Jones Stakes - Coady Photography Last Saturday, two horses listed in my weekly Kentucky Derby Top 10 competed in graded stakes races. One—Catholic Boy—was beaten a half-length in the Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III), an official prep race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. The other—Nero—was beaten 3 ¼ lengths in the seven-furlong San Vicente Stakes (gr. II). While it would be [...]

Mourinho, Combatant Impress in Smarty Jones Stakes

Mourinho (right) leads Combatant (white and black silks) into the homestretch of the Smarty Jones Stakes - Coady Photography In the hours following the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes on Monday at Oaklawn Park, most of the focus was on the impressive winner Mourinho, who stamped himself as a serious Kentucky Derby contender with an authoritative victory in the one-mile race. But while Mourinho is deserving of the accolades being sent his way, I’m just as interested—maybe even more [...]

Will Combatant Upset Mourinho in the Smarty Jones?

Combatant breaking his maiden at Churchill Downs (Coady Photography) When playing the races, one of my favorite angles to watch for is a horse receiving a very specific type of troubled trip, a trip so subtle that many bettors miss its significance. Normally, a ground-saving trip racing inside of horses is ideal, but only if you are able to unleash your run at the opportune time. In my opinion, this consideration is the key to handicapping the $150,000 [...]

Greyvitos Joins Derby Trail With Remington Springboard Mile Victory

Greyvitos winning the Bob Hope Stakes (gr. III) at Del Mar - ©Benoit Photo Racing fans across the country were up a bit later than usual last night to watch an intriguing renewal of the $400,000 Remington Springboard Mile Stakes at Remington Park. The one-mile race offered Kentucky Derby qualification points for the first time in its brief history, but although twelve horses faced the starter, in the end all eyes were on the impressive winner Greyvitos. Coming [...]

Combatant Could Offer Value in Competitive Springboard Mile

Combatant breaking his maiden at Churchill Downs (Coady Photography) The $400,000 Remington Springboard Mile on December 17th at Remington Park has been rapidly gaining prestige since its inaugural running in 2009, and this year—for the first time—the race will offer Kentucky Derby qualification points to the top four finishers. Perhaps as a result, the race has drawn a large and competitive field of twelve lightly-raced juveniles. Steve Asmussen, by far the leading trainer at the current Remington meet with [...]