2019 Kentucky Derby Horse-by-Horse Trip Notes

The finish of the 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1) - Coady Photography The 2019 Kentucky Derby will go down as one of the strangest and most controversial in history, but for handicappers, it’s just another race to dissect the same as any other. While most of the attention is being focused on the disqualified Maximum Security, the upgraded winner Country House and the troubled pair of War of Will and Long Range Toddy, it’s important for handicappers to take a [...]

How is Keeler Johnson Playing the 2019 Kentucky Derby?

Omaha Beach (right) holds off Game Winner (left) in the Rebel Stakes (G2) - Coady Photography While I’m still plotting out my wagering strategy for the 2019 Kentucky Derby, I’ve essentially nailed down my overall opinions of each horse and have determined whether I’ll be using them on my tickets. The Tuesday morning post position draw helped clarify my position on a few bubble contenders, including War of Will and Spinoff. I’ve sorted the 20 horses into four [...]

Who is Running in the 2019 Kentucky Derby?

Morning line favorite Omaha Beach drew post #12 in the 2019 Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography Omaha Beach was shaping up to be the favorite for the 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1), even beforethe Tuesday morning post position draw at Churchill Downs, but when the talented colt drew favorably in post position #12, his status as favorite was most assuredly cemented. Omaha Beach was the penultimate horse to be assigned a post position, and there was a 50-50 chance [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby Jockey Assignments, Facts and Trends

Jockey Mike Smith aboard Kentucky Derby winner Justify - Coady Photography It is often said that jockeys are unable to make horses run beyond their abilities, but the difference between victory and defeat can come down to the skills of a rider in saving ground, timing moves correctly and riding hard to the finish line. That’s why the 20 jockeys who will compete in the 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1) include the most talented riders in North America. Leading [...]

Shapiro’s Top Contenders Eight Days Out From the 2019 Kentucky Derby

The field rounds the first turn of the 2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography We are eight days away from the 2019 Kentucky Derby, and you can feel the excitement in the air more and more each morning at legendary Churchill Downs. With half of the field still to arrive in Louisville over the next few days, it is far too early to lock down my top choices for this year’s Run [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby: Keeler Johnson’s Morning Line Projection

Churchill Downs - Coady Photography In recent years post-time favorites in the Kentucky Derby have been starting at relatively short prices, especially when you consider the uncommonly large size of the annual Derby field. This has coincided with a historic streak of six consecutive winning favorites. Orb, who prevailed in the 2013 Derby at odds of 5.40-1, has been the only member of the current streak to start above 5-1. He’s been followed into the Derby winner’s circle [...]

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 [...]

Pletcher Heats Up with Two Derby Qualifiers; More on the Way?

Cutting Humor after winning the Sunland Derby (gr. III) - © Coady Photography/Sunland Park Trainer Todd Pletcher has won two Kentucky Derbies, has saddled more Derby starters (52) than any other trainer in history, and has sent out at least one Derby starter every year since 2004. Yet until recently, there appeared to be a chance that Pletcher would be without a Kentucky Derby starter for 2019. His best three-year-olds just weren’t making headlines, and you had to [...]