Derby, Oaks Contenders Face Off on Saturday at Fair Grounds

Serengeti Empress winning the Pocahontas Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders will shine at Fair Grounds on February 16, a busy day of racing that includes four graded stakes races at the New Orleans racetrack. The highlight of the day is unquestionably the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (gr. II), which offers 50 Kentucky Derby qualification points to the winner as part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby Championship [...]

How to Bet the Jim Dandy Stakes

Reride winning an allowance race at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Saturday’s $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga may have attracted a small field—just five starters—but what it’s lacking in quantity it makes up for in quality. Four of the five entrants competed in the Triple Crown series, with the probable favorites #2 Tenfold and #5 Vino Rosso running in two legs apiece. The tricky part is trying to separate these accomplished contenders… while keeping in [...]

2018 Kentucky Derby: A Horse-By-Horse Recap

Justify winning the Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography The results of the 144th Kentucky Derby are in the history books, and it was a day for records to broken. Record rainfall. Record wagering. The demise of the fabled “Apollo Curse.” Throw in the fact that favored Justify delivered with a huge victory, and you have an unforgettable Kentucky Derby. But the Preakness and Belmont Stakes are still to come, so Triple Crown season is far from over. With an [...]

Betting the Kentucky Derby Trifecta on a $100 Budget

Coady Photography $5,464. Favorites may have won the last five renewals of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (gr. I), but the average payoff for the trifecta over that time frame has still been a hefty $5,464, because let’s face it—hitting the trifecta in a race with twenty horses isn’t easy. That said, I think the task could be more manageable this year because I feel strongly that #7 Justify stands above his rivals and will be [...]

Justify Draws Lucky Seven at Kentucky Derby Post Position Draw

The post positions for the 2018 Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography Trainer Bob Baffert was late in arriving at the post position draw for the 2018 Kentucky Derby, but if he was worried about where his horses would draw, he needn’t have been. By the time Baffert arrived, his Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Justify had drawn post seven in the “Run for the Roses,” an ideal position that has cemented the unbeaten colt as the horse [...]

Good Magic Returns to the Spotlight Following Blue Grass Victory

Good Magic winning the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II) - Keeneland Photo A champion racehorse is back in the spotlight, and not a moment too soon. The horse in question is Good Magic, the champion two-year-old male of 2017 based off a powerful win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I). Long viewed as one of the main contenders for the upcoming Kentucky Derby, Good Magic disappointed his backers when third in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) [...]

How to Bet the Blue Grass Stakes

Despite the potential of weather that emulates the winter, it is opening weekend at beautiful Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. The track that will soon be roughly 60 miles from my residence wastes no time jumping into high quality action with a ten-race card on Friday followed up by a stakes laden Saturday that includes three Grade 1’s spread over the 11-race slate. The headliner on the first of three Saturday cards at Keeneland this spring is the one [...]

Good Magic Seeks Rebound in Blue Grass Stakes

Good Magic winning the 2017 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Photo by Carson Denis/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup) #11 Good Magic might be the champion two-year-old male of 2017, but he certainly didn’t scare off the competition in Saturday’s $1 million Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland. Fifteen horses (including one also-eligible) have been entered in the nine-furlong Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race, with Good Magic the 2-1 morning line favorite. The well-bred son of Curlin showed promise from [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10 — 3/14/18

Bolt d'Oro (left) and McKinzie battle to the wire in the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) - © Benoit Photo While it can be difficult to determine the strength of a given crop of three-year-olds until the year is over and the whole racing season can be reviewed, early indications suggest that this year’s Kentucky Derby contenders are a very deep and talented group. There’s Quip, who recently returned from a layoff to win the Tampa Bay Derby [...]

Quip Posts 19-1 Upset in Tampa Bay Derby

Quip winning the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) - SV Photography We’ve seen some significant upsets so far on the Kentucky Derby trail, more than in recent years, and the trend of longshot winners continued on March 10th when Quip posted a 19-1 upset in the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) at Tampa Bay Downs. On paper, the 8.5-furlong race was supposed to feature a battle for the lead between the speedy World of Trouble and the [...]