Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10: Omaha Beach Stays on Top

Code of Honor wins Fountain of Youth Stakes (Coglianese Photos/Leslie Martin) Now that the Kentucky Derby prep races are complete, it’s safe to say morning training sessions have moved to the forefront of everyone’s attention as the Derby draws nearer. I haven’t seen anything in the various workouts and gallops to strongly shift my opinions of the top contenders, but that could change over the next week or so, as the 20 Derby candidates wrap up their serious [...]

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 [...]

Who Do Ya Like Podcast: Kentucky Derby Chat With VSIN’s Ron Flatter

On this week's episode of the Who Do Ya Like Podcast over the Bet America Radio Network, host Scott Shapiro welcomes in the Vegas Stats & Information Network's Ron Flatter. Ron dives into the role Quirin Speed Points have played in the Kentucky Derby since the new points system has been in place. Scott and Ron also discuss their thoughts on some of the logical contenders on the first Saturday in May and perhaps a long shot that can spruce [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby Final Rankings

Omaha Beach turns back Improbable in the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) - Coady Photography The final preps for the 2019 Kentucky Derby are in the books! Omaha Beach held off Improbable for an Arkansas Derby win while long shot Owendale won the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes. While Owendale doesn’t have enough points to make it to the starting gate, he did knock out Anothertwistafate from garnering a Derby bid. Omaha Beach gained enough points to place him second [...]

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 [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10: A New Leader

Omaha Beach winning the Arkansas Derby (G1) - Coady Photography The final prep races have been run, the field is pretty much set, and less than three weeks remain until the 2019 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. It’s being called one of the most wide-open Kentucky Derbys in recent memory, but one thing seems certain—the California contingent is strong, as usual, with four of the five probable betting favorites. Not surprisingly those four are all ranked near the [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10: It’s a Rather Perplexing Year

Roadster winning the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) - © Benoit Photo I must admit, it’s getting harder and harder to compile my Kentucky Derby Top 10 rankings each week. Unlike last year, when the top contenders seemed pretty clear-cut at this point in the season, the 2019 Kentucky Derby picture remains completely wide-open with less than four weeks until the big race. I feel like I’m excluding some promising horses (the Blue Grass Stakes winner Vekoma being [...]

Three Takeaways from the 2019 Santa Anita Derby

Roadster winning the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) - © Benoit Photo In a much-anticipated showdown between two of trainer Bob Baffert’s top Kentucky Derby hopefuls, the lightly-raced Roadster got the better of his favored stablemate Game Winner in a thrilling battle to the finish line of the $1 million Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park. After taking some time to analyze the results and study the replay, here are my three main takeaways from [...]

Why I’m Betting Roadster in the Santa Anita Derby

Roadster winning his debut at Del Mar - © Benoit Photo It might not be logical to expect the champion two-year-old and three-time Grade 1 winner #6 Game Winner to lose back-to-back races, but when he starts as the heavy favorite in Saturday’s $1 million Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park, I’ll be tempted to oppose him. Am I crazy? Maybe. Why would I side against the horse that I have ranked #1 in my [...]