Should You Bet Deep Closers in the Pegasus World Cup?

Question: Will deep closers who rally from the back of the pack have any chance to contend for a significant piece of the purse in the 2019 Pegasus World Cup (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park? It seems like nine-furlong races at Gulfstream Park often receive special scrutiny since they start so close to the first turn and there’s always concern about horses drawn outside getting hung wide and losing all chance. But might the running style of each individual horse [...]

Accelerate Fits Profile of Past Pegasus World Cup Winners

Accelerate winning the Pacific Classic (gr. I) - © Benoit Photo The Pegasus World Cup Invitational (gr. I) will be held for the third time on January 26th, and while two previous renewals isn’t much of a sample size for identifying race trends, already we’re seeing that it takes a special kind of horse to win North America’s richest horse race. One trend is already obvious. The first two winners of the Pegasus World Cup were Arrogate and [...]

East or West, who holds the stronger Kentucky Derby hand?

It’s a light week ahead on the Road to the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve, so now’s a good time to take stock of the division following the first 50- points-to-the winner-prep race. With less than seventy-five days until the first Saturday of May racing fans are continuing to formulate opinions on the crop of 2018. With that comes the discussion of whether an East or West Coast based horse is likeliest to find the winners’ circle at this [...]

Will West Coast Upset Gun Runner in the Pegasus World Cup?

Gun Runner winning the Breeders' Cup Classic (Photo by Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup) Handicappers will be presented with an interesting quandary when the $16 million Pegasus World Cup (gr. I) is held on January 27th at Gulfstream Park. The nine-furlong race will mark the final start for #10 Gun Runner, who rose to great heights during a 5-for-6 campaign in 2017 that saw him win four straight Grade 1 races in eye-catching fashion, including the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. [...]

Pegasus World Cup Contenders Complete Pre-Race Workouts

Gun Runner after winning the 2017 Breeders' Cup Classic (Photo by Kazushi Ishida/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup) With the $16 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park just three days away, the twelve contenders have pretty much wrapped up their major training for the world’s richest horse race. From Santa Anita to Gulfstream Park and at tracks and training centers seemingly everywhere in between, the mornings have been busy with news of workouts and pre-race preparations. Let’s catch up on the [...]

How Fast Finishes Can Identify Future Stars

Arrogate setting a track record in the Travers Stakes (gr. I) - Susie Raisher/Coglianese Photography How can you tell when a young, lightly-raced horse has the talent to step up in class and become a winner at the highest levels of the sport? There are many ways to judge the merits of a young racehorse, but one factor I’ve routinely found valuable is finishing speed—how fast a horse runs the last two or three furlongs going a mile [...]

2017: A Year in Reflection

Gun Runner after winning the 2017 Breeders' Cup Classic (Photo by Kazushi Ishida/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup) With only a few days remaining in 2017, now seems like a great time to look back at a memorable year of racing from coast to coast and throughout the world. From best bets to favorite races, here are some of my most memorable moments from 2017…. Best Bet of the Year When I look back at 2017, I think my best bet [...]

2017 Year in Review: 10 Best Horses

  Everyone who follows racing will have their ideas about who the best horses in the world are. No two lists will be alike. Ignoring my unfortunate black spot regarding horses in South America and South Africa, these are my top 10 for the year.   Gun Runner topped off a wonderfully consistent season with a Breeders' Cup Classic triumph. (Photo by Steve Dalmado/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images) Arrogate It’s a shame Arrogate ended 2017 so badly. He lost a [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10 – 12/19/17

Principe Guilherme winning an allowance race at Fair Grounds (Hodges Photography) “He’s like a young Gun Runner.” That’s the thought that crosses my mind when I think about the exciting two-year-old Principe Guilherme, who brought his record to a perfect 2-for-2 with an eye-catching allowance win at Fair Grounds on December 16th. Some of the similarities are obvious. Principe Guilherme, like Gun Runner, is from the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. Both colts opened their [...]