2019 Kentucky Derby Contender Profile: Improbable

Improbable winning the Los Alamitos Futurity (gr. I) - © Benoit Photo Trainer Bob Baffert is well accustomed to wheeling and dealing with expensive horses. Triple Crown winner Justify cost $500,000. Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Arrogate cost $560,000. Two of Baffert’s flashy maiden winners this year cost $925,000 and $625,000. But some of Baffert’s best runners this season have been quite inexpensive by those standards, and that includes Improbable, who sold for just $200,000 at the 2017 Keeneland [...]

Watch Out, Game Winner: Improbable Impresses in Los Alamitos Futurity

Improbable winning the Los Alamitos Futurity (gr. I) - © Benoit Photo Question—which horse is the most talented two-year-old currently residing in the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert? Prior to the running of the December 8th Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity (gr. I) at Los Alamitos, most racing fans would have quickly answered Game Winner, the three-time Grade 1 winner and probable champion two-year-old male of 2018. But then Baffert sent out Improbable to crush the [...]

Betting a Baffert Exacta in the Los Alamitos Futurity

Improbable winning the Street Sense Stakes - Coady Photography Just how many times has the Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert won the $300,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (gr. I), which will be renewed for the 38th time on December 8th? Well, technically, Baffert has never lost the Los Alamitos Futurity. Since the race was moved to Los Alamitos in 2014, Baffert has prevailed in every edition, and he also won the race six times during its glory days at [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10: Maximus Mischief On the Rise

The field rounds the first turn of the 2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Although no new names have joined my Kentucky Derby Top 10 following the weekend of December 1-2, that doesn’t mean my rankings have gone completely unchanged. To the contrary, Maximus Mischief has moved up following an eye-catching victory in the Remsen Stakes (gr. II), while Code of Honor has dropped a slot after unexpectedly missing the Remsen. My [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10: Signalman Moves Up

Signalman winning the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) - Coady Photography The action on the Road to the Kentucky Derby picked up over the weekend with Signalman claiming a gutsy victory in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) and the filly Make Happy powering to a decisive win in the Cattleya Sho in Japan. Plus, two weekends ago, we saw trainer Bob Baffert debut yet another exciting two-year-old who appears to have a very bright future. [...]

Early Impressions on the Road to the 2019 Kentucky Derby

The field rounds the first turn of the 2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography With less than six months remaining until the 2019 Kentucky Derby, we’re about to enter what I like to consider the second stage of the qualification process. The first stage included the major Breeders’ Cup prep races such as the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) and American Pharoah Stakes (gr. I) and culminated with the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10: Pedigree Ratings

Instagrand winning the Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar - © BENOIT PHOTO Analyzing pedigrees is a big part of searching for promising Kentucky Derby contenders. A horse might show promise sprinting, but does it have the pedigree to excel going the Derby distance of 1 ¼ miles? With this in mind, I’ve poured over the pedigrees of the horses in my Kentucky Derby Top 10 and have rated their pedigrees on scale of 1 to [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10: Game Winner the Early Leader

The field rounds the first turn of the 2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Well, the 2018 Breeders’ Cup is in the history books, and you know what that means—it’s time to start looking ahead toward the 2019 Kentucky Derby! A handful of official prep races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby have already been run, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, and less than six months remain until the first Saturday [...]