2019 Kentucky Derby: Eight Unraced Nominees to Remember

Justify winning the Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography It seems hard to believe, but last year at this time, Triple Crown winner Justify was still a week away from his career debut. Perhaps emboldened by the extraordinary success of the colt who shattered the “Apollo Curse,” seventy unraced horses have been nominated to the 2019 Triple Crown, including three who haven’t even been named yet. If you’re in the mood to look for the second coming of Justify [...]

Year in Review: The Best Horse of 2018

Almond Eye winning the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) - Photo courtesy of the Japan Racing Association While the debate over U.S. Horse of the Year honors has taken up a lot of press since the Breeders’ Cup, I find a less formal but no less challenging debate to be just as interesting—who was the best horse to race anywhere in the world in 2018? I’m not just looking for who compiled the best campaign, or who ran the best [...]

Year in Review: The Best Race of 2018

Justify winning the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) - Jim McCue Photography Horse racing fans were treated to some highly memorable moments in 2018. From Justify’s sweep of the Triple Crown to Accelerate’s season-defining victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the racing year was packed with exciting action and thrilling finishes. As a result, trying to define the single greatest race of the year is a task easier said than done, and one fraught with caveats and clarifications. Are [...]

2018 Horse of the Year Vote Could Shape Racing’s Future

Jockey Mike Smith aboard Kentucky Derby winner Justify - Coady Photography Accelerate winning the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) - Coady Photography When Justify crossed the wire first in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) to complete a rare sweep of the coveted Triple Crown, most racing fans assumed that the battle for 2018 Horse of the Year honors had already been won. In the years since formal voting for Horse of the Year began in 1936, [...]

Betting Regional Class Advantages, Part 2

Coady Photography In a recent article here on BetAmerica, we discussed how regional class advantages can exist throughout the sport of horse racing and produce to profitable wagering opportunities. Our first example noted how turf horses from the East Coast tend to be superior to their counterparts from the West Coast, but when we turn our attention to dirt racing, the picture looks very different. Specifically, when it comes to three-year-old dirt horses—Kentucky Derby candidates—the west has been [...]

When Do Kentucky Derby Winners Typically Debut?

Justify winning the Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography There can be no denying that the 2018 Kentucky Derby victory by Justify has signaled a significant shift in the way that horses are being prepared for that tough test on the first Saturday in May. With horses racing less and less prior to the Kentucky Derby, we knew it was just a matter of time before a talented horse would come along and replicate the fabled 1882 Kentucky Derby [...]

Accelerate Completes Sensational Season with Breeders’ Cup Classic Victory

Accelerate winning the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) - Coady Photography Long ago, there was some doubt about Accelerate’s ability to handle 1 ¼ miles in top company. He was more of a miler, or so the thinking went; a talented horse no doubt, but not exactly a superstar. But Accelerate has proven to be a classic example of a horse who requires time to mature and reach his peak, and now that he's reached his peak, his [...]

Betting Longshot Golden Brown in the Haskell Invitational

Good Magic winning the 2017 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Photo by Carson Denis/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup) The recent retirement of Triple Crown winner Justify means that several rich prizes for three-year-olds will be up for grabs this summer, including Sunday’s $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park. The nine-furlong race—a "Win and You're In" for the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I)—was originally supposed to mark Justify’s first start since the Belmont Stakes. But now that he’s retired, a [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Classic Top 10 – 7/16/18

West Coast winning the Travers Stakes (gr. I) - Photo by NYRA/Coglianese Photos/Chris Rahayel Suffice to say, a lot has happened since I published my first ranking of the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) contenders back in June. With the uncertainty surrounding the racing future of Triple Crown winner Justify, I have decided to at least temporarily remove him from my Top 10. He’ll rejoin my list when or if he resumes serious training. In the meantime, here’s [...]