Keeneland: 9 Breeders’ Cup preps on the agenda for opening week

Elate winning the Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2) - Coady Photography On a huge opening weekend of racing at Keeneland, nine “Win and You’re In” qualifiers for the November 1-2 Breeders’ Cup will be conducted. With the action spread across Friday, Saturday and Sunday, you won’t want to miss a single day of racing. To help you stay up to speed, here’s a quick rundown of all Keeneland’s Breeders’ Cup preps, including race numbers and post times (all [...]

McPeek filly to follow winning formula in Pocahontas Stakes

You can take your pick of fillies who recorded maiden victories on dirt at Saratoga, Del Mar, Gulfstream Park, Colonial Downs, Ellis Park or Indiana Grand, but I’m going to play outside the box and favor #6 Morning Gold, whose maiden victory came on grass at Saratoga.

2019 Kentucky Oaks Final Top 5 Rankings

Bellafina winning the Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar - © BENOIT PHOTO The Kentucky Oaks, on the Friday before the Run for the Roses, is shaping up to be incredibly competitive. Last year, Monomoy Girl easily won the Oaks, but this year’s favorite, Bellafina, could face some serious competition. No doubt, Bellafina’s the chalk. She’s at the top of my final Kentucky Oaks Top 5 because she’s a dynamite racehorse and the most accomplished of the [...]

Why I’m Betting Signalman in the Blue Grass Stakes

Signalman winning the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) - Coady Photography To be honest, you could pick a name out of a hat and probably have as good a chance at picking the winner of Saturday’s $1 million Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland as any handicapper employing a more analytical approach. That’s because this 1 1/8-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race has attracted a full field of fourteen starters without any particular standouts. [...]

How to Bet the Louisiana Derby

War of Will winning the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) © Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges, Jr. I don’t think anyone will deny that #6 War of Will is going to be tough to beat in the March 23 Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds. The 1 1/8-mile races kicks off the final round of Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races offering 100 qualification points to the winner. War of Will hardly needs them; after all, he’s [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10: Code of Honor Returns

Code of Honor winning the Fountain of Youth Stakes - © Adam Coglianese Photography Code of Honor is back. Hidden Scroll is gone (at least temporarily). Roadster is moving up, Signalman is moving down, and that pretty much sums up the changes to my latest Kentucky Derby Top 10. The Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), won by Code of Honor in late-running fashion, was the main catalyst for change, but it was nothing compared to the action [...]

Dubai Carnival Update: Walking Thunder Carries Derby Dreams for Dubai

Thunder Snow winning the 2018 Dubai World Cup - Coady Photography From the deserts of the Middle East to the bluegrass of Kentucky, who’s coming to Churchill Downs by way of Dubai? With 170 Kentucky Derby qualification points on the line in the March 30 UAE Derby (UAE-II) at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, we're bound to see one or two horses use the desert challenge as a springboard to Churchill Downs. Although no UAE Derby starter has ever [...]

Harvey Wallbanger Posts 29-1 Upset in Holy Bull Stakes

Harvey Wallbanger winning the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. II) - Photo by Adam Coglianese Photography/Leslie Martin Harvey Wallbanger spent much of Saturday’s Fasig-Tipon Holy Bull Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park racing in last place, but the 29-1 shot made the last move and ultimately had the last laugh as he rallied to post a stunning upset victory. The early pace of the 8.5-furlong Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race wound up more contested than expected as Epic [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby Contender Profile: Signalman

Signalman winning the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) - Coady Photography Million-dollar yearlings make headlines from the moment they change hands at auction. But what about $32,000 yearlings? They have to wait and let their racing exploits make headlines instead, and suffice to say, Signalman is already making plenty of headlines. When trainer Kenny McPeek purchased the modestly-priced colt out of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall 2017 Yearling Sale on behalf of Tommie M. Lewis, David A. Bersen, [...]

Signalman Digs Deep in Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes

Signalman winning the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) - Coady Photography You can argue that luck played a significant role in allowing Signalman to reach the wire first in Saturday’s $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. But luck merely put Signalman in the position to win, and it was unquestionably his class and determination that sealed the deal. Facing a full field of thirteen rivals in the 1 1/16-mile Road to the Kentucky [...]