Rating the First Round of 2019 Kentucky Derby Preps

Game Winner winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) - Coady Photography With the running of Sunday's Remington Springboard Mile, the last North American Kentucky Derby prep race of the year entered the history books, bringing to a close the first stage of qualification for the 2019 “Run for the Roses.” From September through December, nine Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races were conducted across the country, and while the majority offered the same number of qualification [...]

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 [...]

Playing Against the Favorites in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes

Knicks Go winning the Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) - Keeneland Photo Full field? Check. Competitive betting race? Check. Official Kentucky Derby prep race? Check again. The 2018-19 Road to the Kentucky Derby will resume on Saturday with the $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs, and from a handicapping perspective, there’s nothing not to like about this 1 1/16-mile event. I find the race particularly exciting because I’m not convinced that the expected favorites [...]

Breeders’ Cup Among Highlights of September and Fall Meets at Churchill Downs

The Twin Spires at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Starting this Friday and continuing through the end of November, Churchill Downs racetrack—home of the Kentucky Derby—will host a pair of race meets that will showcase some of the most accomplished older horses and the most promising young runners in the sport of Thoroughbred racing. The first meet, scheduled for September 14th through September 30th, will offer eight stakes races (five of them graded) that could serve as springboards to [...]

McLaughlin, Godolphin Back on Derby Trail with Enticed

Enticed wins the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (Coady Photo/Churchill Downs) Just how strong was the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park? The runner-up Good Magic came back to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I). The fourth-place finisher Kowboy Karma ran a strong second in the James F. Lewis Stakes at Laurel Park. And on November 25th, the third-place finisher Enticed returned to win the 8.5-furlong Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs to stamp [...]

Deep field contests Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes

Gotta Go (left) beats Lone Sailor to win the Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs. Pic: Coady Photography. Champagne Stakes (G1) third-place finisher Enticed heads a Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) field strong in numbers and potential at Churchill Downs Nov. 25. Fourteen horses are entered for the race, which carries qualifying points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby table. Enticed had two good horses in front of him in the Champagne Stakes: the winner Firenze Fire, [...]