2018 Kentucky Derby: A Horse-By-Horse Recap

Justify winning the Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography The results of the 144th Kentucky Derby are in the history books, and it was a day for records to broken. Record rainfall. Record wagering. The demise of the fabled “Apollo Curse.” Throw in the fact that favored Justify delivered with a huge victory, and you have an unforgettable Kentucky Derby. But the Preakness and Belmont Stakes are still to come, so Triple Crown season is far from over. With an [...]

Shapiro’s Fair Odds Line for the 2018 Kentucky Derby

Coady Photography Today is the day. At 6:48 ET the anticipation ends and the gates open for the 144th Kentucky Derby. With less than 12 hours before the big race there is little work left to be done. It is now in the hands of the racing gods. With that being said here is my final fair odds line for the 2018 “Run for the Roses.” #1 Firenze Fire (500-1) Likely to send from the rail, but also [...]

Justify Draws Lucky Seven at Kentucky Derby Post Position Draw

The post positions for the 2018 Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography Trainer Bob Baffert was late in arriving at the post position draw for the 2018 Kentucky Derby, but if he was worried about where his horses would draw, he needn’t have been. By the time Baffert arrived, his Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Justify had drawn post seven in the “Run for the Roses,” an ideal position that has cemented the unbeaten colt as the horse [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10 — 4/24/18

Justify - © Benoit Photo Twelve days, folks. Just twelve days remain until twenty of the best three-year-old Thoroughbreds from North America and Europe vie for supremacy in the 2018 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Since the start of December, I’ve been compiling a weekly ranking of the top Kentucky Derby contenders, an enjoyable exercise that is equal parts challenging and fun. Many names have come and gone from my list, but now the prep races are complete [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10 — 4/18/18

Magnum Moon winning the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) - Coady Photography It’s been a long and winding road, but the final prep races for the 2018 Kentucky Derby were run last Saturday, meaning that the field for the “Run for the Roses” is more or less established. From now until the Derby, the main focus will be on the pre-race workouts, with handicappers watching the morning training sessions to get a glimpse of each contender and gauge how [...]

Analyzing Magnum Moon’s Arkansas Derby Victory

Magnum Moon winning the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) - Coady Photography If the fabled “Apollo Curse” is ever going to be broken, 2018 could certainly be the year. No horse since Apollo in 1882 has won the Kentucky Derby without racing as a two-year-old, but times are changing and it’s possible that the two favorites for the 2018 Derby will be colts that went unraced as juveniles. Last week, Justify put his name in the mix with an [...]

Betting Longshot Beautiful Shot in the Arkansas Derby

Beautiful Shot galloping at Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography To me, Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park presents an interesting handicapping quandary. On paper, the nine-furlong Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race looks simple enough to handicap. The favorite is the unbeaten #6 Magnum Moon, who won the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn last month by an authoritative 3 ½ lengths, earning a 100 BRIS speed figure. A repeat of that effort [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10 — 4/10/18

Good Magic winning the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II) - Keeneland Photo With just two prep races remaining to be run, the field is pretty much set for the 2018 Kentucky Derby, leaving handicappers to debate the merits of the many impressive performances we’ve seen over the last several months. For me, the results of Saturday’s three major prep races—the Santa Anita Derby, the Blue Grass Stakes, and the Wood Memorial—did little to change my opinions of the [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10 — 4/3/18

Audible winning the Florida Derby (gr. I) - Photo by Adam Coglianese Photography The Road to the 2018 Kentucky Derby took some twists over the last few days, and for some well-regarded contenders, the road has gotten bumpy. The prep races over the weekend were the Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park and the UAE Derby (UAE-II) at Meydan, in which Audible and Mendelssohn stamped their Derby credentials with impressive victories. But some of their beaten rivals [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10 — 3/29/18

Noble Indy winning the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds - Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges, Jr. Question—what do Bravazo, Combatant, Free Drop Billy, Mississippi, Promises Fulfilled, Quip, and Reride have in common? Answer—they’re all contenders for the 2018 Kentucky Derby and they all scored their maiden victories at Churchill Downs, where the Derby is held each year. While experience over the main track at Churchill Downs certainly isn’t a bad thing for a Derby contender, you might be [...]