How to bet the 2019 Belmont Derby

Digital Age winning the American Turf Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography How should we go about narrowing down the main contenders in Saturday’s $1 million Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park? Fifteen horses (one an also-eligible) have been entered in the 1 1/4-mile turf race for 3-year-olds, and you can make a case for pretty much any of them. Determining which horses warrant inclusion in deep exotic wagers like the trifecta or superfecta [...]

Can Japan challenge in the Belmont Derby and Belmont Oaks?

Master Fencer galloping at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography The New York Racing Association announced Wednesday the Japan-based 3-year-olds Master Fencer and Jodie will compete in the $1 million Belmont Derby (G1) and the $750,000 Belmont Oaks (G1), respectively. The Derby and the Oaks, a pair of 1 1/4-mile turf tests scheduled for July 6 at Belmont Park, have quickly risen in prominence since their creation in 2014. The races have attracted high-quality challengers from Europe, but Master [...]

Keeler Johnson’s 2019 Belmont Stakes fair odds line

Intrepid Heart winning his debut at Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography Upon release of the 2019 Belmont Stakes (G1) entries Tuesday evening, I immediately started work on my annual fair odds line for identifying wagering value. The concept behind my fair odds line is simple. For each horse in the field, I ask myself, “What are the chances of this horse reaching the winner’s circle?” After assigning a probability of winning to each horse (25%, 12.50%, etc.), I [...]

Wagering on the Belmont Stakes with different budgets

Tacitus winning the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) - Photo by SV Photography This year’s Belmont Stakes (G1) will not get attention from the national media that the 2018 rendition did as Justify chased racing immortality, but it is still an intriguing final leg of the Triple Crown. War of Will, off of his victory in the Preakness Stakes (G1), and Tacitus, who was last seen crossing the wire fourth in the Kentucky Derby (G1), will take the bulk [...]

Running styles suggest slow pace in 2019 Belmont Stakes

The field breaks from the gate in the 2016 Belmont Stakes - Chelsea Durand/Coglianese Photography Contrary to popular belief, the 1 1/2-mile distance of the Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park does not give an advantage to deep closers. The typically slow pace of the Belmont Stakes gives frontrunners and pressers/stalkers an advantage that is difficult for late runners to overcome. Since 2008 three horses (Da’ Tara, American Pharoah and Justify) have won the Belmont in gate-to-wire fashion, [...]

Which Horses Have the Best Chance to Win the Belmont Stakes?

Game Winner winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) - Coady Photography With entries due in less than two weeks, the field is slowly coming together for the final leg of the Triple Crown, the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 8 at Belmont Park. At least 11 horses are under consideration for the 1 1/2-mile “Test of the Champion,” and more could join the field during the coming weeks. The Belmont figures to come up deeper [...]

Which Horses Will Run in the 2019 Preakness Stakes?

Improbable winning the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) - © Benoit Photo Which horses are expected to compete in the 2019 Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico? At this point, a better question might be “which horses are not expected to compete in the Preakness?” The potential field for the second leg of the Triple Crown is still in flux, but it’s safe to say the biggest names will be absent from the May 18 classic. Country House, the official [...]

Five Takeaways from the 2019 Kentucky Derby

Maximum Security and Country House battle to the wire in the Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography The Kentucky Derby is nicknamed “the greatest two minutes in sports,” but it’s safe to say the 2019 renewal could also be considered “the most controversial two minutes in sports.” Seemingly everyone—even the President of the United States—has shared an opinion on the disqualification of Maximum Security, who crossed the wire first only to be disqualified for interference on the far turn, [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby Horse-by-Horse Trip Notes

The finish of the 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1) - Coady Photography The 2019 Kentucky Derby will go down as one of the strangest and most controversial in history, but for handicappers, it’s just another race to dissect the same as any other. While most of the attention is being focused on the disqualified Maximum Security, the upgraded winner Country House and the troubled pair of War of Will and Long Range Toddy, it’s important for handicappers to take a [...]

How is Keeler Johnson Playing the 2019 Kentucky Derby?

Omaha Beach (right) holds off Game Winner (left) in the Rebel Stakes (G2) - Coady Photography While I’m still plotting out my wagering strategy for the 2019 Kentucky Derby, I’ve essentially nailed down my overall opinions of each horse and have determined whether I’ll be using them on my tickets. The Tuesday morning post position draw helped clarify my position on a few bubble contenders, including War of Will and Spinoff. I’ve sorted the 20 horses into four [...]