Mendelssohn Returns to the U.S. for Dwyer Stakes

Mendelssohn winning the UAE Derby - Coady Photography He was one of the most polarizing horses in the 2018 Kentucky Derby field, with some handicappers viewing him as a prime win candidate and others tossing him from all of their tickets. That horse was Mendelssohn, who joined the Derby field with his breathtaking 18 ½-length romp in the UAE Derby (UAE-II) at Meydan. Unfortunately, a poor trip over a sloppy, sealed track led to Mendelssohn being eased in [...]

Shapiros’ Fair Odds Line for the 150th Running of the Belmont Stakes

Justify winning the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) - Jim McCue Photography Last week I did a preliminary Fair Odds line for the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, but after further research and the post-position draw here is my final rendition: #1 Justify (Even money) - The undefeated dual Classic winner obviously has a ton going for him, including tactical speed that allows him to make the lead or stalk just off the early pace. However, regressing numbers [...]

Shapiro’s Fair Odds Line for the Belmont Stakes as of May 30th

In just ten days dual classic winner Justify will attempt to make history and become the second Triple Crown winner this century for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. It is hard to believe that this son of Scat Daddy has accomplished so much in such a short period of time. If he can conclude this incredible run dating back to his maiden victory on debut at Santa Anita on February 18th with a win at “Big Sandy” next Saturday [...]

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 [...]

Keeler Johnson’s 2018 Kentucky Derby Fair Odds Line

Good Magic galloping under the Twin Spires - Coady Photography The field is set, the post positions have been drawn, and the countdown to the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (gr. I) continues. One of the final factors that bettors will consider while handicapping the Derby is the morning line odds, which attempt to estimate how the public will bet the race. While the morning line odds are never a perfect match with the [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]