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 [...]

Which Horses are Bred to Handle the Belmont Stakes Distance?

Intrepid Heart winning his debut at Oaklawn Park - Coady Photography While many handicappers will argue pedigrees are no longer a key factor in determining the winner of the Kentucky Derby, they remain an important aspect to consider when analyzing potential contenders for the Belmont Stakes. The 1 1/2-mile distance of the “Test of the Champion" places more emphasis on stamina than the 1 1/4 miles of the Kentucky Derby, so generally speaking Belmont winners tend to boast [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Who is Running in the 2019 Kentucky Derby?

Morning line favorite Omaha Beach drew post #12 in the 2019 Kentucky Derby - Coady Photography Omaha Beach was shaping up to be the favorite for the 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1), even beforethe Tuesday morning post position draw at Churchill Downs, but when the talented colt drew favorably in post position #12, his status as favorite was most assuredly cemented. Omaha Beach was the penultimate horse to be assigned a post position, and there was a 50-50 chance [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby Jockey Assignments, Facts and Trends

Jockey Mike Smith aboard Kentucky Derby winner Justify - Coady Photography It is often said that jockeys are unable to make horses run beyond their abilities, but the difference between victory and defeat can come down to the skills of a rider in saving ground, timing moves correctly and riding hard to the finish line. That’s why the 20 jockeys who will compete in the 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1) include the most talented riders in North America. Leading [...]

Which Horses Should You Avoid Betting in the Kentucky Derby?

Plus Que Parfait wins the UAE Derby (DRC/Neville Hopwood) When it comes to handicapping the Kentucky Derby and playing complex wagers like the trifecta and superfecta, eliminating horses from consideration is often just as helpful as identifying the horses you like. Simply qualifying to the Derby is an accomplishment in and of itself, so it goes without saying that the 20 horses who will line up in the Churchill Downs starting gate are all talented individuals. But in [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby: Keeler Johnson’s Morning Line Projection

Churchill Downs - Coady Photography In recent years post-time favorites in the Kentucky Derby have been starting at relatively short prices, especially when you consider the uncommonly large size of the annual Derby field. This has coincided with a historic streak of six consecutive winning favorites. Orb, who prevailed in the 2013 Derby at odds of 5.40-1, has been the only member of the current streak to start above 5-1. He’s been followed into the Derby winner’s circle [...]

2019 Kentucky Derby: Contender Birth Dates and Historical Trends

Omaha Beach wins the Arkansas Derby (Coady Photo/Oaklawn) Based on their birth dates, it appears that the 2019 Kentucky Derby contenders are skewing a bit younger than usual this year. You can usually count on there being a handful of January-born contenders, along with a few born in May, while the majority will have been born during the February/March/April window. But 2019 is shaping up to be a bit different. Not a single top 25 Derby contender was [...]