How to Bet the Lecomte Stakes

War of Will breaking his maiden at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Following a two-week break, the Road to the Kentucky Derby will resume on Saturday with the $200,000 Lecomte Stakes (gr. III), the first of three Kentucky Derby prep races being held at Fair Grounds this winter. The race attracted 15 entrants, though at least two runners are expected to scratch, and with heavy rain in the forecast for Saturday, there’s no telling what might happen in [...]

Analyzing the Strength of the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Field

Game Winner winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) - Coady Photography Just over two months have elapsed since thirteen young Kentucky Derby contenders vied for supremacy in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, giving us time to formulate clearer opinions on the overall strength of the Juvenile field. https://youtu.be/czkxQKL7gI8 So far, eight of the thirteen Juvenile starters have come back to run again, with a mixture of success and disappointment. Let’s take a [...]

2018-19 Road to the Kentucky Derby Year-End Review

The field rounds the first turn of the 2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography With the running of the Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun in Japan on December 19th, the final Kentucky Derby prep race of 2018 entered the history books, giving us an opportunity to look back on the season before the calendar turns over and we continue headlong toward the 2019 Derby. During the course of the primary Road to the Kentucky [...]

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 [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Top 10: Game Winner Leads the Way

Game Winner winning the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) - © Benoit Photo Now that the final major prep races for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) have been run, we can start analyzing the prospective field and rank the top contenders with significantly greater knowledge and information than we would have possessed even a week ago. So I’ll kick off the new week by sharing my Top 10 contenders for the much-anticipated Churchill Downs championship…. Game [...]

Iroquois Stakes: Cairo Cat Wins First Prep Race for 2019 Kentucky Derby

Cairo Cat (left) rallies to defeat Tight Ten in the Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs - Coady Photography Pinch yourself—is it a dream? No, it’s real. It seems hard to believe, but the first miles on the road to Louisville for the 2019 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) were officially traveled on Saturday when a dozen promising two-year-old vied for supremacy in the $150,000 Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs, where 7 ½ months from now [...]

How to Bet the Iroquois Stakes

Hog Creek Hustle winning his debut at Ellis Park - Coady Photography It seems hard to believe, but the 2018-19 Road to the Kentucky Derby kicks off this Saturday with the running of the $150,000 Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs, which also serves as a “Win and You’re In” prep race for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I). Suffice to say, there’s a lot on the line in this 8 ½-furlong race, and if one [...]

Saratoga 2yos Analysis: Chad Brown On the Rise

The fourth weekend of the Saratoga meet featured a couple more graded stakes races for juveniles, including one that was essentially the definition of a closer-favoring race. The action kicked off on Saturday with the $200,000 Adirondack Stakes (gr. II), a 6 ½-furlong sprint for fillies contested over a drying-out main track labeled “good.” The track was a bit tiresome as a result, so you can imagine what happened when race favorite Lyrical Lady and longshot Mucho Amor wound up [...]