Breeders’ Cup Mile top 5: International flair

One Master training at Churchill Downs - © John Voorhees/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM /Breeders Cup The Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) annually ranks among the most competitive races at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The one-mile grass event typically attracts a strong field of North American representatives and a high-class contingent of international challengers. The 2019 Mile figures to be no exception, and in attempting to compile a ranking of the top five contenders, I’ve scoured the globe in search of [...]

BARN Podcast 7/3/19

It's Wednesday and we look ahead to some of the races at Belmont and Woodbine happening on this Wednesday afternoon. Then we head up to Fort Erie to do a live interview with Fort Erie Racing's analyst and handicapper Ashley Mailloux. We talk about Fort Erie, handicapping, her story in the game, working the Preakness, and more!

Preakness Stakes Make the Case – Alwaysmining & Win Win Win

This year’s Preakness Stakes figures to be more of a handicapping challenge than any Preakness since 2010. Lookin At Lucky beat Derby winner Super Saver that year. We could see something similar on Saturday with a second or third choice horse like Alwaysmining winning the race. Or, we could see a horse like Win Win Win shrug off his Derby debacle to take the Second Jewel. Check out cases for and against both Alwaysmining and Win Win Win to take [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Keeler Johnson’s Kentucky Derby Top 10: The Final Rankings

Omaha Beach winning the Arkansas Derby (G1) - Coady Photography The major workouts are complete, most of the contenders have arrived at Churchill Downs and just five days remain until the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby. I’ve been sharing my Kentucky Derby Top 10 rankings every week since the beginning of November, when Game Winner, Improbable, Code of Honor and Roadster, comprised four of my top five horses. Six months later they still rank among the main names in [...]

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 [...]