8 run throughout 4th of July weekend


Chelsea Durand/NYRA

On this biweekly sequence, racing analyst Keeler Johnson shares promising horses from his handicapping watch record, reviewing runners who’ve lately caught his eye and previewing horses scheduled to run again within the close to future.

Upcoming Entries

Aloha West

Reigning Breeders’ Cup Dash winner Aloha West will try to get again on a profitable observe in Saturday’s ninth race at Churchill Downs, the Kelly’s Touchdown (put up time 5:16 p.m. EDT).

The stretch-running 5-year-old faltered when dealing with powerful firm in his first two begins of the season, ending third behind champion Jackie’s Warrior within the Churchill Downs (G1) earlier than coming dwelling fourth within the Metropolitan Handicap (G1) over a one-mile distance probably longer than his finest. Reducing again in distance and dropping down into the ungraded stakes ranks is perhaps all Aloha West must rebound.

Cost It

The superbly bred Cost It failed to fireside his finest shot with a troubled journey within the Kentucky Derby (G1), ending seventeenth by a large margin. However the son of Tapit can bounce again to the winner’s circle in Saturday’s eighth race at Belmont Park, the Grade 3 Dwyer (put up time 4:38 p.m. EDT).

Cost It confirmed loads of promise through the winter at Gulfstream Park, profitable a one-mile maiden particular weight by 8 1/2 lengths earlier than racing greenly to a runner-up end within the Florida Derby (G1). Dealing with solely 5 rivals within the Dwyer ought to swimsuit Cost It simply advantageous, and he enters off a pair of bullet exercises, suggesting a aggressive effort is within the offing.

Cody’s Want

The one-turn mile configuration of Monday’s eighth race at Churchill Downs, the Hanshin (put up time 4:22 p.m. EDT) figures to be good for Cody’s Want. The superbly bred Invoice Mott trainee is 4-for-4 in one-turn miles, with three of these victories coming at Churchill.

Cody’s Want’s most up-to-date begin over a one-turn mile yielded a dominant five-length rating within the Westchester (G3) at Belmont. That effort produced a career-best 106 Brisnet Velocity score, stamping Cody’s Want as a formidable favourite whereas returning to Churchill.


Effectivity appeared like a potential star within the making when dominating a 1 1/16-mile maiden particular weight at Belmont Park final month. The Chad Brown-trained son of Gun Runner powered clear down the homestretch to win by 11 lengths over a sloppy observe.

Effectivity isn’t assured to start out in Saturday’s tenth race at Belmont Park, a one-mile turf allowance (put up time 5:40 p.m. EDT); he’s a main-track solely entrant who will solely begin if rain switches the race from turf to filth. However with rain within the forecast for Saturday, it’s potential Effectivity will discover a good alternative to attain his second profession win.


Gulfport was a terrific debut winner sprinting 5 furlongs at Churchill Downs final month, urgent the tempo earlier than powering clear to win by seven lengths. This eye-catching effort produced a 92 Brisnet Velocity score, the best determine in Monday’s sixth race at Churchill Downs, the Bashford Manor (put up time 3:18 p.m. EDT).

As a son of Uncle Mo out of an Unbridled’s Tune mare, Gulfport has the pedigree to enhance with maturity and seems to have a lot of upside. I’m excited to see how he performs whereas getting into stakes firm for the Bashford Manor.

Life Is Good

Freshened since weakening to complete fourth over 1 1/4 miles within the $12 million Dubai World Cup (G1) on March 26, Life Is Good will return to motion over a much less strenuous seven-furlong journey in Saturday’s fourth race at Belmont Park, the John A. Nerud (G2) (put up time 2:34 p.m. EDT).

Life Is Good’s solely earlier begin over this distance yielded a runner-up effort in a powerful renewal of the H. Allen Jerkens Memorial (G1) at Saratoga final summer time, crushed solely a neck by future champion Jackie’s Warrior. Life Is Good subsequently rattled off blowout victories within the Kelso Handicap (G2), Breeders’ Cup Grime Mile, and Pegasus World Cup (G1), so a typical effort from Life Is Good within the John A. Nerud would make him formidable.


4 begins, 4 victories. Olympiad has been a beast in 2022, with consecutive victories within the Mineshaft (G3), New Orleans Traditional (G2), and Alysheba (G2) below his belt. The son of Speightstown combines tactical velocity with a powerful ending kick, and his 4-for-4 file this yr coincides with stretching out round two turns.

Olympiad’s enhancing profile stamps the Invoice Mott trainee as a formidable win menace in Saturday’s tenth race at Churchill Downs, the Stephen Foster (G2) (put up time 5:47 p.m. EDT). Don’t be stunned if Olympiad provides one other victory to his resume, setting the stage for an ascent into Grade 1 firm through the summer time at Saratoga.

Speaker’s Nook

If anybody can problem Life Is Good within the John A. Nerud, it’s certainly Speaker’s Nook. Though he was crushed to 3rd place in a tricky renewal of the Metropolitan Handicap (G1) final month, Speaker’s Nook have to be admired for setting an formidable tempo in opposition to the likes of undefeated famous person Flightline.

Speaker’s Nook beforehand dominated the seven-furlong Carter Handicap (G1) at Aqueduct, incomes robust Beyer and Brisnet velocity figures. On his finest day, Speaker’s Nook is quick sufficient to provide Life Is Good a tussle within the John A. Nerud, particularly if Life Is Good wants a race in his first begin again from Dubai.

Which horses do you will have your eyes on?

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