Expert Picks

John Asher

John AsherAfter covering his first Kentucky Derby as a radio journalist in 1982, John Asher has not missed the “Run for the Roses” since that debut. He joined Churchill Downs in 1997 as a publicist and racing analyst, and moved to his current role as vice president of Racing Communications two years later. Before his arrival at Churchill Downs, Asher earned five media Eclipse Awards for Outstanding National Radio Coverage of Thoroughbred Racing at Louisville radio stations WHAS and WAVG. When he served as Churchill Downs’ on-air TV host and analyst, the track was honored with the inaugural “National Simulcast Award” in 1997.


  1. Mohaymen
  2. Mor Spirit
  3. Gun Runner
  4. My Man Sam
  5. Nyquist
  6. Brody's Cause
  7. Creator
  8. Exaggerator
  9. Mo Tom
  10. Whitmore


  1. Lewis Bay
  2. Rachel's Valentina
  3. Royal Obsssion
  4. Weep No More
  5. Land Over Sea
  6. Terra Promessa
  7. Cathryn Sophia
  8. Taxable
  9. Dream Dance
  10. Go Maggie Go

Jill Byrne

Jill ByrneJill is the Director of Programming and Senior Racing Analyst at Churchill Downs.Jill manages the Churchill Simulcast shows, in venue Big Board production as well as content for the Road to Kentucky Derby series. Along with her production and on-air skills and top-notch racing analysis, Byrne is an accomplished horsewoman who worked in the development of 1997 Horse of the Year and juvenile champion Favorite Trick and Countess Diana, that year’s champion 2-year-old filly. She was also involved in the campaign of Awesome Again who defeated 1997 Kentucky Derby (GI) winner Silver Charm to win the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) at Churchill Downs in 1998.


  1. Nyquist
  2. Exaggerator
  3. Gun Runner
  4. Mohaymen
  5. Shagaf
  6. Lani
  7. Outwork
  8. My Man Sam
  9. Creator
  10. Suddenbreakingnews


  1. Land Over Sea
  2. Lewis Bay
  3. Taxable
  4. Rachel's Valentina
  5. Weep No More
  6. Terra Promessa
  7. Carina Mia
  8. Cathryn Sophia
  9. Royal Obsession
  10. Go Maggie Go

Ed DeRosa

Ed DeRosaEd DeRosa is director of marketing for, the official data source of the Kentucky Derby and Ed joined Churchill Downs Inc. in July 2011 following nine years as a writer and editor with Thoroughbred Times. He grew up in Cleveland and learned to love horse racing while going to Thistledown (now known as Jack Thistledown) with his grandfather. Before last year, Ed had never seen a Triple Crown winner; he still hasn't seen a Cleveland sports championship. Ed's favorite horses are Real Quiet, Ghostzapper, and Rachel Alexandra.


  1. Classic Empire
  2. Three Rules
  3. Not This Time
  4. Underworld
  5. California Diamond
  6. Klimt
  7. Gormley
  8. Lookinforpursemonee
  9. Practical Joke
  10. Green With Eddie


  1. Lady Aurelia
  2. Bode's Dream
  3. Pretty City Dancer
  4. Noted & Quoted
  5. Dude Fantasy
  6. Zapperkat
  7. Champagne Room
  8. Sweet Loretta
  9. Union Strike
  10. Theonewewaitedfor

James Scully

James ScullyJames Scully is editor of the Handicapper's Edge and Bloodstock Journal daily newsletters at and was a panelist on the "Breeders' Cup Handicapping Summit" at Churchill Downs in 2010. A lifelong University of Kentucky fan, James attended his first Kentucky Derby in 1981 (Pleasant Colony).


  1. Klimt
  2. Not This Time
  3. Straight Fire
  4. Syndergaard
  5. Practical Joke
  6. Three Rules
  7. Theory
  8. Gunnevera
  9. Cairo Healer
  10. Classic Empire


  1. American Cleopatra
  2. Union Strike
  3. Sweet Loretta
  4. Pretty City Dancer
  5. Nonna Mela
  6. Champagne Room
  7. Daddys Lil Darling
  8. Cajun Delta Dawn
  9. Cherry Lodge
  10. Coasted

Joe Kristufek

Churchill Downs' paddock host Joe Kristufek began his career in his native Chicago, climbing the ladder at the local racing venues. A self proclaimed "horse racing ambassador", Joe's industry experience spans from Dubai to Hong Kong to more than 30 tracks across North America. An award winning TV producer and fan development specialist, Joe is the morning-line odds maker at several tracks, including Arlington Park. From the infield to the suites and now the paddock, Joe has attended ten Kentucky Derbies in person and he relishes of the challenge of scouting the nation's top 3-year-olds.


  1. Destin
  2. Nyquist
  3. Outwork
  4. Mohaymen
  5. Danzing Candy
  6. Suddenbreakingnews
  7. Mor Spirit
  8. Exaggerator
  9. Mo Tom
  10. Gun Runner


  1. Weep No More
  2. Lewis Bay
  3. Rachel's Valentina
  4. Cathryn Sophia
  5. Land Over Sea
  6. Terra Promessa
  7. Taxable
  8. Dream Dance
  9. Royal Obsession
  10. Go Maggie Go

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