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. Classic Empire
  2. McCraken
  3. Mastery
  4. Hemsworth
  5. Practical Joke
  6. Lookin At Lee
  7. Gunnevera
  8. Wild Shot
  9. Mo Town
  10. El Areeb


  1. Valadorna
  2. Champagne Room
  3. Elate
  4. Unique Bella
  5. Abel Tazman
  6. American Gal
  7. Farrell
  8. Ever So Clever
  9. Daddys Lil Darlin
  10. Dancing Rags

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. Underwood
  3. Practical Joke
  4. El Areeb
  5. McCraken
  6. American Anthem
  7. Uncontested
  8. Mo Town
  9. Gormley
  10. Gunnevera


  1. Bode's Dream
  2. Unique Bella
  3. Valadorna
  4. Pretty City Dancer
  5. Champagne Room
  6. American Gal
  7. Noted & Quoted
  8. Abel Tasman
  9. Shane's Girlfriend 
  10. Ms Locust Point

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. Classic Empire
  2. McCraken
  3. Mastery
  4. American Anthem
  5. Gormley
  6. Mo Town
  7. El Areeb
  8. Practical Joke
  9. Irish War Cry
  10. No Dozing


  1. Champagne Room
  2. Valadorna
  3. Daddy's Lil Darling
  4. Shane's Girlfriend
  5. Farrell
  6. Abel Tasman
  7. American Gal
  8. Unique Bella
  9. Bode's Dream
  10. Untapped

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 12 Kentucky Derbies in person and he relishes of the challenge of scouting the nation's top 3-year-olds.


  1. Classic Empire
  2. McCraken
  3. Mastery
  4. Good Samaritan
  5. Gormley
  6. American Anthem
  7. Practical Joke
  8. Mo Town
  9. El Areeb
  10. Untrapped


  1. Unique Bella
  2. Farrell
  3. Valadorna
  4. Elate
  5. Daddy's Lil Darlin
  6. Abel Tasman
  7. Champagne Room
  8. Pretty City Dancer
  9. Miss Sky Warrior 
  10. Jenda's Agenda

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