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Fantasy League Update: Kentucky Derby Field Taking Shape
Essential Quality (Credit: Coady Photography)

Fantasy League Update: Kentucky Derby Field Taking Shape

Each week, this important article will provide the standings, power rankings, and recent transactions for every league member. Not only will you see the latest claims in the league (which will show you what horses might be up-and-coming), but you will also get updates on the runners as they prepare for their next starts along the Kentucky Derby (G1) Trail.

Let’s check out all the latest transactions and scoring updates as the Kentucky Derby field takes shape:

Current Standings

Ranking TeamScoreCurrent Team Members
1Paul "Free Beers" Withrow201Brooklyn Strong, Promise Keeper, Medina Spirit, Triple Tap, Prevalence
2Jared Welch131Highly Motivated, Hot Rod Charlie, Ghazaaly, Donegal Bay, Class Reunion
3The Killer Bs110Mandaloun, The Great One, Nova Rags, Lemon Pop, Get Her Number
4Real Dynasty106Keepmeinmind, Helium, Soup and Sandwich, Weyburn, Proxy
5Jon White and Ryan Stillman 105Rock Your World, Rebel's Romance, Known Agenda, Concert Tour, Dream Shake
6Evil Steveil and Austin Elsey 81Classier, Spielberg, Freedom Fighter, Greatest Honour, Manor House
T7Mike "Saratoga Slim" Spector 66Speaker's Corner, Caddo River, Savile Row, Risk Taking, Candy Man Rocket
T7Aaron Halterman 66Collaborate, Jackie's Warrior, Parnelli, Whiskey Double, Rombauer
9The Magic Mike Show37Prime Factor, Easy Time, Starrininmydreams, Regular Guy, Midnight Bourbon
10Dan Waite and Michael Myers 34Essential Quality, Nicky the Vest, Team Merchants, Wolfie's Dynaghost, Drain the Clock

Recent Claims

  • None to report this week

Power Rankings

The “Power Rankings” feature teams’ odds to win the contest, as well as an update on every horse on a team. Here we go:

1. Jon White/Ryan Stillman (2/1) 

  • Rock Your World – Wow, not only does this team draft extremely well, but they also claim well. This horse looked great in his dirt debut, winning the Santa Anita Derby (G1).
  • Roman Centurian – He was a late scratch from the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and we are uncertain when we’ll see him again.
  • Known Agenda – Boom! This questionable claim (at the time) showed the class of this team’s managers when he took home the Florida Derby (G1).
  • Concert Tour – He was a big disappointment in the Arkansas Derby (G1), finishing a lackluster third as the heavy favorite.
  • Dream Shake – This recent claim turned out ok, too, as he was a decent third in the San Felipe Stakes (G2) and Santa Anita Derby (G1).

2. Jared Welch (5/2) 

  • Highly Motivated – This horse showed huge improvement and nearly upset the Blue Grass Stakes (G2), but it wasn’t enough to earn this team the top-ranked spot.
  • Hot Rod Charlie – Boom, this team got a much-needed big victory in the Louisiana Derby (G2). He earned a 99 Beyer Speed Figure that ranks right up there with the top horses in the crop.
  • Ghazaaly – He broke his maiden at Keeneland, which might lead to a stakes race of some sort for his next start. Will it be in time to help put this team in the lead?
  • Donegal Bay – No way around it, he’s just awful. 
  • Class Reunion – The filly put up a poor effort last time out in a maiden special weight at Oaklawn Park.

3. Dan Waite and Michael Myers (3/1) 

  • Essential Quality – He’s become the stud that this team needed, with his latest victory coming in the Blue Grass Stakes (G2).
  • Nicky the Vest – Yikes, this newest claim is injured and won’t be heard from for a while.
  • Team Merchants – The Nyquist colt was impressive when breaking his maiden and finally had his first 2021 workout on March 6! We don’t know when we’ll see him next, though.
  • Wolfie’s Dynaghost – He’s back on the work tab! Let’s see if he can make a race before the league ends.
  • Drain the Clock – This horse is fantastic around one turn, which he showed winning the Bay Shore Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct.

4. Real Dynasty (8/1)

  • Keepmeinmind – He just hasn’t looked like the same horse in 2021. There is still a chance he could make the Kentucky Derby gate, though.
  • Helium – This solid claim pulled off a 16/1 upset in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and will train up to the Kentucky Derby.
  • Soup and Sandwich – This team pulled off two of the best claims all year. Helium won at Tampa and this horse finished second in the Florida Derby (G1). Pretty good for two horses who were not on any other team’s radar.
  • Weyburn – He wasn’t awful in the Wood Memorial (G2), finishing fourth, but he wasn’t nearly as good as this team had hoped and will now skip the Kentucky Derby. His connections are reportedly considering the Peter Pan Stakes (G3) and the Belmont Stakes (G1).
  • Proxy – Yikes, he went backwards in a hurry after a promising start to the year and is now out of the Kentucky Derby. He may resurface on turf, where his half-sister Micheline is a multiple stakes winner.

5. Paul “Free Beers” Withrow (8/1)

  • Brooklyn Strong – The Remsen Stakes (G2) winner did not return well in the Wood Memorial (G2), where he never made an impact.
  • Promise Keeper – He turned his form around with a win over allowance company at Keeneland.
  • Medina Spirit – He showed up with yet another solid effort, finishing second in the Santa Anita Derby (G1).
  • Triple Tap – He won his debut impressively but was very late onto the scene. Did he start too late?
  • Prevalence – The overhyped up-and-comer did very little running in his stakes debut, finishing off the board in the Wood Memorial (G2).

6. The Killer Bs (12/1)

  • Mandaloun – Wow, he just didn’t show up at all in the Louisiana Derby (G2). Who knows what happened, but he’s reportedly going to keep aiming for the main event.
  • The Great One – He should be named The Not Great One after his dud in the Santa Anita Derby (G1).
  • Get Her Number – This horse ran much improved in the Arkansas Derby (G1); however, he could still do no better than fourth. He looks like he’ll still make the Kentucky Derby gate, though.
  • Lemon Pop – This Japanese runner turned heads with a solid win in the Cattleya at Tokyo Racecourse last November, but we never heard from him again.
  • Nova Rags – He was decent in the Florida Derby (G1) but just wasn’t quite good enough to hit the board.

7. Mike “Saratoga Slim” Spector (20/1)

  • Speaker’s Corner – This Bill Mott trainee looked great last year, beating two horses who have since won impressively. He’s getting going late in the game, but at least he’s back working out. 
  • Caddo River – He rebounded with a nice runner-up effort in the Arkansas Derby (G1), which was probably enough to keep this team out of last.
  • Savile Row – He’s back on the work tab! Can he make his way into a points race before the league ends?
  • Risk Taking – Yikes, he did not run well at all in the Wood Memorial (G2).
  • Candy Man Rocket – Another yikes, he was beyond bad in the Wood Memorial (G2).

8. Austin Elsey/Steve “Evil Steveil” Ronchetto (50/1) 

  • Classier – This Bob Baffert trainee now has a workout!!!
  • Spielberg – He’s a very inconsistent horse who was nowhere to be found in the Florida Derby (G1).
  • Freedom Fighter – Yikes, his stretch out to a one-turn mile in the Gotham Stakes (G3) did not go well. 
  • Greatest Honour – He’s injured and now off the Triple Crown trail.
  • Manor House – He was beyond bad in a Fair Grounds allowance in his last start.

9. Aaron Halterman (50/1)

  • Collaborate – He wasn’t great in the Florida Derby (G1), officially ending any chance the defending champion has of making an impact in this year’s league.
  • Jackie’s Warrior – He’s officially cutting back to one-turn races after a poor effort in the Southwest Stakes (G3).
  • Parnelli – He sucked once again in the Santa Anita Derby (G1). Big Surprise.
  • Whiskey Double – This sprinter isn’t bad, but he won’t be of much help to his shitty team when it comes to the league.
  • Rombauer – The lone bright spot for the defending championship team ran well to finish third in the Blue Grass Stakes (G2).

10. The Magic Mike Show (50/1) 

  • Prime Factor – Wow, turns out this highly-hyped first-round pick is just terrible.
  • Easy Time – He switched to turf and nearly won last time out against allowance company. 
  • Starrininmydreams – This guy showed some improvement in the Lexington Stakes (G3), finishing third and earning this team a very valuable (to them) 5 points.
  • Regular Guy – He’s just awful, no matter the surface.
  • Midnight Bourbon – This consistent early-season claim ran well yet again in the Louisiana Derby (G2), finishing second.

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