Kentucky Derby

Racing Dudes 2018 Top 20 Kentucky Derby Rankings #4

GOOD MAGIC wins the 2017 Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Del Mar (Credit: Melanie Martines)

Welcome to the 2018 Kentucky Derby Rankings! Each week leading up to the race, we will provide our Top 20 Kentucky Derby Prospects, as well as updates with the latest news on each horse. You can also visit our Kentucky Derby page for loads of information including the latest news, rankings, prep race schedules, our Derby Trail Tracker, the Kentucky Derby point standings, and much more! Saturday, we’ll get back on track with prep races after a “bye” last weekend, so let’s take a look at the rankings heading into it:

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1. Good Magic

Derby Points/Rank: 24 – 2nd

Race Record: (3) 1-2-0

Earnings: $1,216,600

Breeding: Curlin – Glinda the Good

Owner: e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Stables

Trainer: Chad Brown

Last Race: Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes at Del Mar; Finished 1st

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Curtis “Magic” Kalleward

Analysis: The time has come for Good Magic to make his highly-anticipated 3-year-old debut in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes this weekend at Gulfstream Park. He’s been working out extremely well for this debut, so the expectations are very high. We’ll get to see if he passes this test and if he’ll continue to be #1 in the rankings.

2. McKinzie

Derby Points/Rank: 20 – 5th

Race Record: (3) 3-0-0

Earnings: $270,000

Breeding: Street Sense – Runway Model

Owner: Watson, Pegram, and Weitman

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Last Race: Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita, Finished 1st  

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Jon White/Ryan Stillman

Analysis: He’s still the most hyped of all of Baffert’s 3-year-olds, and that means a lot, as he continues to show up with star horses each week. Solomini did finish ahead of him in their only matchup, the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity, so we’ll have to see how that situation progresses. Baffert took the blinkers off for his most recent start, and the horse responded with an ultra-impressive performance. My Boy Jack winning the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes flatters McKinzie after the son of Street Sense easily defeated him in the Sham.

3. Solomini

Derby Points/Rank: 14 – 9th

Race Record: (4) 1-2-1

Earnings: $472,000

Breeding: Curlin – Surf Song

Owner: Zayat Stables

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Last Race: Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity at Los Alamitos, Finished 3rd (via DQ)

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Jared Welch

Analysis: This son of Curlin exudes class with runner-up finishes in the Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes and the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. In his most recent start, he crossed the wire first but was disqualified in a very controversial call. That race has already produced FOUR total next-out winners, which flatters Solomini in a big way.

4. Bolt d’Oro

Derby Points/Rank: 14 – 7th

Race Record: (4) 3-0-1

Earnings: $576,000

Breeding: Medaglia d’Oro – Globe Trot

Owner: Ruis Racing LLC

Trainer: Mick Ruis

Last Race: Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes at Del Mar, Finished 3rd

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Mike “Saratoga Slim” Spector

Analysis: He had the most talent of this crop as a 2-year-old, but a tough trip in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile caused him to finish third. However, he is a multiple Grade 1 winner and has won in dominating fashion. A jockey switch to Javier Castellano is a major bonus, too, and he’s set to make his 2018 debut in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita on March 10.

5. Audible

Derby Points/Rank: 10 – 17th

Race Record: (4) 3-0-1

Earnings: $287,720

Breeding: Into Mischief – Blue Devil Bel

Owner: WinStar Farm, China Horse Club International, and SF Racing

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Last Race: Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park, Finished 1st

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: NONE

Analysis: After facing lessor competition at Aqueduct, it was questionable how he would handle the jump up in class, but he passed the test with flying colors, bursting onto the scene with a major score in the Holy Bull. He now has to be considered a serious player and is perhaps Pletcher’s best prospect at the moment.

6. Avery Island

Derby Points/Rank: 14 – 11th

Race Record: (5) 3-1-0

Earnings: $365,332

Breeding: Street Sense – Kinda Spicy

Owner: Godolphin Racing

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin

Last Race: Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct, Finished 1st

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Mike “Saratoga Slim” Spector

Analysis: Avery Island had a tremendous 2018 debut, easily taking home the Withers. The New York route to Kentucky seems logical for him, as all of his big victories have come over the Aqueduct surface. The win was also at a mile and 1/8, which was his second solid effort at that distance.

7. Free Drop Billy

Derby Points/Rank: 14 – 7th

Race Record: (6) 2-3-0

Earnings: $495,220

Breeding: Union Rags – Trensa

Owner: Albaugh Family Stables

Trainer: Dale Romans

Last Race: Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park, Finished 2nd

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: NONE

Analysis: He ran well to finish second in the Holy Bull after a layoff that followed a very disappointing effort in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. His race at the Breeders’ Cup was the only time that he’s ever finished off the board, so he has to be considered a major player. He’ll likely improve in his next start.

8. Catholic Boy

Derby Points/Rank: 14 – 10th

Race Record: (5) 3-1-0

Earnings: $354,000

Breeding: More Than Ready – Song 0f Bernadette

Owner: Robert LaPenta

Trainer: Jonathan Thomas

Last Race: Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, Finished 1st

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Dan “The Fan Man” Waite

Analysis: He made his 2018 debut in the Sam F. Davis, and while he didn’t run poorly, it was disappointing that he couldn’t pass Flameaway in the stretch and had to settle for second. There’s still reason to be optimistic, but he must improve in his next race.

9. Sporting Chance

Derby Points/Rank: 2 – 26th

Race Record: (4) 2-1-1

Earnings: $319,140

Breeding: Tiznow – Wynning Ride

Owner: Robert Baker and William Mack

Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas

Last Race: Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park, Finished 3rd

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Jared Welch

Analysis: Many may think that he’s ranked too highly after finishing third in his 2018 debut race, but he should improve off of that effort next time out. His trip in the Southwest was less than ideal, and the sloppy track played strongly to horses on the inside. The race was just what he needed going forward.

10. Bravazo

Derby Points/Rank: 54 – 1st

Race Record: (7) 3-1-1

Earnings: $426,528

Breeding: Awesome Again – Tiz o’ Gold

Owner: Calumet Farm

Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas

Last Race: Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds, Finished 1st

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: NONE

Analysis: The Coach is back in the Derby! Bravazo shipped to Fair Grounds for the Risen Star and pulled off a 21-1 upset over a field loaded with Kentucky Derby prospects. The Awesome Again colt has developed greatly as a 3-year-old. He’s now two-for-two in 2018 and will likely return to Fair Grounds for the Louisiana Derby.

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11. Firenze Fire

Derby Points/Rank: 3 – 24th

Race Record: (7) 4-1-0

Earnings: $589,100

Breeding: Poseidon’s Warrior – My Every Wish

Owner: Mr. Amore Stable

Trainer: Jason Servis

Last Race: Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct, Finished 2nd

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: NONE

Analysis: This solid, consistent horse has been steady in both of his 2018 starts. As a juvenile, he won the $150,000 Jerome Stakes, then had a nice run in the Withers to finish second. He might be best when going one turn, but his 1 1/8-mile Withers performance shows that he is at least serviceable when going longer.

12. Instilled Regard

Derby Points/Rank: 19 – 6th

Race Record: (6) 2-2-1

Earnings: $244,000

Breeding: Arch – Enhancing

Owner: OXO Equine

Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer

Last Race: Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds, Finished 4th

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Aaron Halterman

Analysis: His fourth-place effort in the Risen Star left a lot to be desired, but it wasn’t enough to remove him from the rankings completely. He seemed a little dull in the race, but he still managed to run well enough to be close to the leaders in the end. Perhaps shipping back and forth to Fair Grounds from California took its toll on him.

13. Snapper Sinclair

Derby Points/Rank: 22 – 4th

Race Record: (6) 2-1-1

Earnings: $352,360

Breeding: City Zip – True Addiction

Owner: Bloom Racing Stable LLC (Jeffery Bloom)

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Last Race: Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds, Finished 2nd

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: NONE

Analysis: This is one tough colt. He fought on to a solid third-place finish in the Grade 3 LeComte Stakes two races back, then nearly won the Risen Star, losing by a nose while battling Bravazo all the way down the stretch. His early speed and staying power will make him tough in any race that he enters.

14. Tiz Mischief

Derby Points/Rank: 6 – 20th

Race Record: (5) 1-2-1

Earnings: $121,600

Breeding: Into Mischief – Indivia

Owner: Frank L. Jones Jr.

Trainer: Dale Romans

Last Race: Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park, Finished 3rd

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: NONE

Analysis: Although he was a distant third in the Holy Bull, he might improve off of his next start, as Romans horses usually succeed with more and more racing experience. He is a drop-back-and-make-one-run type that can win when the pace gets hot up front.

15. Noble Indy

Derby Points/Rank: 10 – 19th

Race Record: (3) 2-0-1

Earnings: $91,600

Breeding: Take Charge Indy – Noble Maz

Owner: WinStar Farm and Repole Stable

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Last Race: Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds, Finished 3rd

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Aaron Halterman

Analysis: The Risen Star was a solid first try against stakes company. He ran well to finish third while up against a small track bias and has a right to improve as he goes forward. At this point, all options are on the table as to where he’ll start next.

16. Vino Rosso

Derby Points/Rank: 2 – 32nd

Race Record: (3) 2-1-0

Earnings: $68,000

Breeding: Curlin – Mythical Bride

Owner: Repole Stables and St. Elias Stables

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Last Race: Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes, Finished 3rd

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Dan “The Fan Man” Waite

Analysis: He ran well enough to catch our attention in the Sam F. Davis and is a horse that should love going longer. He has a chance to really excel when it means the most. Jockey John Velazquez has already committed to ride him in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 10th.

17. Combatant

Derby Points/Rank: 12 – 14th

Race Record: (5) 1-3-0

Earnings: $248,550

Breeding: Scat Daddy – Border Dispute

Owner: Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC and Willis Horton Racing LLC

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Last Race: Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park, Finished 2nd

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Aaron Halterman

Analysis: Could this be the Lookin At Lee of 2018? He’s finished second in three straight Kentucky Derby prep races, but he just can’t seem to have things go his way enough to pick up a win. His Southwest effort was another positive start, and he should continue to make an impact along the Kentucky Derby trail.

18. My Boy Jack

Derby Points/Rank: 12 – 13th

Race Record: (8) 2-3-1

Earnings: $425,145

Breeding: Creative Cause – Gold N Shaft

Owner: Don’t Tell My Wife Stables and Monomoy Stables LLC

Trainer: Keith Desormeaux

Last Race: Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park, Finished 1st

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: NONE

Analysis: He got things exactly like he needed them in the Southwest, as the track at Oaklawn was favoring inside speed. Jockey Kent Desormeaux never left the rail, and My Boy Jack simply crushed them in the stretch. If he can repeat that kind of performance on a dry track, then he’ll be dangerous, but he must prove that he can do so first.

19. Flameaway

Derby Points/Rank: 10 – Not TC Nominated

Race Record: (7) 5-0-0

Earnings: $434,834

Breeding: Scat Daddy – Vulcan Rose

Owner: John C. Oxley

Trainer: Mark Casse

Last Race: Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, Finished 1st

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: NONE

Analysis: The Sam F. Davis was his first start on a fast dirt surface, and he seemed to relish the ground, as he won the race while holding off the heavily-favored Catholic Boy. We’ll need to see him prove it again before we totally buy in, but there’s no doubt that he served notice as a horse to watch.

20. Magnum Moon

Derby Points/Rank: 0 – NR

Race Record: (2) 2-0-0

Earnings: $37,800

Breeding: Malibu Moon – Dazzling Song

Owner: Robert and Lawana Low

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Last Race: Allowance Race at Tampa Bay Downs, Finished 1st  

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: NONE

Analysis: He looks like the Always Dreaming of 2018. Magnum Moon picked up two nice victories in a row, including an allowance race at Tampa Bay where he basically schooled behind horses before winning for fun down the stretch. After passing that test with flying colors, he’s now being pointed towards a Derby prep race. However, he’s also racing against the clock, as he has just two starts, none of which came as a 2-year-old.

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