Kentucky Derby

Racing Dudes 2018 Top 20 Kentucky Derby Rankings #6

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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!

Blue Grass Stakes Wagering Guide

1. McKinzie

Derby Points/Rank: 40 – 6th

Race Record: (4) 3-1-0

Earnings: $350,000

Breeding: Street Sense – Runway Model

Owner: Watson, Pegram, and Weitman

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Last Race: Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita, Finished 2nd (via DQ)  

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Jon White/Ryan Stillman

Analysis: A wild weekend at Santa Anita was highlighted by an incredible stretch duel between McKinzie and Bolt d’Oro in the the San Felipe. McKinzie was able to just edge clear of Bolt d’Oro at the wire, but he was later disqualified to second. McKinzie will remain our number horse even with the loss, as the disqualification was questionable. All of the drama aside, McKinzie’s fight was very impressive, as he was headed at the top of the stretch but still battled back when he looked defeated. At this point, these two horses seem to be well clear of the others.

2. Bolt d’Oro

Derby Points/Rank: 64 – 1st

Race Record: (5) 4-0-1

Earnings: $816,000

Breeding: Medaglia d’Oro – Globe Trot

Owner: Ruis Racing LLC

Trainer: Mick Ruis

Last Race: Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita, Finished 1st (via DQ)

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

Analysis: He was incredible in his three year old debut in the San Felipe Stakes even though he hit the wire just behind rival McKinzie. The move this horse made on the turn was ultra impressive, and it makes it even more impressive that he ran this strongly off of a layoff. Moving forward he looks to be the real deal as he has carried his great two year form into his three year old season flawlessly. The racing world would love to see our top two horses square off once again as they have lit a fire under the Kentucky Derby prep season.

3. Solomini

Derby Points/Rank: 14 – 15th

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. He’s on target for the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park this weekend.

4. Audible

Derby Points/Rank: 10 – 22nd

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: Mike “Saratoga Slim” Spector

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.

5. Good Magic

Derby Points/Rank: 34 – 7th

Race Record: (4) 1-2-1

Earnings: $1,225,000

Breeding: Curlin – Glinda the Good

Owner: e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Stables

Trainer: Chad Brown

Last Race: Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park, Finished 3rd

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Curtis “Magic” Kalleward

Analysis: Uh oh… the Juvenile champion returned in the Fountain of Youth, but he looked far from a champion. After stalking the pace in perfect position, he was empty when turning for home and finished a distant third. He ran like a horse that was not 100% primed, so perhaps he’ll bounce back in his next start, which will likely be in the Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes.

6. Sporting Chance

Derby Points/Rank: 2 – 36th

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, and he’s working out extremely well heading into the Rebel this Saturday.

7. Catholic Boy

Derby Points/Rank: 14 – 16th

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, which looks like will come in the Grade 1 Florida Derby.

8. Bravazo

Derby Points/Rank: 54 – 3rd

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: Aaron Halterman

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 Grade 2 Louisiana Derby.

9. Instilled Regard

Derby Points/Rank: 19 – 14th

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 multiple times between Fair Grounds and his base in California took its toll on him.

10. Justify

Derby Points/Rank: 0 – NR

Race Record: (2) 2-0-0

Earnings: $66,000

Breeding: Scat Daddy – Stage Magic

Owner: China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing, and WinStar Farm

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Last Race: Allowance Race at Santa Anita, Finished 1st

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Jared Welch

Analysis: Right now, I’m trying to stay as grounded as possible with this horse that looks to be an absolute freak of nature. He is two-for-two and has been about as impressive as a horse can be, but he has several factors working against him as far as the Kentucky Derby is concerned. Namely, can he break the Curse of Apollo?

11. Snapper Sinclair

Derby Points/Rank: 22 – 11th

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.

12. Noble Indy

Derby Points/Rank: 10 – 26th

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 for him against stakes company. He ran well to finish third while up against a small track bias, and he 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.

13. Combatant

Derby Points/Rank: 12 – 19th

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, which continues for him this weekend in the Rebel.

14. Promises Fulfilled

Derby Points/Rank: 52 – 4th

Race Record: (4) 3-0-1

Earnings: $327,280

Breeding: Shackleford – Marquee Delivery

Owner: Robert J. Baron

Trainer: Dale Romans

Last Race: Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park, Finished 1st

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: NONE

Analysis: He pulled off a shocking 18-1 upset over champion Good Magic in the Fountain of Youth. The track at Gulfstream Park certainly favored speed, but he reminded me a lot of his sire, Shackleford, by going straight to the front and showing heart to hold on for the victory. He could be an improving horse that’s ready to make some noise this year.

15. Flameaway

Derby Points/Rank: 30 – 8th

Race Record: (8) 5-1-0

Earnings: $504,834

Breeding: Scat Daddy – Vulcan Rose

Owner: John C. Oxley

Trainer: Mark Casse

Last Race: Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs, Finished 2nd

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: NONE

Analysis: The Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes winner backed up that effort with a strong showing in the Tampa Bay Derby. He may not be the strongest horse as far as a win contender, but you have to like how he showed that he could stalk the pace and still come with a nice run in his latest start.

16. Quip

Derby Points/Rank: 50 – 5th

Race Record: (4) 3-0-0

Earnings: $282,800

Breeding: Distorted Humor – Princess Ash

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

Trainer: Rodolphe Brisset

Last Race: Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs, Finished 1st

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: NONE

Analysis: This son of Distorted Humor is officially into the Kentucky Derby after a shocking upset in the Tampa Bay Derby. The good news is that he should get better in his next start, as his Tampa effort came off of a fairly long layoff. He could move up the rankings if he does indeed improve further.

17. 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: Curtis “Magic” Kalleward

Analysis: He looks like the Always Dreaming of 2018 after picking 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. We’ll find out how he does against top-flight company this weekend in the Rebel.

18. Enticed

Derby Points/Rank: 63 – 2nd

Race Record: (5) 3-0-1

Earnings: $410,680

Breeding: Medaglia d’Oro – It’s Tricky

Owner: Godolphin Racing, LLC

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin

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

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Jon White/Ryan Stillman

Analysis: A tremendous bounce-back race in the Gotham puts him back in contention. That race came at only a mile, though, so we will need to see how he reacts when stretching out in distance before we rank him any higher.

19. Free Drop Billy

Derby Points/Rank: 24 – 10th

Race Record: (7) 2-3-1

Earnings: $525,220

Breeding: Union Rags – Trensa

Owner: Albaugh Family Stables

Trainer: Dale Romans

Last Race: Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct, Finished 3rd

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Jon White/Ryan Stillman

Analysis: The Gotham produced a fairly strange race, as it seemed like several horses did not fire with their best efforts. He will need to rebound in a big way next time out, but there’s reason to believe that he might.

20. My Boy Jack

Derby Points/Rank: 12 – 18th

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.

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