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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!
Derby Points/Rank: 40 – 10th
Race Record: (4) 3-1-0
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 remains 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.
Derby Points/Rank: 64 – 2nd
Race Record: (5) 4-0-1
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 3-year-old debut, the San Felipe, even though he hit the wire just behind McKinzie. The move this horse made on the turn was ultra-impressive, especially so considering it was off of a layoff. Moving forward, he looks to be the real deal and has carried his great 2-year-old form into this season flawlessly. The racing world would love to see our top two horses square off once again after they lit a fire under the Kentucky Derby prep season.
Derby Points/Rank: 10 – 28th
Race Record: (4) 3-0-1
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
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, but he needs a win this weekend in the Grade 1 Florida Derby. As of now, he’s on the outside looking in when it comes to Kentucky Derby points.
Derby Points/Rank: 34 – 11th
Race Record: (4) 1-2-1
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.
Derby Points/Rank: 50 – 6th
Race Record: (3) 3-0-0
Breeding: Malibu Moon – Dazzling Song
Owner: Robert and Lawana Low
Last Race: Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park, Finished 1st
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Curtis “Magic” Kalleward
Analysis: He proved that he was for real with a dominating performance in the Rebel over a deep field. He’s progressing almost identically to that of Always Dreaming last year, and he’s yet to be close to losing a race. The waters will only get deeper from here, but so far, he’s passed every test with flying colors. He’s a legitimate contender.
Derby Points/Rank: 34 – 12th
Race Record: (5) 1-3-1
Breeding: Curlin – Surf Song
Owner: Zayat Stables
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Last Race: Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park, Finished 2nd
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Jared Welch
Analysis: He performed very well off of the bench in the Rebel, finishing second despite having a poor trip, especially on the turn heading for home. He’s a hard-trying horse that you can count on to give a solid effort each and every time. He’ll likely improve off of that effort in his next start and is a prime contender as we head into the last round of preps.
Derby Points/Rank: 0 – NR
Race Record: (2) 2-0-0
Breeding: Scat Daddy – Stage Magic
Owner: China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing, and WinStar Farm
Last Race: Allowance Race at Santa Anita, Finished 1st
Analysis: Right now, I’m trying to stay as grounded as possible with a 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?
Derby Points/Rank: 14 – 25th
Race Record: (5) 3-1-0
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, this weekend’s Grade 1 Florida Derby.
Derby Points/Rank: 19 – 23rd
Race Record: (6) 2-2-1
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. He’ll look to rebound in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby against tough foes McKinzie and Bolt d’Oro.
Derby Points/Rank: 110 – 1st
Race Record: (4) 3-0-1
Breeding: Take Charge Indy – Noble Maz
Owner: WinStar Farm and Repole Stable
Last Race: Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds, Finished 1st
Analysis: He looked to be completely defeated in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby, yet somehow re-rallied up the rail to win the race after being passed by Lone Sailor. Todd Pletcher has described this horse as “still green,” but there does seem to be a lot of talent with this one. He also should get better as the distances get longer, which will be to his advantage in the Triple Crown races.
Derby Points/Rank: 32 – 13th
Race Record: (9) 2-3-2
Breeding: Creative Cause – Gold N Shaft
Owner: Don’t Tell My Wife Stables and Monomoy Stables LLC
Trainer: Keith Desormeaux
Last Race: Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds, Finished 3rd
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: NONE
Analysis: His come-from-behind move in the Louisiana Derby was something special. He rallied furiously from the back of the pack, but he couldn’t sustain it the entire stretch and hung late, finishing third. Still, he proved to be a legitimate horse on the dirt, and that type of move is going to be dangerous in the Kentucky Derby. He has become a logical underneath candidate.
Derby Points/Rank: 22 – 17th
Race Record: (6) 1-3-1
Breeding: Scat Daddy – Border Dispute
Owner: Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC and Willis Horton Racing LLC
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Last Race: Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park, Finished 3rd
Analysis: The Lookin At Lee of 2018 continued on a similar path in the Rebel, finishing third. He’s hit the board in four straight Kentucky Derby prep races, but he just can’t seem to have things go his way enough to pick up a win. His Rebel effort was another positive start, though, and he should continue to make an impact along the Kentucky Derby trail.
Derby Points/Rank: 52 – 5th
Breeding: Shackleford – Marquee Delivery
Owner: Robert J. Baron
Trainer: Dale Romans
Last Race: Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park, Finished 1st
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 and will look to continue his run this weekend in the Grade 1 Florida Derby.
Derby Points/Rank: 30 – 14th
Race Record: (8) 5-1-0
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
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.
Derby Points/Rank: 50 – 8th
Race Record: (4) 3-0-0
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
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.
Derby Points/Rank: 63 – 3rd
Race Record: (5) 3-0-1
Breeding: Medaglia d’Oro – It’s Tricky
Owner: Godolphin Racing, LLC
Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin
Last Race: Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct, Finished 1st
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.
Race Record: (5) 4-0-0
Breeding: Candy Ride – Remit
Owner: Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC
Last Race: Mine That Bird Stakes at Sunland Park, Finished 1st
Analysis: After Runaway Ghost won the Grade 3 Sunland Derby, it certainly boosts the hopes for Reride, a horse that beat Runaway Ghost in his prior race. He’s shipped overseas to run in the UAE Derby, a race that also features Gold Town and Mendelssohn, and the winner will definitely be in the Top 20 next week. We will see if Reride can win and justify his debut in the rankings.
Derby Points/Rank: 50 – 7th
Race Record: (7) 4-2-0
Breeding: Ghostzapper – Rose’s Desert
Owner: Joe Peacock
Trainer: Todd Fincher
Last Race: Grade 3 Sunland Derby at Sunland Park, Finished 1st
Analysis: The local hero rose to the occasion to win the Grade 3 Sunland Derby and solidified his spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate. He’s proven to be a very nice horse, but it remains to be seen if he can match up with the top-class horses in the crop. Pay attention to how Reride does in Dubai this weekend.
Derby Points/Rank: 42 – 9th
Race Record: (8) 1-3-1
Breeding: Majestic Warrior – Ambitious
Owner: G M B Racing
Trainer: Tom Amoss
Last Race: Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds, Finished 2nd
Analysis: There were many people who hyped Lone Sailor in the Louisiana Derby. He somehow lived up to it, finishing second by only a head. That finish might have earned him a spot in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby, but it’s unlikely that he makes much of an impact.
Derby Points/Rank: 54 – 4th
Race Record: (8) 3-1-1
Breeding: Awesome Again – Tiz o’ Gold
Owner: Calumet Farm
Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
Last Race: Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds, Finished 8th
Analysis: The Louisiana Derby was a complete disaster for Bravazo. He tried to lug out the entire race, and you could tell that he was never comfortable. The good news is that he was sound afterward and looks to still be moving forward to the Kentucky Derby. Draw a line through that last effort.
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