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Welcome to the 2019 Kentucky Derby Rankings! It’s hard to believe this is our final set of rankings for the season. You can continue to visit our Kentucky Derby page for loads of information leading up to the big day, including the latest news, rankings, prep race schedules, our Derby Trail Tracker, the Kentucky Derby point standings, and much more! Here is our 12th and final set of Kentucky Derby Rankings for the 2019 season:
Derby Points/Rank: 137.5 – 2nd
Race Record: (7) 3-3-1
Breeding: War Front – Charming
Owner: Fox Hill Farms, INC.
Trainer: Richard Mandella
Last Race: Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park, Finished 1st
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Jon White/Ryan Stillman
Analysis: After winning the Rebel Stakes (G2) in March, this horse backed up that effort with another solid win in the Arkansas Derby (G1). It says a lot that he was able to win two of the hardest prep races and against Bob Baffert trainees both times. There is no question that he would really enjoy having a sloppy track on the first Saturday in May, though he recently proved that he can win on a dry surface as well. He deserves to be number one as of now.
Derby Points/Rank: 100 – 5th
Race Record: (4) 3-0-1
Breeding: Quality Road – Ghost Dancing
Owner: Speedway Stable LLC
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Last Race: Santa Anita Derby (G1) at Santa Anita Park, Finished 1st
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Paul “Free Beers” Withrow
Analysis: Welcome to the show, Roadster. After looking like he was dropping to the back of the field in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), he then came with a furious rally on the far turn before passing Game Winner late in the stretch to win. This ultra-impressive performance made him a primetime Kentucky Derby contender. The training patterns, as well as what information Baffert gives us leading up to the race, will be of great importance this year when trying to separate his big three horses. He put in a fantastic workout last weekend, which singles that all systems are go.
Derby Points/Rank: 85 – 8th
Race Record: (6) 4-2-0
Breeding: Candy Ride – Indyan Giving
Owner: Gary and Mary West
Last Race: Santa Anita Derby (G1) at Santa Anita Park, Finished 2nd
Analysis: He had another solid effort in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), which should set him up perfectly for the Kentucky Derby. He was likely not fully cranked up for this effort; however, it is a little concerning that he’s now closely lost two in a row. There are many, including myself, who believe that he is still a solid Kentucky Derby pick, yet the two losses do cause a slight pause for concern. Like Roadster, he put in a solid workout at Santa Anita last weekend.
Derby Points/Rank: 65 – 11th
Race Record: (5) 3-2-0
Breeding: City Zip – Rare Event
Owner: China Horse Club, Starlight Racing, and WinStar Farm
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Last Race: Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park, Finished 2nd
Analysis: This is the horse that is extremely difficult to figure out. He was worked up in a major way the entire time before the Arkansas Derby (G1). He did not behave well in the paddock, post parade, or gate, which makes his second place effort pretty impressive. Many believe he can’t stretch out in distance; however, his 99 Beyer going 1 1/8th miles is the best of his career. He is still a horse you must respect, despite his antics, and so-so workout pattern.
Derby Points/Rank: 150 – 1st
Race Record: (4) 3-0-0
Breeding: Tapit – Close Hatches
Owner: Juddmonte Farms, LLC
Trainer: Bill Mott
Last Race: Wood Memorial Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct, Finished 1st
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Brandon “B$” Bauer
Analysis: Tacitus joined War of Will as the only horse so far to win two Kentucky Derby Prep Races with a big win in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct. Despite getting a fairly rough trip, he kept to task before wearing down Tax in the stretch. The field for the race was a bit questionable, plus the pace set up well for him, but he still proved quite a bit with the performance. His consistency is a major positive.
Derby Points/Rank: 60 – 12th
Race Record: (8) 3-1-1
Breeding: War Front – Visions of Clarity
Owner: Gary Barber
Trainer: Mark Casse
Last Race: Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds, Finished 9th
Analysis: The Louisiana Derby (G2) turned into a complete disaster for him after he took a couple of bad steps right out of the gate. At first, it sounded like he had injured himself in a serious way; however, he is doing much better now. He will still likely run in the Kentucky Derby, where he could be dangerous at a price. His recent gate workout at Keeneland was extremely solid.
Derby Points/Rank: 100 – 6th
Race Record: (4) 4-0-0
Breeding: New Year’s Day – Lil Indy
Owner: Gary and Mary West
Trainer: Jason Servis
Last Race: Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park, Finished 1st
Analysis: The former $16,000 claimer is now a stakes winner after capturing the Florida Derby (G1) in wire-to-wire fashion. His 101 Beyer speed figure makes him very competitive on the first Saturday in May, while his early speed might be dangerous against this year’s crop. If he wins, it would be one of the greatest “rags to riches” story of all time.
Derby Points/Rank: 110 – 3rd
Breeding: Candy Ride – Mona De Momma
Owner: R. A. Hill Stable and Gatsas Stables
Trainer: George Weaver
Last Race: Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland, Finished 1st
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: The Fans
Analysis: Running second off the layoff, the Blue Grass Stakes (G2) was thought to be a solid spot for him, which ended up being the case. After stalking the early pace, Vekoma simply took over in the stretch, kicking clear to win by multiple lengths. He sat a perfect trip in this spot, with the pace setting up very well for him, making this a race that many will be critical of moving forward. Still, he has a running style that could make him dangerous in the Kentucky Derby.
Derby Points/Rank: 74 – 9th
Race Record: (5) 2-1-1
Breeding: Noble Mission – Reunited
Owner: W.S. Farish
Trainer: Shug McGaughey
Last Race: Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park, Finished 3rd
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Patrick “Mad Dog” Meagher
Analysis: With the slow pace in the Florida Derby (G1), his chances were over quickly. This horse is showing that he can be consistent, but there is no question that he is pace-dependent. He will likely get a better setup in the Kentucky Derby, though, if he’s good enough to get the job done.
Derby Points/Rank: 53.5 – 13th
Race Record: (8) 4-1-1
Breeding: Take Charge Indy – Pleasant Song
Owner: Willis Horton Racing LLC
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Last Race: Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park, Finished 6th
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Aaron Halterman
Analysis: His performance in the Arkansas Derby (G1) is never what you want to see. He had a perfect position in the race, before fading at the top of the stretch, finishing a distant sixth. The good news is he did beat Improbable in the Rebel Stakes (G2), who finishing second in the Arkansas Derby. Still, he will need to bounce back in a major way to have any sort of shot.
Derby Points/Rank: 50 – 15th
Race Record: (6) 2-2-1
Breeding: First Samurai – Pun
Owner: Starlight Racing
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Last Race: Sunland Park (G3) at Sunland Park, Finished 1st
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: NONE
Analysis: Pletcher has a couple of Kentucky Derby hopefuls after all, with Cutting Humor definitely being one of them. After a disastrous start in the Southwest Stakes (G3), he bounced back with an excellent win in the Sunland Derby (G3). The Kentucky Derby will be a big ask for him, but he has earned the right to give it a shot.
Derby Points/Rank: 50 – 17th
Race Record: (6) 1-2-1
Breeding: Lookin At Lucky – Quake Lake
Owner: Shields, Jr., Mrs. J. V., McFadden, Jr., E. J. M. and LNJ Foxwoods
Last Race: Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park, Finished 3rd
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Jared Welch
Analysis: This is a horse where we know what we are getting each time. He has not shown the ability to actually win a big time race; however, there is no doubt he could be the type in the Kentucky Derby to pass tired horses late and hit the board at a nice price. You can rely on him making a move in the stretch.
Derby Points/Rank: 52 – 14th
Race Record: (5) 2-2-1
Breeding: Arch – Toll
Owner: R. A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Lynch, Hugh and Corms Racing Stable
Trainer: Danny Gargan
Last Race: Wood Memorial Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct, Finished 2nd
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: The Fans
Analysis: He was one of the only horses in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G2) able to avoid trouble. That led to a perfect trip that nearly saw him pull off the win. This is a “grind it out” type of runner who might have something to say in the underneath positions of the Kentucky Derby.
Derby Points/Rank: 70 – 10th
Race Record: (5) 3-1-1
Breeding: Daaher – Sablah
Owner: Shadwell Stable
Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin
Last Race: Wood Memorial Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct, Finished 3rd
Analysis: Predictably, he came with a run in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G2), but it was lacking just a bit compared to his efforts going shorter. This horse has proven that he will try hard, though, which could make him a dangerous underneath contender on the first Saturday in May.
Race Record: (5) 2-2-1
Breeding: Goldencents – A Jealous Woman
Owner: Allied Racing Stable, LLC
Trainer: Bret Calhoun
Last Race: Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds, Finished 1st
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Dan “Wise Dan” Waite
Analysis: After a shocking victory in the Louisiana Derby (G2), this horse now sits near the top of the Kentucky Derby Points Standings. He is light in the experience department, which puts him in a difficult spot, but his running style suits the Kentucky Derby.
Derby Points/Rank: 50 – 16th
Race Record: (6) 3-2-1
Breeding: Hat Trick – Miss Smarty Pants
Owner: Live Oak Plantation
Trainer: Michael Trombetta
Last Race: Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland, Finished 2nd
Analysis: He’s back in the Kentucky Derby picture after a fast-closing stretch run to finish second in the Blue Grass Stakes (G2). Once again, this horse got a poor trip, which most likely cost him the win. It’s hard to imagine him getting a better trip in a 20-horse field, which is his biggest downfall.
Derby Points/Rank: 40 – 19th
Race Record: (4) 2-1-1
Breeding: Hard Spun – Zaftig
Owner: Wertheimer and Frere
Last Race: Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds, Finished 2nd
Analysis: The good news is that his second in the Louisiana Derby (G2) earned him a spot in the Kentucky Derby. The bad news is that there is no way that he should have lost that race if he was a serious prospect after looking like he was home free. He’ll have to greatly improve if he wants to make an impact.
Derby Points/Rank: 104 – 4th
Race Record: (7) 2-1-2
Breeding: Point of Entry – Belvedera
Owner: Imperial Racing, LLC
Trainer: Brendan Walsh
Last Race: UAE Derby (G2) at Meydan Race Course, Finished 1st
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Magic Mike
Analysis: He finally put it all together last time out when upsetting the UAE Derby (G2). He is still a big longshot for the Kentucky Derby, but at least he was able to get back to some of the solid form that he showed as a 2-year-old.
Derby Points/Rank: 40 – 21st
Race Record: (5) 0-3-0
Breeding: Bodemeister – Pied a Terre
Owner: Top Racing, LLC, Global Thoroughbred and GDS Racing Stable
Trainer: Gustavo Delgado
Last Race: Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park, Finished 2nd
Analysis: Obviously, it’s very hard to get excited about a maiden in the Kentucky Derby. At least he is improving with each race, though, and has a pedigree that could make him better when going longer.
Derby Points/Rank: Japanese Qualifier – 20th
Race Record: (6) 2-2-0
Breeding: Just a Way – Sexy Zamurai
Owner: Katsumi Yoshizawa
Trainer: K. Tsunoda
Last Race: Fukuryu Stakes at Nakayama, Finished 2nd
Analysis: This is a joke. He’s a complete toss after getting into the race via the Japanese route that shouldn’t even exist.
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