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Welcome to the 2019 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! Here is our second set of Kentucky Derby Rankings for the 2019 season:
Derby Points/Rank: 10 – 10th
Race Record: (3) 3-0-0
Breeding: City Zip – Rare Event
Owner: China Horse Club, Starlight Racing, and WinStar Farm
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Last Race: Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity at Los Alamitos, Finished 1st
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Jon White/Ryan Stillman
Analysis: It can’t be this easy, right? The owners of Justify are back once again, this time with Improbable, who looks an awful lot like the 2018 Triple Crown winner. He is a perfect 3-for-3 so far while never being challenged. Currently, he is working well at Santa Anita in preparation for his 2019 debut.
Derby Points/Rank: 30 – 1st
Race Record: (4) 4-0-0
Breeding: Candy Ride – Indyan Giving
Owner: Gary and Mary West
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Last Race: Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs, Finished 1st
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Paul “Free Beers” Withrow
Analysis: The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner is getting set for his 2019 debut with several solid works at Santa Anita. He can become the third Juvenile winner to win the Kentucky Derby and is especially dangerous with Baffert on his side. There is no doubt that if the Derby was today, he would win; however, can he continue to develop and peak at the right time?
Derby Points/Rank: 14 – 6th
Race Record: (4) 3-1-0
Breeding: Mucho Macho Man – Itsagiantcauseway
Owner: Michael Lund Peterson
Last Race: Group 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita, Finished 1st
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Aaron Halterman
Analysis: This is both the third-best Baffert horse and the third-ranked horse on our Top 20 list, and that shows Baffert’s strength and depth. Mucho Gusto has an advantage over the top two horses in his own barn, though, as he made his 2019 debut a winning one in the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes.
Derby Points/Rank: 0 – NR
Race Record: (2) 2-0-0
Breeding: Into Mischief – Assets of War
Owner: OXO Equine LLC
Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer
Last Race: Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar, Finished 1st
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Mike “Saratoga Slim” Spector
Analysis: Instagrand is all the rage; however, I’m suggesting we tap on the breaks just a bit. I’m in love with his talent, but we are talking about a horse that has never been around two runs or raced since August of last year. His first race as a 3-year-old is going to be ultra-important. You can’t go crazy about him until you see how he has developed off of this lengthy layoff.
Race Record: (1) 1-0-0
Breeding: Hard Spun – Sheba Queen
Owner: Juddmonte Farms, INC.
Trainer: Bill Mott
Last Race: Maiden Special Weight at Gulfstream Park, Finished 1st
Analysis: From a visual standpoint, this horse looks like one of the crop’s best; however, he has just one race under his belt, which came over a sloppy track. Hidden Scroll earned an eye-popping 104 Beyer for his debut effort, which has all of us buzzing, but now he must prove that he can repeat that effort against better company, and on dry land. The potential is definitely there, though.
Derby Points/Rank: 10 – 12th
Race Record: (6) 2-1-1
Breeding: War Front – Visions of Clarity
Owner: Gary Barber
Trainer: Mark Casse
Last Race: Grade 3 LeComte Stakes at Fair Grounds, Finished 1st
Analysis: So far, he is 2-for-2 on the dirt while never even being challenged. His Grade 3 LeComte Stakes win was very impressive and elevated him to this position. He can move up the ranks even further with a repeat performance in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes this week at Fair Grounds.
Derby Points/Rank: 18 – 3rd
Race Record: (5) 2-2-1
Breeding: General Quarters – Trip South
Owner: Tommie Lewis, David A. Bernsen LLC, and Magdalena Racing
Trainer: Kenny McPeek
Last Race: Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs, Finished 1st
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Patrick “Mad Dog” Meagher
Analysis: After winning the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, he took a little break, but now he is back at the track and working well for his 2019 debut. This colt seems to be developing rapidly, which could make him dangerous when the big-time races are contested.
Derby Points/Rank: 18 – 4th
Race Record: (6) 2-2-0
Breeding: Exchange Rate – Classofsixtythree
Owner: Hollendorfer LLC, Pearl Racing, and West Point Thoroughbreds
Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer
Last Race: Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita, Finished 2nd
Analysis: We see this type of horse every single season on the Kentucky Derby Trail. He will always show up with an honest effort and make a nice run at the end, but he is not talented enough to win a major Kentucky Derby Prep event.
Derby Points/Rank: 10 – 11th
Race Record: (5) 2-3-0
Breeding: Congrats – Adorabell
Owner: Harold Lerner LLC, AWC Stables, Nehoc Stables, Akman, Scott K. and Braverman, Paul
Last Race: Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park, Finished 1st
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: NONE
Analysis: The upset Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes winner debuted at #10 in the rankings. Was that win a fluke, or is he a for-real prospect? That is up for debate, especially since his speed figure came back fairly slow. However, he is one to keep an eye on because he could improve with his second start of 2019.
Breeding: Candy Ride – Mona De Momma
Owner: R. A. Hill Stable and Gatsas Stables
Trainer: George Weaver
Last Race: Grade 3 Nashua Stakes at Aqueduct, Finished 1st
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: The Fans
Analysis: Right now, we are in a wait-and-see position with him. His 2-year-old year was very impressive; however, that doesn’t mean he will be just as strong as a 3-year-old. He is still a few works away from his first start of 2019.
Breeding: Curlin – Globe Trot
Owner: Sagamore Farm, LLC and WinStar Farm, LLC
Trainer: Stanley Hough
Last Race: Allowance at Gulfstream Park, Finished 1st
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Brandon “B$” Bauer
Analysis: This son of Curlin was sharp once again with a win in an allowance race at Gulfstream Park, following a snappy maiden special weight victory. He will make his way to stakes company in his next start.
Derby Points/Rank: 10 – 9th
Race Record: (5) 3-1-0
Breeding: Stay Thirsty – Feel That Fire
Owner: Red Oak Stable (Brunetti) and Madaket Stables, LLC
Trainer: Gregory D. Sacco
Last Race: Grade 3 Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct, Finished 1st
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Mike “Saratoga Slim: Spector
Analysis: This horse seems to be a lot like Gunmetal Gray. He is likely to show up with a solid effort during all of these prep races; however, he might not be talented enough to win a major event.
Race Record: (3) 1-1-0
Breeding: Lookin At Lucky – Quake Lake
Owner: Shields, Jr., Mrs. J. V. and McFadden, Jr., E. J. M.
Trainer: Bill Mott
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Jared Welch
Analysis: Mott is loaded with potential prospects this year. Country House was a visually impressive winner in maiden special weight last time out at Gulfstream Park, which earned him a shot at the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes this weekend at Fair Grounds.
Derby Points/Rank: 10 – 14th
Race Record: (4) 3-0-0
Breeding: Graydar – Attempt to Name
Owner: Dwight Pruett
Trainer: Jinks Fires
Last Race: Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park, Finished 1st
Analysis: With only one loss on his resume, this horse must be respected, especially after back-to-back stakes victories. Fires is no stranger to having good horses at Oaklawn Park. He will be the one that all of the shippers will have to deal with when races like the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes and the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby roll around.
Derby Points/Rank: 12 – 7th
Race Record: (4) 3-0-1
Breeding: Into Mischief – Reina Maria
Owner: Cash is King LLC and LC Racing
Trainer: Robert E. Reid Jr.
Last Race: Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park, Finished 3rd
Analysis: He must rebound dramatically after an average third-place effort in the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes. Perhaps he was a bit short going into the race, which could have made a big difference. His next race will be critical.
Derby Points/Rank: 4 – 17th
Race Record: (3) 1-2-0
Breeding: Mark Valeski – Sandy Key Gal
Owner: Klaravich Stables, INC.
Trainer: Chad Brown
Last Race: Grade 2 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct, Finished 2nd
Analysis: This horse seems to be picking it up a bit in the morninga, which could mean that he is getting closer to his 2019 debut race. He is a “grind-it-out” type that may lack the talent to take home a major race; however, he can still play a factor in the underneath positions.
Derby Points/Rank: 12 – 8th
Race Record: (4) 2-1-1
Breeding: Arch – Toll
Owner: R. A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Lynch, Hugh and Corms Racing Stable
Trainer: Danny Gargan
Last Race: Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct, Finished 1st
Analysis: Tax earned a 96 Beyer speed figure for his Grade 3 Withers Stakes win, which was the highest in a busy weekend of races for 3-year-olds. This continues to be an incredible story because the horse competed in two maiden claiming events before jumping up to the graded stakes level.
Derby Points/Rank: 1 – 41st
Race Record: (3) 2-0-0
Breeding: Tapit – My Conquestadory
Owner: Bourbon Lane Stable and Lake Star Stable
Trainer: Mark Hennig
Last Race: Allowance Race at Gulfstream Park, Finished 1st
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Dan “Wise Dan” Waite
Analysis: After a sharp allowance score at Gulfstream Park, it looks as though he is now pointed to the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes. He should be tough in that race, especially considering the underwhelming result of the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes.
Derby Points/Rank: 10 – 13th
Race Record: (7) 3-1-1
Breeding: With Distinction – Fru Fru
Owner: Stonehedge LLC
Trainer: Kathleen O’Connell
Last Race: Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, Finished 1st
Analysis: A big win in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes puts this horse on the radar. However, he did get a perfect trip in that race, which won’t be as likely to happen as the races get tougher. For now, he does deserve some respect after that wire to wire win, though.
Derby Points/Rank: 14 – 5th
Race Record: (5) 3-1-0
Breeding: Take Charge Indy – Pleasant Song
Owner: Willis Horton Racing LLC
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Last Race: Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park, Finished 2nd
Analysis: This colt just continues to improve, and while it’s questionable that he has the speed to compete with the elite horses in the group, he has proven to be a horse that will try extremely hard. He will look to continue to pile up Derby points with a start in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes next.
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