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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 sixth set of Kentucky Derby Rankings for the 2019 season:
Derby Points/Rank: 10 – 17th
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: Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) 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. He finally gets to make his 2019 debut this Saturday in the Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park.
Derby Points/Rank: 30 – 5th
Race Record: (4) 4-0-0
Breeding: Candy Ride – Indyan Giving
Owner: Gary and Mary West
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Last Race: 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? We’ll find out this weekend in the Rebel Stakes (G2).
Derby Points/Rank: 14 – 15th
Race Record: (4) 3-1-0
Breeding: Mucho Macho Man – Itsagiantcauseway
Owner: Michael Lund Peterson
Last Race: Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3) 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 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3). It looks like the Sunland Derby (G3) at Sunland Park could be his next start.
Derby Points/Rank: 60 – 1st
Race Record: (7) 3-1-1
Breeding: War Front – Visions of Clarity
Owner: Gary Barber
Trainer: Mark Casse
Last Race: Risen Star Stakes (G2) at Fair Grounds, Finished 1st
Analysis: So far, he is 3-for-3 on the dirt while never even being challenged. His LeComte Stakes (G3) win was very impressive. Now, with another victory in the Risen Star Stakes (G2), he has put himself in a great position moving forward. He is the first horse to basically lock in a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.
Derby Points/Rank: 54 – 2nd
Race Record: (4) 2-1-0
Breeding: Noble Mission – Reunited
Owner: W.S. Farish
Trainer: Shug McGaughey
Last Race: Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park, Finished 1st
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Patrick “Mad Dog” Meagher
Analysis: A big bounce back win in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) has this horse locked into the Kentucky Derby starting gate. There is no doubt he took advantage of a hot pace in that race; however, at least he showed the talent needed to win at the higher levels. He will play a factor in the Florida Derby (G1) and perhaps on the first Saturday in May as well.
Derby Points/Rank: 21 – 7th
Breeding: Tapit – My Conquestadory
Owner: Bourbon Lane and Stable and Lake Star Stable
Trainer: Mark Hennig
Last Race: Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park, Finished 2nd
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Dan “Wish Dan” Waite
Analysis: He closed like a freight train to finish a fast closing second in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2). That’s the type of performance that will catch a lot of eyes, while also seemingly meaning he will enjoy the distances getting longer. He proved he belongs from a class standpoint.
Derby Points/Rank: 18 – 13th
Race Record: (6) 2-2-0
Breeding: Exchange Rate – Classofsixtythree
Owner: Hollendorfer LLC, Pearl Racing, and West Point Thoroughbreds
Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer
Last Race: Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3) 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. This weekend, he’ll run in the Rebel Stakes (G2).
Derby Points/Rank: 20 – 9th
Race Record: (4) 1-2-0
Breeding: Lookin At Lucky – Quake Lake
Owner: Shields, Jr., Mrs. J. V. and McFadden, Jr., E. J. M.
Trainer: Bill Mott
Last Race: Risen Star Stakes (G2) at Fair Grounds, Finished 2nd
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Jared Welch
Analysis: This horse proved that he is going to be solid moving forward after his strong closing second in the Risen Star Stakes (G2) at Fair Grounds. That is a race that he should be able to build on moving forward. Mott holds a very strong hand going into the big races along the trail.
Derby Points/Rank: 0 – NR
Breeding: Uncle Mo – Freisa
Owner: West Point Thoroughbreds, Barker, Denise and Sandbrook, William
Last Race: California Cup Derby at Santa Anita, Finished 1st
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Brandon “B$” Bauer
Analysis: There is no doubt that his latest win in the California Cup Derby was impressive enough to run him against opening company in his next start. No matter the level of competition, this horse should fit in pretty well, as he has proven to be a runner. He’ll run this weekend in the Rebel Stakes (G2).
Derby Points/Rank: 50 – 4th
Race Record: (3) 2-0-0
Breeding: Tapit – Close Hatches
Owner: Juddmonte Farms, LLC
Last Race: Tampa Bay Derby (G2) at Oaklawn Park, Finished 1st
Analysis: How loaded is Bill Mott for this Kentucky Derby? He now has three horses in the top 11 after Tacitus rolled home late to win the Tampa Bay Derby (G2). It was a perfect set-up for him; however, he still had to take advantage of it with a solid move. His breeding should allow him to excel when the distances get longer.
Derby Points/Rank: 5 – 31st
Race Record: (2) 1-0-0
Breeding: Hard Spun – Sheba Queen
Owner: Juddmonte Farms, INC.
Trainer: Bill Mott
Last Race: Fountain of Youth Stakes. (G2) at Gulfstream Park, Finished 4th
Analysis: There is no question in my mind that Hidden Scroll was the best horse in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2). However, if he does not learn to rate his early speed, he will have a tough time winning major stakes races. On the other hand, if he can learn to sit off horses, he is a prime Kentucky Derby candidate. His next start will be his make or break moment.
Derby Points/Rank: 10 – 21st
Race Record: (3) 2-0-1
Breeding: Candy Ride – Mona De Momma
Owner: R. A. Hill Stable and Gatsas Stables
Trainer: George Weaver
Last Race: Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park, Finished 3rd
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: The Fans
Analysis: The Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) showed us enough to think this horse deserves a shot at another prep race for his next start. He may not be a special colt; however, he has every right to improve off of this effort. This is not one to close the book on just yet.
Derby Points/Rank: 10 – 24th
Race Record: (4) 3-0-0
Breeding: Scat Daddy – Imperfection
Owner: Peter Redekop B. C., Ltd.
Trainer: Blaine D. Wright
Last Race: El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate, Finished 1st
Analysis: This horse is a synthetic monster after three straight amazing wins at Golden Gate, but he has shown enough talent to debut on the rankings this week. He simply ran the other horses off their feet in the El Camino Real Derby. He will try dirt next in the Sunland Derby (G3).
Derby Points/Rank: 50 – 3rd
Breeding: Daaher – Sablah
Owner: Shadwell Stable
Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin
Last Race: Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct, Finished 1st
Analysis: A big win in the Gotham Stakes (G3) puts this horse on the radar. However, he did get a perfect set up in that race, which won’t be as likely to happen as the races get tougher. Also, there are really question marks surrounding how far this horse wants to run. We’ll find out more in the Wood Memorial (G2).
Derby Points/Rank: 10 – 23rd
Race Record: (5) 3-1-1
Breeding: Hat Trick – Miss Smarty Pants
Owner: Live Oak Plantation
Trainer: Michael J. Trombetta
Last Race: Tampa Bay Derby (G2) at Tampa Bay Downs, Finished 3rd
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Dan “Wise Dan” Waite
Analysis: The Tampa Bay Derby (G2) was a pretty solid race for him. It was disappointing to see him get third; however, a very wide trip hurt his chances dramatically. He’s still a fringe contender at this point.
Derby Points/Rank: 10 – 18th
Race Record: (5) 2-3-0
Breeding: Congrats – Adorabell
Owner: Harold Lerner LLC, AWC Stables, Nehoc Stables, Akman, Scott K. and Braverman, Paul
Trainer: Kenny McPeek
Last Race: Holy Bull Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park, Finished 1st
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: NONE
Analysis: The upset Holy Bull Stakes (G2) winner debuted at #10 in the rankings, but 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.
Derby Points/Rank: 20 – 10th
Race Record: (4) 2-1-0
Breeding: Malibu Moon – Life Lesson
Owner: Let’s Go Stable and Richard Schibell
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Last Race: Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs, Finished 2nd
Analysis: Trainer Todd Pletcher finally has a horse ranked in the Top 20 after this horse ran a solid second in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2). It wasn’t a race to get overly excited about; however, at least it puts Outshine on the radar heading into the last round of preps.
Derby Points/Rank: 30 – 6th
Race Record: (6) 3-2-0
Breeding: Stay Thirsty – Feel That Fire
Owner: Red Oak Stable (Brunetti) and Madaket Stables, LLC
Trainer: Gregory D. Sacco
Last Race: Gotham Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct, Finished 2nd
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Mike “Saratoga Slim” Spector
Analysis: It looked like he would be the winner of the Gotham Stakes (G3) in mid-stretch, as he made a big move, but was nailed late by the fast closing Haikal. The effort has most likely ensure him a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.
Derby Points/Rank: 12 – 16th
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: Withers Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct, Finished 1st
Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: The Fans
Analysis: Tax earned a 96 Beyer speed figure for his Withers Stakes (G3) 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: 20 – 8th
Race Record: (7) 3-2-1
Breeding: Big Brown – Marilyn Monroan
Owner: Skychai Racing LLC and Sand Dollar Stable LLC
Trainer: Mike Maker
Last Race: Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park, Finished 1st
Analysis: He made it two for two at Turfway Park with a dominating win in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3). Now, he must move to the dirt for his next start, which will likely coming in the Blue Grass Stakes (G2). That will tell us the real story on him.
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