Belmont Park Picks
Kentucky Derby

Racing Dudes 2019 Top 20 Kentucky Derby Rankings #7

Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.

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 seventh set of Kentucky Derby Rankings for the 2019 season:

Horse Racing Picks

1. Game Winner

Derby Points/Rank: 45 – 6th

Race Record: (5) 4-1-0

Earnings: $1,646,000

Breeding: Candy Ride – Indyan Giving

Owner: Gary and Mary West

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Last Race: Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park, Finished 2nd

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Paul “Free Beers” Withrow

Analysis: It was good to see the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner back in action in the Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park. Even though he lost, he was still valiant in defeat, finishing second by a nose to Omaha Beach. At the top of the stretch, it looked as though Omaha Beach would easily win; however, Game Winner dug down deep to make it extremely close. He will move forward off of this effort, which should make him tough to beat moving forward.

2. Omaha Beach

Derby Points/Rank: 37.5 – 7th

Race Record: (6) 2-3-1

Earnings: $521,800

Breeding: War Front – Charming

Owner: Fox Hill Farms, INC.

Trainer: Richard Mandella

Last Race: Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park, Finished 1st

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Jon White/Ryan Stillman

Analysis: This horse ran huge in the Rebel Stakes (G2), proving to be a high class animal that we must take serious moving forward. Coming into the race, it was reasonable to question his ability; however, there is no reason to question it now. His pedigree should be a benefit to him moving forward, and his running style will suit the Kentucky Derby very well.

3. Mucho Gusto

Derby Points/Rank: 14 – 17th

Race Record: (4) 3-1-0

Earnings: $234,000

Breeding: Mucho Macho Man – Itsagiantcauseway

Owner: Michael Lund Peterson

Trainer: Bob Baffert

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 will be his next start.

4. War of Will

Derby Points/Rank: 60 – 1st

Race Record: (7) 3-1-1

Earnings: $491,569

Breeding: War Front – Visions of Clarity

Owner: Gary Barber

Trainer: Mark Casse

Last Race: Risen Star Stakes (G2) at Fair Grounds, Finished 1st

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Jon White/Ryan Stillman

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. We’ll see if he can keep it rolling this weekend in the Louisiana Derby (G2).

5. Long Range Toddy

Derby Points/Rank: 53.5 – 3rd

Race Record: (7) 4-1-1

Earnings: $851,125

Breeding: Take Charge Indy – Pleasant Song

Owner: Willis Horton Racing LLC

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Last Race: Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park, Finished 1st

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Aaron Halterman

Analysis: He became a serious contender in the Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park, where he ran down our previous #1 ranked horse to win the race by a nose in the final stages. He has progressively gotten better with each start, while possessing a pedigree that should only see him get better as the distances get longer. This is now a serious player heading into the last round of prep races.

6. Improbable

Derby Points/Rank: 25 – 9th

Race Record: (4) 3-1-0

Earnings: $419,520

Breeding: City Zip – Rare Event

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

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Last Race: Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park, Finished 2nd

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Jon White/Ryan Stillman

Analysis: After getting hung wide on both turns in the Rebel Stakes (G2), he just couldn’t hold on for the win, getting passed late by Long Range Toddy to lose by a nose. The loss was disappointing; however, he should have gotten a lot out of the effort from a fitness standpoint. He should be ready to fire a big one when he returns for the Arkansas Derby (G1).

7. Code of Honor

Derby Points/Rank: 54 – 2nd

Race Record: (4) 2-1-0

Earnings: $384,820

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.

8. Bourbon War

Derby Points/Rank: 21 – 11th

Race Record: (4) 2-1-0

Earnings: $155,100

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.

9. Country House

Derby Points/Rank: 20 – 14th

Race Record: (4) 1-2-0

Earnings: $120,175

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 this weekend in the Louisiana Derby (G2). Mott holds a very strong hand going into the big races along the trail.

10. Hidden Scroll

Derby Points/Rank: 5 – 35th

Race Record: (2) 1-0-0

Earnings: $50,600

Breeding: Hard Spun – Sheba Queen

Owner: Juddmonte Farms, INC.

Trainer: Bill Mott

Last Race: Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park, Finished 4th

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Jon White/Ryan Stillman

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.

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11. Tacitus

Derby Points/Rank: 50 – 5th

Race Record: (3) 2-0-0

Earnings:$253,000

Breeding: Tapit – Close Hatches

Owner: Juddmonte Farms, LLC

Trainer: Bill Mott

Last Race: Tampa Bay Derby (G2) at Oaklawn Park, Finished 1st

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Brandon “B$” Bauer

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.

12. Vekoma

Derby Points/Rank: 10 – 22nd

Race Record: (3) 2-0-1

Earnings: $188,850

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.

13. Anothertwistafate

Derby Points/Rank: 10 – 25th

Race Record: (4) 3-0-0

Earnings: $94,545

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

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Paul “Free Beers” Withrow

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).

14. Galilean

Derby Points/Rank: 7.5 – 29th

Race Record: (5) 3-1-1

Earnings: $336,000

Breeding: Uncle Mo – Freisa

Owner: West Point Thoroughbreds, Barker, Denise and Sandbrook, William

Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer

Last Race: Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park, Finished 3rd

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Brandon “B$” Bauer

Analysis: He ran well enough in the Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park to stay on the Kentucky Derby Trail. While he wasn’t a threat to beat the top 2 finishers, he still was able to run a fast enough race to be competitive. With more improvement, he could still be a factor.

15. Haikal

Derby Points/Rank: 50 – 4th

Race Record: (4) 3-1-0

Earnings: $298,900

Breeding: Daaher – Sablah

Owner: Shadwell Stable

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin

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

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Brandon “B$” Bauer

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).

16. Gunmetal Gray

Derby Points/Rank: 21.75 – 10th

Race Record: (7) 2-2-0

Earnings: $284,700

Breeding: Exchange Rate – Classofsixtythree

Owner: Hollendorfer LLC, Pearl Racing, and West Point Thoroughbreds

Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer

Last Race: Rebel Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park, Finished 4th

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Aaron Halterman

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. It was more of the same in the Rebel Stakes (G2).

17. Win Win Win

Derby Points/Rank: 10 – 24th

Race Record: (5) 3-1-1

Earnings:$167,300

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.

18. Outshine

Derby Points/Rank: 20 – 14th

Race Record: (4) 2-1-0

Earnings: $150,900

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

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: NONE

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.

19. Mind Control

Derby Points/Rank: 30 – 8th

Race Record: (6) 3-2-0

Earnings:$383,400

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.

20. Somelikeithotbrown

Derby Points/Rank: 20 – 12th

Race Record: (7) 3-2-1

Earnings: $363,478

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

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: NONE

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.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. John D

    March 22, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    What about Nolo Contesto who beat Omaha Beach in January ? He should be prominent in the SA Derby…

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