The 144th Kentucky Derby is in the books, and with it, the fantasy league has had movement in the standings.
Team Welch is now a prime contender to win after Justify stormed home in a driving rain storm to win the Derby. However, Team Magic still has the lead by a decent margin, thanks in part to a solid second-place performance from Good Magic. The Preakness and the Belmont still hold great importance, as nothing has been decided heading into the last two races. Let’s take a look at the current standings, as well as this week’s post-derby Power Rankings:
|Ranking||Team||Score||Current Team Members|
|1||Jared Welch||290||Solomini, Greyvitos, Justify, Sporting Chance, New York Central|
|2||Curtis "Magic" Kalleward||270||Good Magic, Mendelssohn, Marconi, My Boy Jack, Magnum Moon|
|3||Aaron Halterman||236||Principe Guilherme, Instilled Regard, Noble Indy, Bravazo, Combatant|
|4||Ryan Stillman/Jon White||146||Mask, Flameaway, Untamed Domain, Enticed, Quip|
|5||Mike "Saratoga Slim" Spector||140||Bolt d’Oro, Audible, Hofburg, Restoring Hope, Navistar|
|6||Dan "The Fan Man" Waite||11||Catholic Boy, Nero, Lone Sailor, Vino Rosso, Free Drop Billy|
1. Jared Welch – He’s still behind in the standings, and he also still has a lot of work left to do, but when you have a horse like Justify, you can make up a lot of ground in a short amount of time. The Kentucky Derby champ will be very hard to beat at Pimlico in the Preakness next weekend. Sporting Chance will also head to Pimlico after a decent fourth in the Grade 3 Pat Day Mile. New York Central was second in that same race and could be pointed to either the Preakness or the Belmont next. Solomini is reportedly heading to the Belmont, but Greyvitos will likely head back to California and regroup after a poor effort in the Pat Day Mile.
2. Curtis “Magic” Kalleward – Magic still has the lead, but he could be in trouble with Justify and Team Welch poised to make a big move. Good Magic put up a tremendous effort when finishing second in the Kentucky Derby, but he’s questionable for the Preakness. The rest of his team also doesn’t have any confirmed plans. My Boy Jack will likely run in the Belmont, where Marconi could show up, as well, but Magnum Moon and Mendelssohn will no longer compete on the Triple Crown trail. Can Magic hold onto his lead?
3. Mike “Saratoga Slim” Spector – This team’s MVP ended up being Audible after he finished a strong third in the Kentucky Derby and will now point for the Belmont. Hofburg also performed well in the Kentucky Derby despite a poor trip and is another team member that will point towards the Belmont. Past those two horses, though, he unfortunately won’t get much help. Bolt d’Oro is off the Triple Crown trail, while Restoring Hope and Navistar never were able to make it onto the trail. It looks like third might be the best that this team can finish.
4. Aaron Halterman – Instilled Regard nearly pulled off the improbable for this team that had four Kentucky Derby longshots. The Jerry Hollendorfer-trained horse finished fourth and might have shown enough to start in another race along the Triple Crown trail. Bravazo also ran well to finish sixth in the race, and trainer D. Wayne Lukas has confirmed that he will start in the Preakness. Noble Indy and Combatant didn’t fair nearly as well, though, and both are highly questionable to return to action anytime soon. Like Saratoga Slim, this team is probable to finish third at best.
5. Jon White/Ryan Stillman – An interesting trade developed just a day before the Kentucky Derby, when Dan The Fan Man sent Quip to Jon and Ryan for Free Drop Billy. Quip could make this team look smart with a solid performance in the Preakness. This team’s Kentucky Derby starters didn’t make an impact, though, and it’s now questionable if any will start again during this rest of this Triple Crown season. Mask and Untamed Domain round out this team, but neither will be running in the Preakness or the Belmont. This team should be in no danger of finishing last, but third seems to be the ceiling.
6. Dan “The Fan Man” Waite – It will now take a miracle for this team to not finish last. Free Drop Billy, Lone Sailor, and Vino Rosso all made little impact in the Kentucky Derby, and he desperately needed them to do so. The good news is that all three will likely run in at least one more Triple Crown race, so he’ll at least have an opportunity to gain points. Unfortunately, he’s 135 points out of second-to-last, so he has plenty of work in front of him. He’ll get no help from Catholic Boy or Nero, so the previously-mentioned three horses will have to carry this team the rest of the way.