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Racing Dudes Kentucky Derby Rankings 7/9/20: Blue Grass Up Next
Art Collector winning a Churchill Downs allowance on June 13 (Credit: Coady Photography)

Racing Dudes Kentucky Derby Rankings 7/9/20: Blue Grass Up Next

Welcome to the 2020 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, the Kentucky Derby point standings, and much more!

Though the Kentucky Derby moved to Saturday, September 5, we’ll still come at you with updates along the way, as well as the latest news on the race. Here’s our latest Top 20 heading into the Blue Grass Stakes weekend: 

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1. Tiz the Law 

Derby Points/Rank: 272 – 1st

Race Record: (6) 5-0-1

Earnings: $1,480,300

Breeding: Constitution – Tizfiz (Tiznow)

Owner: Sackatoga Stable 

Trainer: Barcaly Tagg

Last Race: 1st, Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Magic Mike 

Analysis: He left no doubts in his dominating Belmont Stakes (G1) performance, which has him on well on his way to being the favorite for the Kentucky Derby (G1). There doesn’t seem to be any horse pointing for the Travers Stakes (G1) who can beat him, so expect his hype to continue all the way up to the first Saturday in September. 

2. Honor A. P.

Derby Points/Rank: 120 – 2nd

Race Record: (4) 2-2-0

Earnings: $362,200

Breeding: Honor Code – Hollywood Story (Wild Rush)

Owner: C R K Stable LLC

Trainer: John Shirreffs 

Last Race: 1st, Santa Anita Derby (G1) at Santa Anita Park

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Jon White and Ryan Stillman

Analysis: His Santa Anita Derby (G1) victory was ultra-impressive and made him the logical challenger to Tiz the Law for early favoritism in the Derby. He will continue to flourish as the distances get longer and his solid turn of foot will be tough to hold off on that long Churchill Downs stretch. Trainer John Shirreffs will have him ready to pop with a monster race when the big day is finally here. 

3. Authentic 

Derby Points/Rank: 100 – 3rd

Race Record: (4) 3-1-0

Earnings: $411,200

Breeding: Into Mischief – Flawless (Mr. Greeley)

Owner: SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Frederick Hertrich, John Fielding, and Golconda Stabels 

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Last Race: 2nd, Santa Anita Derby (G1) at Santa Anita Park

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Aaron Halterman 

Analysis: He suffered the first defeat of his career in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), finishing second behind Honor A. P. He still was able to run a respectable race, though, and several top horses’ injuries have helped him remain highly-ranked. He still has some maturity issues he needs to get through but remains very much in the mix if he can do what so many have not been able to accomplish: stay healthy. Look for him next in the Haskell Stakes (G1) at Monmouth Park on July 18.  

4. King Guillermo  

Derby Points/Rank: 90 – 4th

Race Record: (5) 2-1-1

Earnings: $340,350

Breeding: Uncle Mo – Slow Sand (Dixieland Band)

Owner: Victoria’s Ranch

Trainer: Juan Carlos Avila 

Last Race: 2nd, Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Austin and Evil Steveil   

Analysis: It’s funny that we were all skeptical of this horse after he won the Tampa Bay Derby (G2); however, now we all believe in him after losing division 2 of the Arkansas Derby (G1). His loss showed that he can repeat that top effort, though, when finishing a solid second to the powerful Nadal. We now know to take this horse very seriously moving forward; however, it would be nice to see him in a race before the Kentucky Derby, which doesn’t seem to be the plan.

5. Dr Post 

Derby Points/Rank: 60 – 8th 

Race Record: (4) 2-1-0

Earnings: $261,635

Breeding: Quality Road – Mary Delaney (Hennessy)

Owner: St. Elias Stable 

Trainer: Todd Pletcher 

Last Race: 2nd, Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park 

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Magic Mike

Analysis: In many ways, he went into the Belmont Stakes (G1) with a lot to prove, but he exited the race as one of the top horses in the class. His runner-up effort was solid enough to get excited about his future, though he still has a ways to go before he can compete with Tiz the Law. Still, there is no doubt that he is Pletcher’s best Derby prospect. 

6. Max Player 

Derby Points/Rank: 40 – 12th

Race Record: (4) 2-1-1

Earnings: $273,500

Breeding: Honor Code – Fools in Love (Not For Love)

Owner: George Hall 

Trainer: Linda Rice

Last Race: 3rd, Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park 

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Dan “Wise Dan” Waite 

Analysis: It was nice to see him back from a long layoff after winning the Withers Stakes (G3) all the way back in February. He ran well to finish third in the Belmont Stakes (G1) and should improve next time out. 

7. Uncle Chuck 

Derby Points/Rank: 20 – 21st

Race Record: (2) 2-0-0

Earnings: $120,000

Breeding: Uncle Mo – Forest Music (Unbridled’s Song)

Owner: Karl Watson, Michael Pegram, and Paul Weitman 

Trainer: Bob Baffert 

Last Race: 1st, Los Alamitos Derby (G3) at Los Alamitos 

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Jon White/Ryan Stillman  

Analysis: His big Los Alamitos Derby (G3) win was expected, but he needed that victory to put himself in contention to make the Derby. He has plenty of options for his final prep, but one big thing that he needs to correct is changing his leads and staying on the right one in the stretch – he has not done both in either start. 

8. Basin

Derby Points/Rank: 50 – 9th

Race Record: (6) 2-2-1

Earnings: $471,000

Breeding: Liam’s Map – Appenzel (Johannesberg)

Owner: Jackpot Farm

Trainer: Steve Asmussen 

Last Race: 2nd, Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Jon White and Ryan Stillman 

Analysis: His Arkansas Derby (G1) runner-up effort was exactly what he needed after a lackluster effort in the Oaklawn Stakes. We always thought this horse would be good enough to jump back into contention, so it’s nice to see him back on the list. He may end up proving to be Asmussen’s best 3-year-old.

9. Ny Traffic 

Derby Points/Rank: 70 – 7th 

Race Record: (8) 2-2-2

Earnings: $365,470

Breeding: Cross Traffic – Mamie Reilly (Graeme Hall)

Owner: John Fanelli, Cash is King LLC, LC Racing, and Paul Braverman

Trainer: Saffie Joseph Jr.

Last Race: 2nd, Matt Winn Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Mike “Saratoga Slim” Spector  

Analysis: Once again, this colt has proven to be a consistent performer. His solid runner-up effort in the Matt Winn Stakes (G3) was similar to his efforts at Fair Grounds over the winer. He has earned his way into the Kentucky Derby starting gate. 

10. Enforceable 

Derby Points/Rank: 33 – 14th

Race Record: (9) 2-2-2

Earnings: $367,150

Breeding: Tapit – Justwhistledixie (Dixie Union)

Owner: John Oxley 

Trainer: Mark Casse 

Last Race: 5th, Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds 

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Magic Mike

Analysis: His off-the-board finish in the Louisiana Derby (G2) isn’t too concerning, considering his rough trip, but his running style will always be a threat to his win chances. We’ll see him next in Saturday’s Blue Grass Stakes (G2).

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11. Art Collector   

Derby Points/Rank: 0 – NR

Race Record: (7) 3-1-0

Earnings: $188,475

Breeding: Bernardini – Distorted Legacy (Distorted Humor)

Owner: Bruce Lunsford

Trainer: Tom Drury, Jr.

Last Race: 1st, Allowance at Churchill Downs

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Aaron Halterman    

Analysis: An allowance victory at Churchill Downs has him pointing to the Blue Grass Stakes (G2) for his next start. He earned a 100 Beyer speed figure for the victory, which turned a lot of heads. We’ll see if he can repeat that sort of effort against tougher company. 

12. Sole Volante  

Derby Points/Rank: 30 – 16th 

Race Record: (7) 4-1-1

Earnings: $323,310

Breeding: Karakontie – Light Blow (Kingmambo)

Owner: Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Andie Biancone, and Limelight Stable Corp.

Trainer: Patrick Biancone 

Last Race: 6th, Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Real Dynasty 

Analysis: His Belmont Stakes (G1) no-show is a total head scratcher; he had plenty of pace to run into and was entering the event in great form. We’ll give him a pass for now, but he has to run better in his next start. 

13. Cezanne  

Derby Points/Rank: 0 – NR

Race Record: (2) 2-0-0

Earnings: $57,000

Breeding: Curlin – Achieving (Bernardini) 

Owner: Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, and St. Elias Stable

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Last Race: 1st, Allowance at Los Alamitos 

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

Analysis: His Los Alamitos allowance victory was a little disappointing, which is why he has fallen down the rankings. He now needs to finish first or second in a major points race just to make the Derby. It will be interesting to see where Baffert sends him next because as of now, he doesn’t seem to be ready to win a big-time race. 

14. Pneumatic 

Derby Points/Rank: 25 – 19th

Race Record: (4) 2-0-1

Earnings: $166,850

Breeding: Uncle Mo – Teardrop (Tapit)

Owner: Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC

Trainer: Steve Asmussen 

Last Race: 4th, Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Aaron Halterman 

Analysis: It’s clear that he has some talent, but he isn’t elite. Twice now, he’s looked like a winner at the top of the stretch, only to flatten out down the lane. He still has a solid shot to make his way into the Kentucky Derby, though, which is why he remains on the rankings.

15. Ete Indien 

Derby Points/Rank: 74 – 5th 

Race Record: (7) 3-1-1

Earnings: $407,406

Breeding: Summer Front – East India (Mizzen Mast)

Owner: Linda Shanahan, Sanford Bacon, Dream With Me Stable Inc., Horse France America, D P Racing LLC (Deron Pearson) & Patrick L. Biancone Racing LLC

Trainer: Patrick Biancone 

Last Race: 4th, Allowance Race at Gulfstream Park

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Jared Welch  

Analysis: Nothing went his way in the Florida Derby (G1), but he still showed a lot of heart to finish third. Unfortunately, he was a no-show in a recent allowance race at Gulfstream Park, so he’ll need to show a big turnaround next time out to prove that he isn’t tailing off. 

16. Shivaree  

Derby Points/Rank: 40 – 11th

Race Record: (11) 3-3-2

Earnings: $344,005

Breeding: Awesome of Course – Garter Belt (Anasheed)

Owner: Jacks or Better Farm, Inc.

Trainer: Ralph Nicks  

Last Race: 3rd, Allowance at Gulfstream Park

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Austin/Evil Steveil

Analysis: Three straight runner-up efforts against stakes company, including the Florida Derby (G1), earned him a spot in the rankings. The chances of him making a solid impact in the Kentucky Derby are slim, especially after his recent third-place allowance effort, but he has enough points to make the field. 

17. Tap It to Win

Derby Points/Rank: 0 – NR

Race Record: (7) 3-1-0

Earnings: $164,672

Breeding: Tapit – Onepointhreekarats (Medaglia d’Oro)

Owner: Live Oak Plantation  

Trainer: Mark Casse  

Last Race: 5th, Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Jon White/Ryan Stillman  

Analysis: The Belmont Stakes (G1) could have been a little too much, too soon for him. His talent still looks to be pretty high, and his early speed is always dangerous. We’ll keep him on the list for now because it would not be surprising to see him win one of the lesser Derby preps and find his way into the field. 

18. Modernist 

Derby Points/Rank: 70 – 6th 

Race Record: (6) 2-0-2

Earnings: $413,800

Breeding: Uncle Mo – Symbolic Gesture (Bernardini) 

Owner: Pam and Martin Wygood 

Trainer: Bill Mott

Last Race: 7th, Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Magic Mike

Analysis: His seventh-place effort in the Belmont Stakes (G1) was a little disappointing, though it was clear going into the race that he wasn’t a strong win candidate. He seems to be a cut below the better horses in the crop and is running out of time to make up the gap.

19. Thousand Words

Derby Points/Rank: 33 – 15th 

Race Record: (6) 3-1-0

Earnings: $267,000

Breeding: Pioneerof the Nile – Pomeroys Pistol (Pomeroy)

Owner: Albaugh Family Stables LLC and Spendthrift Farm LLC 

Trainer: Bob Baffert   

Last Race: 2nd, Los Alamitos Derby at Los Alamitos  

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

Analysis: He’s earned his way into the Derby based on points; however, his last few races have not been what you’d like to see. The Los Alamitos Derby (G3) runner-up finish was an improvement, but he still has a long way to go.

20. Mischevious Alex 

Derby Points/Rank: 50 – 10th

Race Record: (9) 4-1-1

Earnings: $344.230

Breeding: Into Mischief – White Pants Night (Speightstown)

Owner: Cash is King LLC and LC Racing   

Trainer: John C. Servis 

Last Race: 1st, Gotham Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct

Racing Dudes Fantasy League Owner: Austin/Evil Steveil 

Analysis: He is a joke when it comes to the Kentucky Derby. He is a one-turn horse at best, and his latest effort in the Woody Stephens Stakes (G1) was pretty bad. However, he has enough points to easily make the field, so he has to be ranked – just not anywhere near the top.

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