Before the Kentucky Derby we ranked the major Derby Prep races in order of how we felt they’d impact the Triple Crown. Now that it’s all over, we’ve ranked the Prep’s again to see how our predictions did. We used the following point scale to rank the Preps:
Triple Crown Race Starter: 2 points
Fourth Place Finisher: 4 points
Third Place Finisher: 6 points
Second Place Finisher: 8 points
First Place Finisher: 10 points
1. Santa Anita Derby – 46 Points – Previous Rank: 1st
This is your obvious winner, and we also ranked it number one before the Kentucky Derby. I’ll Have Another was the star of the show, and Creative Cause was solid in both Triple Crown starts. To top things off, Paynter ran well and finished a close second in the Belmont. When you factor in that Bodemesiter was also a California horse and you can see that the West Coast DOMINATED the three-year old crop this season.
2. Arkansas Derby – 38 Points – Previous Rank: 3rd
As stated before Bodemeister is a California horse, but he ran in the Arkansas Derby so that makes this race an easy second. Bodemesiter is now the best three-year old in training, and his 2nd’s in the Preakness and Derby boosted the Arkansas Derby’s numbers. Atigun ran very well in the Belmont to get third. Optimizer was the only horse to run in all three Triple Crown races, so that also helped out the Arkansas Derby’s ranking.
3. Florida Derby – 18 Points – Previous Rank: 2nd
Union Rags’ big win in the Belmont saved the Florida Derby from a TOTAL disaster this Triple Crown season. No other runner made any impact at all. In March most horse people thought the Florida horses where better than anyone else, but it all quickly went away.
4. Wood Memorial – 14 Points – Previous Rank: 4th
If you would have told me Street Life would make the most impact coming out of the Wood I would have called you a liar, but that’s how it worked out. Street Life’s fourth in the Belmont was the best finish by any Wood runner. Gemologist and Alpha both ran poorly in the Kentucky Derby, and neither appeared again. Both will be aiming for a summer return to the races.
5. Bluegrass Stakes – 12 Points – Previous Rank: 5th
Dullahan gave Keeneland fans a thrill finishing third in the Kentucky Derby, but was a flop in the Belmont. Hansen made no impact in the Derby, and hasn’t run since.
6. Spiral Stakes – 8 Points – Previous Rank: 8th
Went The Day Well was a lot like Dullahan. He closed quickly to finish 4th in the Kentucky Derby, but was next to last in the Preakness. None of the other runners made a Triple Crown appearance.
7. Sunland Derby – 4 Points – Previous Rank: 6th
Daddy Nose Best was the only Triple Crown runner, and he was a non-factor in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
T8. Louisiana Derby – 2 Points – Previous Rank: 7th
It was the worst Louisiana Derby in a long time as far as producing Triple Crown runners. Rousing Sermon was the only Triple Crown starter this year. Mark Valeski did win a non-Triple Crown event when he won the Peter Pan Stakes.
T8. Illinois Derby – 2 Points – Previous Rank: 9th
Done Talking ran in the Kentucky Derby, but that was it for Illinois Derby starters.