Kentucky Derby


The Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby Grade 1 race for 3 year old thoroughbred horses, is run at a distance of one and one quarter (1 1/4) miles, over the main track at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

Colts carry 126 pounds, while fillies in the race carry 121 pounds.

Horses racing in the Kentucky Derby must compete for points in a series of races at tracks across the country and around the world.

Points are awarded to the top four finishers in each of 35 races which comprise the series and the 20 horses with the highest score, will earn a post position in the starting gate at the Kentucky Derby.

One of the most prestigious horse races in the world, the longest running continuous sporting event in America, runs on the first Saturday in May each year drawing huge crowds.

Nicknamed the fastest two minutes in sports, from the time it takes the winner to run gate to wire.

The Kentucky Derby is the first race on the quest for the Triple Crown of thoroughbred racing, followed by the Preakness and the Belmont.



Important Kentucky Derby Preps

To be included on the list of Kentucky Derby contenders, each horse must earn points in what are called prep races, wherein the top four finishers are awarded coveted points

2020 Kentucky Derby Preps


Robert B. Lewis Stakes G3 at Santa Anita Park

Withers Stakes G3 at Aqueduct Racetrack

Holy Bull Stakes G2 at Gulfstream Park

Sam F. Davis Stakes G3 at Tampa Bay Downs

El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields

*Risen Star Stakes G3 at the Fair Grounds Race Course

Southwest Stakes G3 at Oaklawn Park

*Fountain of Youth Stakes G2 at Gulfstream Park


*San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park

*Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs

*Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack

**Louisiana Derby G2 at the Fair Grounds Race Course

*Sunland Derby G3 at Sunland Park

**UAE Derby G2 at Meydan Racecourse

**Florida Derby G1 at Gulfstream Park


**Wood Memorial Stakes G2 at Aqueduct Racetrack

**Blue Grass Stakes G2 at Keeneland Racecourse

**Santa Anita Derby G1 at Santa Anita Park

Lexington Stakes G3 at Keeneland Race Course

**Arkansas Derby G1 at Oaklawn Park





Kentucky Derby

A Dozen Important Contenders in 2020:


Full of raw talent. The stylish win in the $100,000 Sham G3 at Santa Anita Park stamps him a contender. Onward and upward with trainer Bob Baffert at the helm, seeking his sixth Kentucky Derby win. Racing for the SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Frederick Hertrich III, John Fielding and Golconda Stables partnership, the key for Authentic will be to relax and focus. The question of lineage and ability to win at the classic - one and one fourth miles distance must also be answered, since Authentic's sire Into Mischief was a sprinter-miler.


After winning the El Camino Real Derby with Azul Coast, Trainer Bob Baffert is having flashbacks to 1996 when his first Kentucky Derby starter, an improving three-year old colt named Cavonnier, who also won the El Camino Real Derby; going on to finish second by a nose in the now legendary conditioner's first Kentucky Derby attempt. Unbothered by either the stretch out to one and one eigth miles or the surface switch, he showed improved tactical speed, racing in fourth early and capitalizing upon his stamina late to win by just over a length.


An up and coming colt for owner Koichi Nishikawa and trainer Noriyuki Hori, although there will be some factors to overcome, owning an abundance of speed with a powerful finishing kick; this son of 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah's runaway maiden win going 1,800 meters in Japan, could be an indication that the one and one fourth miles classic distance will not be a problem.


Though at times unpredictable, Eight Rings has all the makings of a Kentucky Derby contender, bred for stamina while demonstrating flashes of competitive determination, the colt can dominate if he feels like running and the high level of performance Eight Rings has demonstrated in peak form, indicate he can be a major factor in the 2020 Kentucky Derby, if trainer Bob Baffert can unlock his potential.


Overcoming a slow break, racing 10 lengths off modest fractions early, then demonstrating a powerful kick to circle the field and take over the lead at the stretch call, sustaining the run down the stretch to win by 5; this talented colt trained by Brendan Walsh, won the Breeders’ Cup Futurity at one and one sixteenth miles, like a solid contender for the 2020 triple crown. Watchout! Sired by Street Sense, out of a mare by Bernardini, Maxfield is bred top and bottom for the classic distances.


With a convincing victory in the Withers G3 at Aqueduct, this colt bred by K & G Stables, owned by George Hall, stamped himself as an up and coming Kentucky Derby contender. A son of Honor Code, out of a mare by Not For Love, his deep closer running style certainly benefited from the one and one eighth miles distance and Max Player is bred for stamina, suggesting the more distance the merrier.


Scoring an upset win in the Risen Star G2 at Fair Grounds which earned the bay colt 50 Kentucky Derby qualification points, the homebred racing for Pam and Martin Wygod, sired by Uncle Mo, out of an unraced daughter of Bernardini; broke from the rail, dueled for the early lead and put away his rivals in the stretch to win by a length. Now two-for-two at one and one eighth miles, the colt may relish the classic distance in the Kentucky Derby.


Owned by the Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb, and Doheny Racing Stable partnership, this colt earned 50 qualification points with a gate to wire win in the Risen Star over one and one eighth miles at Fair Grounds. Bred to excel in spring, tactical speed and a powerful pedigree on both the top and bottom, the bay colt must be considered a solid triple crown contender in 2020.


With a win in the $250,000 Remsen Stakes G2 at Aqueduct, followed by a confident class hike for the Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs, where he ran evenly finishing fourth, that race was flattered when the third-place finisher returned to win a G2 event next out. His stamina is no surprise, son of Blame, out of a Bluegrass Cat mare, with plenty of tactical speed but can sit back and pounce too.


Right off the bat, a score in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile G1, the blinkers on with modified tactics made the difference, with a burst of speed to set the pace and turn back a formidable challenger in Anneau d’Or, covering the one and one sixteenth miles in 1:44, to win by a head at 45-to-1 odds. Conditioned by Peter Eurton and racing for the partnership of Exline-Border Racing, David Bernsen, Susanna Wilson and Dan Hudock, the son of Court Vision earned $1.1-MILLION taking down the Juvenile.


Exciting son of Pioneer of the Nile trained by Bob Baffert, unclear whether he has the stamina to handle the classic distance of the Kentucky Derby, although there will be a shot of endurance from the sire, mare was a sprinter owning a speed pedigree; Baffert has indicated the distance isn’t going to be a problem.


Bred in New York, purchased for $110,000 as a yearling, the son of Constitution scored a victory in the Champagne G1 at Belmont Park, after stumbling at the start, powering into contention and drawing off to win by four. Assuming he continues to develop, he owns the talent and breeding to be a serious factor in the Kentucky Derby.



Contender Rank

Ete Indien, #1, 54 Points $285,156

Modernist, #2, 50 Points $240,000

Enforceable, #3, 33 Points $264,550

Storm the Court, #4, 22 Points $1,148,351

Tiz the Law, #5, 22 Points $456,000

Silver Prospector, #6, 21 Points $654,851

Thousand Words, #7, 20 Points $181,000

Major Fed, #8, 20 Points $80,000

Candy Tycoon, #9, 20 Points $76,000

Shotski, #10, 19 Points $212,466

Independence Hall, #11, 14 Points $205,000

Silver State, #12, 14 Points $80,000

Azul Coast, #13, 14 Points $80,000

Shoplifted, #14, 13 Points $388,500

Anneau d'Or, #15, 12 Points $385,000

Maxfield, #16, 10 Points $300,000

Eight Rings, #17, 10 Points $200,351

Sole Volante, #18, 10 Points $173,510

Dennis' Moment, #19, 10 Points $141,800

Gold Street, #20, 10 Points $141,000

Max Player, #21, 10 Points $137,500

As Seen On Tv, #22, 10 Points $72,600

Authentic, #23, 10 Points $60,000

Ny Traffic, #24, 10 Points $44,320

Ajaaweed, #25, 7 Points $95,000

Scabbard, #26, 6 Points $186,000

Answer In, #27, 6 Points $155,000

Wrecking Crew, #28, 5 Points $293,000

Finnick the Fierce, #29, 5 Points $70,200

Mailman Money, #30, 5 Points $16,000

Farmington Road, #31, 5 Points $16,000

Green Light Go, #32, 4 Points $224,550

Wells Bayou, #33, 4 Points $150,000

Gouverneur Morris, #34, 4 Points $100,000

High Velocity, #35, 4 Points $97,000

American Theorem, #36, 4 Points $60,000

Three Technique, #37, 4 Points $30,000

Royal Act, #38, 4 Points $21,644

Prince of Pharoahs, #39, 3 Points $27,750

Bourbon Bay, #40, 3 Points $24,000

Big City Bob, #41, 2 Points $120,000

Chase Tracker, #42, 2 Points $51,750

Portos, #43, 2 Points $30,000

Toledo, #44, 2 Points $24,500

Zimba Warrior, #45, 2 Points $24,500

Jungle Runner, #46, 1 Points $86,750

Monday Morning Qb, #47, 1 Points $75,000

Informative, #48, 1 Points $35,000

Letmeno, #49, 1 Points $29,200

Taishan, #50, 1 Points $28,500

Relentless Dancer, #51, 1 Points $12,250

Tiz Rye Time, #52, 1 Points $10,000

Tizamagician, #53, 1 Points $6,000



Road to Kentucky Derby: Update

Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct

Frontrunners Mischevious Alex and Untitled look like serious contenders in the Gotham G3 at Aqueduct, a road to the Kentucky Derby qualifier awarding 50, 20, 10 and 5 points to the top four finishers respectively. Meanwhile, Attachment Rate will ship in for trainer Dale Romans, with War Stopper, Sixto and Informative rounding out an interesting contingent of last out maiden winners. Montauk Traffic will be making his first start in graded stakes company together with homebred stable mate, the first level Allowance winner First Deputy. Flap Jack, Celtic Striker and Necker Island complete the field of three year olds for this contest over the infamous one turn mile at Aqueduct Racetrack.


$250K Busher Invitational at Aqueduct

Lake Avenue comes in off a sharp four-length G2 win and Maedean, the favorite in the same event finishing second while closing substantial ground, appear to be the main threats here. Although Water White, Mo City and Inveterate will be running to win the race and merit close inspection.


1 1/16-miles Honeybee

Unbeaten Ring Leader will make her first start around two-turns, the bay daughter of Paynter, McLean Robertson-trained filly is a perfect three-for-three. Alta’s Reward will be running for the Steve Asmussen barn, off two victories at Fair Grounds. Turtle Trax, Motu and Raggedy Annie will be out for blood too.


Tampa Bay Derby

Chance It, the four out of six win machine starts for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr., boasting a strong worktab at Gulfstream Park. Sole Volante, Market Analysis, Texas Swing and Unrighteous represent the dangers in the field of 12 lining up for the Tampa Bay Derby.




Derby Notes

Ete Indien Takes Control of Derby Leaderboard

After finishing second to Tiz the Law in the Holy Bull G3 Stakes, Ete Indien won the Fountain of Youth G2 in impressive fashion over Candy Tycoon and Shotski. The dark bay colt trained by Patrick Biancone has matured into a formidable prospect with the surface switch to dirt which has favored his abundant early speed. With the makings of a serious contender for the Kentucky Derby, connections have pointed him towards the $1-MILLION Florida Derby G1 running on March 28 at Gulfstream Park.


A Picture Worth a Thousand Words

Thousand Words running for the Bob Baffert barn and sired by Pioneer of the Nile, another Baffert star back in the day that finished second to 50:1 shot Mine That Bird over a sloppy track in the 2009 Kentucky Derby; with Point Given, yet another Baffert superstar who finished fifth in the 2001 Kentuck Derby, and more Derby connections on the bottom of his pedigree.


Fountain of Youth

At a distance of 1 1/16 miles, over the main track at Gulfstream Park, Ete Indien demonstrates powerful speed; while Tiz the Law's convincing three length victory over Ete Indien in the Holy Bull G3 is flattered. The talented duo will face off again in the Florida Derby. Dennis’ Moment comes out of the Fountain of Youth in good shape, connections targeting the Blue Grass G2 at Keeneland.