With the running of the Lexington Stakes and Arkansas Derby, the Road to the 2015 Kentucky Derby officially concluded on Saturday.
The 35-race series began in September and awarded points to the top four finishers in each of the Derby’s prep races. The mile-and-a-quarter “Run for the Roses” has been limited to a 20-horse field since 1975. At least 20 horses have been entered — although not all have run — in 14 of the last 16 years.
After Saturday, here is how the top 20 in the points standings looks:
|1||International Star||171||Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey||Mike Maker|
|2||Dortmund||170||Kaleem Shah, Inc.||Bob Baffert|
|3||Carpe Diem||164||WinStar Farm, LLC & Stonestreet Stables LLC||Todd Pletcher|
|4||American Pharoah||160||Zayat Stables||Bob Baffert|
|6||Mubtaahij||100||Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum||Mike de Kock|
|7||Materiality||100||Alto Racing, LLC||Todd Pletcher|
|8||El Kabeir||95||Zayat Stables||John Terranova II|
|9||Upstart||76||Ralph M. Evans||Rick Violette Jr.|
|10||Far Right||62||H T Rosenblum and R V LaPenta||Ron Moquett|
|11||Itsaknockout||60||Starlight Racing||Todd Pletcher|
|12||Firing Line||58||Arnold Zetcher||Simon Callaghan|
|13||Danzig Moon||45||John C. Oxley||Mark Casse|
|14||War Story||44||Christopher T. Dunn and Loooch Racing Stable, Inc.||Tom Amoss|
|15||Tencendur||41||Philip S. Birsh||George Weaver|
|16||One Lucky Dane||40||Michael Lund Petersen||Bob Baffert|
|17||Stanford||40||Stonestreet Stables LLC||Todd Pletcher|
|18||Mr. Z||34||Zayat Stables||D. Wayne Lukas|
|19||Ocho Ocho Ocho||30||DP Racing, LLC||Jim Cassidy|
|20||Bolo||30||Golden Pegasus Racing Inc. & Mack||Carla Gaines|
|21||Madefromlucky||30||Cheyenne Stables LLC & Mac Nichol||Todd Pletcher|
– If two or more horses have the same number of points, the tiebreaker is earnings in non-restricted stakes races. Because of this, Bolo currently owns the tie-breaker over Madefromlucky for the 20th and final spot in the Kentucky Derby field.
– Dubai Sky, Maftool, Ami’s Flatter are horses in the top 20, but are not projected to run in the Kentucky Derby. Prospect Park, also tied for 20th, is not projected to run, either.
American Pharoah in the Arkansas Derby, Dortmund in the Santa Anita Derby and Carpe Diem in the Bluegrass Stakes all looked strong in their final Derby prep races. The three should be the top choices on the first weekend of May, especially American Pharoah and Dortmund. The next tier of horses includes: International Star — the 2015 points leader entering the Derby — Frosted, Mubtaahi and Far Right — who ran 2nd to American Pharoah in the Arkansas Derby.
Both Todd Pletcher (four) and Bob Baffert (three) currently have the most horses in the projected 20-horse field. Barring circumstances, Bolo looks to crack the top 20 over Madefromlucky. This would have given Pletcher five horses — a quarter of the field — in the Derby.
The Kentucky Derby is Saturday, May 2nd at Churchill Downs and will be broadcast on NBC.