Kentucky Derby Top 20 List — Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Kentucky Derby Top 20 List

Wednesday, April 9, 2014



To most observers, last weekend’s prep races did one thing – they solidified California Chrome as the leading contender for Kentucky Derby 140. I’d have to agree. No horse has turned in the kind of back to back dominant efforts we saw from California Chrome in the San Felipe and the Santa Anita Derby. What made last weekend’s race so impressive is that he didn’t get the smoothest of breaks (certainly not as smooth as his break in the San Felipe), he still mixed it up on the lead early and then drew away late like a closer who’d been sitting off a lightning quick pace. This horse is for real and, like many of you out there, I only hope that he stays sound and can deliver on the promises of so many hopefuls we’ve had high hopes for in years past.
Back East, the Wood Memorial has produced a fair number of skeptics, not only in the winner, Wicked Strong, but in the previously undefeated runner up, Samraat. While Samraat does take a bit of a drop in our list this week, I wouldn’t write this horse off. I’m one of those who believes that he showed grit and a competitive edge by getting up for the place spot after seemingly flattening out in the stretch. Wicked Strong is still intriguing, as well. If nothing else, we know that he’ll be ensured the same pace setup in the Derby that he got in the Wood. My only question is how many lengths that gets him within a horse like California Chrome.
Note that we’ve removed Toast of New York (previously #6 on this list) because he reportedly will not ship in to Louisville on the first Saturday in May. Additionally, Social Inclusion (previously #13) is off the list because he does not have enough points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby and his owner has indicated he won’t run again until the Preakness.

1. California Chrome

California Chrome dominates the San Felipe

2. Vinceremos

Vinceremos battles back to win the Sam F. Davis

3. Hoppertunity

Hoppertunity grinds out a victory in the Rebel Stakes

4. Constitution

Constitution rides the rail to victory in the Florida Derby

5. Samraat

Samraat takes a three-way thriller in the Gotham

6. Tapiture

Tapiture runs away from the field in The Southwest

7. Cairo Prince

Cairo Prince romps in the Holy Bull

8. Wicked Strong 

Wicked Strong runs them down late to take the Wood Memorial

9. Wildcat Red

Wildcat Red outduels General a Rod to take the Fountain of Youth

10. Ride On Curlin

Ride On Curlin hangs tough in the Rebel after dueling on a hot pace

11. Intense Holiday

Intense Holiday edges past Albano to take the Risen Star

12. Vicar’s In Trouble

Vicar’s In Trouble wires the Louisiana Derby field

13. General a Rod

General a Rod taking the Gulfstream Park Derby

14. Bayern

Bayern crushes an allowance level field at Santa Anita

15. Candy Boy

Candy Boy gets up late to win the Robert B. Lewis

16. We Miss Artie

We Miss Artie takes the Spiral Stakes with a late surge

17. Chitu

Chitu shows heart, besting stablemate Midnight Hawk in the  Sunland Derby

18. Harry’s Holiday

Harry’s Holiday gives up the lead in the final stride of the Spiral Stakes

19. Ring Weekend

Ring Weekend wires the field in the Tampa Bay Derby

2o. Uncle Sigh

Uncle Sigh valiant in defeat in the Withers


List reflects a hypothetical order of finish if all 20 horses were to run in the Kentucky Derby.

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