Here are the next five qualifiers based on the points they earned during The Kentucky Derby Prep Races.
BOLT d’ORO (104 points) Part of the west coast contingent. This horse has won four out of his career five starts, including two Grade 1 Stakes Races. His morning line odds will certainly reflect this. The KD jockey merry-go-round continues here as JJ Castellano gets off of this pony to ride AUDIBLE. But no worries. Triple Crown winning jockey (AMERICAN PHAROAH) Victor Espinoza picks up the mount. Mike Ruis is the trainer of BOLT d’ORO.
ENTICED (103 points) Kiaran McLaughlin trains this colt with an impressive pedigree. The son of (a big stamina horse) MEDAGLIA d’ ORO, ENTICED should have no issue making the distance at Churchill Downs. This horse came in second to VINO ROSSO in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Park on April 7th after jockey Junior Alvarado’s claim of foul on VINO ROSSO was denied. So if you like VINO ROSSO, you need to be looking at ENTICED as well.
MENDELSSOHN (100 points) Well there certainly is a lot of Pre-Derby buzz surrounding this horse. He comes off of an impressive Derby Prep win in the UAE Derby in Dubai back on March 31st. He covered the distance of a mile and 3/16 in a track record time of 1:55:18, beating the 2nd place finisher by 18 lengths. A.P. O’Brien trains MENDELSSOHN, who is ridden by equally Irish, Ryan Moore. If this horse wins The Kentucky Derby it won’t be by luck.
JUSTIFY (100 points) This guy comes to The Derby having only 3 career starts. One of which was his win in the Grade 1, Santa Anita Derby on April 7th. JUSTIFY as MAGNUM MOON did not race as a two year-old, which puts him up against history. It was 1882 when a horse called APOLLO won The Derby without racing as a 2 year-old. The last horse to do so. But JUSTIFY is trained by 4 time Kentucky Derby winning trainer Bob Baffert, and ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who doesn’t put his boots on for anything less than a Grade 1 race he thinks he can win.
FLAMEAWAY (70 points) He arrives at The Derby by earning his points with second place finishes in both the Tampa Bay Derby (March 10th) and The Bluegrass Stakes (April 7th) He is trained by Mark Casse and Jose Lezcano will have the reins. If you believe this this horse hasn’t reached his potential, and can up his game against a bigger/better group of horses, then he is worth a wager at lucrative odds.