Derby Runners…So Far.

Following one of the great Saturday’s of the 2019 Kentucky Derby Prep Season, four more horses have earned their way into the May 4th field, should they stay healthy and choose to run.

Using recent history as a benchmark, the cutoff to get in the Top 20 usually ranges between 21 and 30 points.  But this year the threshold continues to increase with only the Arkansas Derby (G1) and Lexington Stakes (G3) left to run on Saturday.

Spot 20 in the KD was officially filled when Japan’s MASTER FENCER was confirmed.  Potential KD runners might need a few more points, if a horse from Europe fills another slot.

Before running down changes prompted by last Saturday’s races, let’s start by looking at the contenders already projected to qualify for the Kentucky Derby.

Already In

TACITUS.  150 Points


BY MY STANDARDS.  100 Points


GAME WINNER.  85 Points

CODE OF HONOR.  74 Points

HAIKAL.  70 Points

WAR OF WILL.  60 Points

LONG RANGE TODDY.  53.5 Points



SPINOFF.  40 Points

BODEXPRESS.  40 Points

*MASTER FENCER.  19 Points
*Qualified via the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby Series

Newly In

VEKOMA.  110 Points
His KD hopes were dependent on a first or second-place finish in the Blue Grass Stakes (G2) after a third in the Fountain of Youth (G2), his only other Kentucky Derby prep.  His Win Saturday at Keeneland was decisive.

ROADSTER.  100 Points
Bob Baffert has been touting this guy since before his career debut, and yet the colt’s KD chances were up in the air until Saturday.  Then he stormed home to Win the Santa Anita Derby (G1), and a spot in the gate on May 4th.

TAX. 52 Points
Entering the Wood Memorial (G2), he had 12 points to his name, which he earned with a Win in the Withers (G3) and a third-place finish in the Remsen (G2).  So he needed to finish first or second to guarantee a ticket to the Kentucky Derby, and he did so, running a game second to TACITUS.

WIN WIN WIN.  50 Points
Luckily he finished second by a nose in the Blue Grass Stakes.  He proved he can go the distance, and now he moves on to Churchill Downs.

Wednesday the Daily Racing Blog will begin to take a look at Grade 1, Arkansas Derby, to be run Saturday at Oaklawn Park.  So be sure to stop back.

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