Derby Horse & Rider…Maybe

In a normal year, jockeys would be hard-pressed to miss their flights to Louisville for a chance to ride in the Kentucky Derby.

Obviously, 2020 (dumpster fire) has been anything but a normal year, with the coronavirus pandemic pushing the Run for the Roses back to September 5th and drawing up jockey travel restrictions all around the United States.

Last week, Churchill Downs announced that riders wanting to participate in The Derby will have to arrive in the state of Kentucky by August 31st and submit to several additional coronavirus precautions.

As such, a number of prominent U.S. jockeys won’t be making the trip to Kentucky. Jose and Irad Ortiz will both stay in New York, as will Joel Rosario, and last year’s Derby Winner Flavien Prat will stay in Southern California.

With several big names staying home, Kentucky riders get a shot in The Big Dance.

Those choices have opened the doors for Kentucky-based riders to have a chance to pick up a mount in the Derby.

Here’s a look at the current 3-year-olds pointing to the Kentucky Derby, and their jockeys (plus state in which they are based), in order of points earned.

  1. TIZ THE LAWManny Franco (New York) – 372
  2. AUTHENTICJohn Velazquez (New York) – 200
  3. ART COLLECTOR Brian Hernandez (Kentucky) – 150
  4. HONOR A. P.Mike Smith (California) – 140
  5. NY TRAFFICTBD (last ridden by Paco Lopez) – 110
  6. KING GUILLERMOSamy Camacho (Florida) – 90
  7. THOUSAND WORDS Florent Geroux (Kentucky) – 83
  8. DR POSTTBD (last ridden by Joe Bravo) – 80
  9. MAX PLAYERRicardo Santana (Kentucky) – 60
  10. CARACARO TBD (last ridden by Javier Castellano) – 60
  11. ENFORCEABLE Adam Beschizza (Kentucky) – 43
  12. RUSHIE TBD (last ridden by Javier Castellano) – 40
  13. MAJOR FEDJames Graham (Kentucky) – 38
  14. STORM THE COURT Julien Leparoux (Kentucky) – 36
  15. ATTACHMENT RATEJoe Talamo (Kentucky) – 35
  16. SOLE VOLANTELuca Panici (Florida) – 30
  17. FINNICK THE FIERCE TBD (last ridden by Jose Ortiz) – 25
  18. WINNING IMPRESSION Joe Rocco (Kentucky) – 20
  19. NECKER ISLANDMitchell Murrill (Kentucky) – 14
  20. MONEY MOVESTBD (last ridden by Luis Saez) – 0

Stay tuned, ten days remain until the jockeys need to decide. Perhaps some of the top riders could be per$uaded by deep-pocketed owners to make the trip.

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