Kentucky Derby Field Coming in Focus, Verrazano Will Be Favorite

With less than three weeks until the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby the field has taken shape, with the Todd Pletcher trained Verrazano likely to be the morning line favorite.

The undefeated Verrazano is perfect in four starts this year, his final prep a victory in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 6. The colt is seeking to become the first Kentucky Derby winner to have not raced as a two-year-old since Apollo pulled off the feat in 1882.

The colt will have only missed racing as a juvenile by 24 hours, as he made his debut on New Year’s Day, a 7 ¾ length romp at Gulfstream Park.

Verrazano closed as the 7-1 favorite in Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

A maximum of 20 runners will start in the Kentucky Derby, and it looks at this point as if we will have a full field. Currently there are three horses sitting with 20 points which is good for 20th in the point standings. They are Charming Kitten, Code West and Tiz a Minister.

If two or more horses have the same number of points, the tiebreaker to get into the Kentucky Derby will be earnings in non-restricted stakes races, whether they are graded or not.

Currently Charming Kitten has earned $206,000, with Code West having $90,000, while Tiz a Minister has $81.000.

If Charming Kitten makes it into the field for the race, he will join four runners that Pletcher already has pointed to Louisville on the first Saturday of May. In addition to Verrazano, Pletcher will saddle Revolutionary, Overanalyze and Palace Malice.

There could still be a change, as the horses on the bubble have to worry about two more “wild card” races, this Saturday’s Grade 3 Lexington at Keeneland and next Saturday’s Grade 3 Cliffs‘ Edge Derby Trial at Churchill Downs.

The winner of each of those races will earn 20 points, with 8-4-2 point awarded to the second through fourth place finishers.

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Top 25 in Points for the Kentucky Derby

Rank Horse Points Trainer Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1. Orb 150 Shug McGaughey III $840,000
2. Verrazano 150 Todd Pletcher $810,000
3. Goldencents 129 Doug O’Neill $1,208,000
4. Java’s War 122 Ken McPeek $651,772
5. Overanalyze 110 Todd Pletcher $908,381
6. Revolutionary 110 Todd Pletcher $720,000
7. Lines of Battle 100 Aidan O’Brien $1,261,089
8. Vyjack 70 Rudy Rodriguez $505,000
9. Will Take Charge 60 D. Wayne Lukas $512,971
10. Itsmyluckyday 50 Eddie Plesa Jr. $593,600
11. Govenor Charlie 50 Bob Baffert $400,000
12. Black Onyx 50 Kelly Breen $317,130
13. Palace Malice 50 Todd Pletcher $200,000
14. Normandy Invasion 44 Chad Brown $258,000
15. Frac Daddy 44 Ken McPeek $240,596
16. Mylute 42 Tom Amoss $363,365
17. Oxbow 36 D. Wayne Lukas $346,000
18. Super Ninety Nine 30 Bob Baffert $308,000
19. Falling Sky 30 John Terranova II $207,500
20. Charming Kitten 20 Todd Pletcher $206,000
21. Code West 20 Bob Baffert $90,000
22. Tiz a Minister 20 Paul Aguirre $81,000
23. Golden Soul 14 Dallas Stewart $84,000
24. Power Broker 10 Bob Baffert $245,000
25. Mr Palmer 10 Bill Mott $110,000

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