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|
|4.||Java’s War||122||Ken McPeek||$651,772|
|7.||Lines of Battle||100||Aidan O’Brien||$1,261,089|
|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|
|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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