May 6th, 2017 − Churchill Downs

Derby Watch

Kentucky Derby Points Standings | Road to the DerbyTriple Crown Nominations 

Horse/Sire Watchmaker
Last Race, Result,
and Beyer
Next Likely Race,
Track, and Date
Jay Privman and Mike Watchmaker Comments
- designates Keeneland sale graduate
McCraken 5*1 Sam F. Davis, 2/11 Tampa Bay Derby, 1 1/16 m JP: Got top fig of career in Davis. Trust Wilkes -- mentored by Nafzger -- to have him peak Derby Day.
by Ghostzapper   1st by 1 1/2, 95 Tampa Bay Downs, 3/11 MW: Quite a few in the Davis earned career-best Beyers. One cause for pause for a very nice colt.
Owner: Whitham Thoroughbreds; Trainer: Ian Wilkes; Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.
Classic Empire 6*1 Holy Bull, 2/4 Tampa Bay Derby, 1 1/16 m JP: Best of this group when right, but he needs to get over nagging foot issue before proceeding.
by Pioneerof the Nile   3rd by 8 3/4, 83 Tampa Bay Downs, 3/11 MW: Being the best at 2 doesn't guarantee he'll be best again at 3. Getting unsettling vibes here.
Owner: John Oxley; Trainer: Mark Casse; Jockey: Julien Leparoux
Irish War Cry 8*1 Holy Bull, 2/4 Fountain of Youth, 1 1/16 m JP: Stretched out with authority in Holy Bull and has pedigree to indicate he'll continue to improve.
by Curlin   1st by 3 3/4, 97 Gulfstream, 3/4 MW: Only quibble is he had easy lead in Holy Bull, but he might not be a need-the-lead type, anyway.
Owner: Isabelle de Tomaso; Trainer: Graham Motion; Jockey: Joel Rosario
Mastery 10*1 Los Alamitos Futurity, 12/10 San Felipe, 1 1/16 m JP: Working like a monster for first start of the year, which Baffert said Tuesday will be San Felipe.
by Candy Ride   1st by 7 1/4, 91 Santa Anita, 3/11 MW: One point he must address is overcoming some adversity, as he had very easy trips last year.
Owner: Cheyenne Stables; Trainer: Bob Baffert; Jockey: Mike Smith
American Anthem 15*1 Sham, 1/7 Rebel, 1 1/16 m JP: Turned in huge effort in Sham making only second career start, two-turn debut. Very talented.
by Bodemeister   2nd by a head, 94 Oaklawn, 3/18 MW: Agreed. That was fine stuff from second-time starter in route bow against a quality opponent.
Owner: WinStar Farm & S F Bloodstock; Trainer: Bob Baffert.; Jockey: Mike Smith
Gormley 15*1 Sham, 1/7 San Felipe, 3/11, JP: Gamely held off stubborn American Anthem in Sham. Part of two-pronged attack for Shirreffs.
by Malibu Moon   1st by a head, 94 or Rebel, 3/18 MW: What I liked a lot about his Sham effort is how well he ran after conceding the early lead.
Owner: Mr. & Mrs. Jerome Moss; Trainer: John Shirreffs; Jockey: Victor Espinoza
One Liner 15*1 Southwest, 2/20 Florida Derby, 4/1, JP: Stretched out nicely in the Southwest and got a strong figure, but will have just one more prep.
by Into Mischief   1st by 3 1/2, 102 or Wood Mem. or Blue Grass, 4/8 MW: Southwest was light years better than his first two starts. Wonder about 10 furlongs for him.
Owner: WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, et al; Trainer: Todd Pletcher; Jockey: John Velazquez
Gunnevera 20*1 Holy Bull, 2/4 Fountain of Youth, 1 1/16 m JP: Think this late runner has improved sharply over past few months. Needs pace, but dangerous.
by Dialed In   2nd by 3 3/4, 91 Gulfstream, 3/4 MW: His second in the Holy Bull was overlooked, but that's because he was never a threat to win.
Owner: Peacock Racing Stables; Trainer: Antonio Sano; Jockey: Javier Castellano
Iliad 20*1 San Vicente, 2/12 San Felipe, 1 1/16 m JP: Likely was dead short in debut, two fast wins since, no reason to think he can't stretch out.
by Ghostzapper   1st by 3 1/2, 95 Santa Anita, 3/11 MW: He is the only one on this list who has not yet raced two turns, but clearly the talent is there.
Owner: Kaleem Shah; Trainer: Doug O'Neill; Jockey: Flavien Prat
Mo Town 20*1 Remsen, 11/26 Risen Star, 1 1/16 m JP: Trained so forwardly at Payson that Dutrow has him set for Risen Star, not waiting until Gotham.
by Uncle Mo   1st by 2 1/2, 86 Fair Grounds, 2/25 MW: Wasn't a fan of last year's Remsen; less of one now after runner up No Dozing's dull 3yo bow.
Owner: Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, et al; Trainer: Tony Dutrow; Jockey: John Velazquez
Practical Joke 20*1 BC Juvenile, 11/5 Fountain of Youth, 1 1/16 m JP: I'm torn on him. Talented for sure, but nagging concern he's best as one-run, one-turn mile type.
by Into Mischief   3rd by 7 3/4, 90 Gulfstream, 3/4 MW: I get that. He really didn't sustain an effective rally in the BC Juvenile, his lone two-turn start.
Owner: Klaravich Stables & William Lawrence; Trainer: Chad Brown; Jockey: Jose Ortiz
El Areeb 25*1 Withers, 2/4 Gotham, 1 1/16 m JP: Has made nice progress this winter at Aqueduct, but figures to face much tougher next time.
by Exchange Rate   1st by 4 1/4, 92 Aqueduct, 3/4 MW: Surprised that a colt who has been winning by huge margins hasn't run faster; must run faster.
Owner: M M G Stables; Trainer: Cathal Lynch; Jockey: Trevor McCarthy
Petrov 25*1 Southwest, 2/20 Rebel, 3/18, JP: No match for One Liner, but has run two good races at Oaklawn and seems to be improving.
by Flatter   2nd by 3 1/2, 96 or Arkansas Derby, 4/15 MW: Would like to see what he can do when he's not the one keeping a loose pacesetter honest.
Owner: Rialto Racing Stables & Southern Springs Stables; Trainer: Ron Moquett; Jockey: Jose Ortiz
Royal Mo 25*1 Robert B. Lewis, 2/4 San Felipe, 3/11, JP: Big, strapping colt beat a really soft field in the Lewis but did it the right way, with good figure.
by Uncle Mo   1st by 3 1/2, 93 or Rebel, 3/18 MW: Jay said it all, but it's a very positive sign he improved 20 Beyer points in his 3-year-old bow.
Owner: Mr. & Mrs. Jerome Moss; Trainer: John Shirreffs; Jockey: Victor Espinoza
Tapwrit 25*1 Sam F. Davis, 2/11 Tampa Bay Derby, 1 1/16 m JP: Expensive ($1.2 million yearling) colt finished up well behind McCraken in the Davis; improving.
by Tapit   2nd by 1 1/2, 93 Tampa Bay Downs, 3/11 MW: Another who took a major step forward Beyer-wise in 3yo bow. I'm more skeptical of this one.
Owner: Bridlewood Farm & Eclipse Thoroughbred; Trainer: Todd Pletcher; Jockey: Jose Ortiz
Battalion Runner 30*1 GP Allowance, 4/2 Florida Derby, 1 1/8 m JP: Thought his allowance win was rather workmanlike, and will have just one shot to earn points.
by Unbridled's Song   1st by 1 1/4, 91 Gulfstream, 4/1 MW: Yeah, that allowance victory wasn't the blowout score most anticipated; needs to do better.
Owner: St. Elias Stable; Trainer: Todd Pletcher; Jockey: John Velazquez
Epicharis 30*1 Hyacinth, 2/19 UAE Derby, 1 3/16 m JP: Considering unbeaten record and fact he's points leader on Japan Road to Derby list, he belongs.
by Gold Allure   1st by 3/4, n/a Meydan, 3/25 MW: He crushed 13 opponents in his debut last August going 1 1/8 miles. That's pretty wild stuff.
Owner: U Carrot Farm; Trainer: Kiyoshi Hagiwara; Jockey: Christophe Lemaire
Guest Suite 30*1 Lecomte, 1/21 Risen Star, 1 1/16 m JP: Thought he was solid if unspectacular in Lecomte, but Beyers have improved with every start.
by Quality Road   1st by 1 1/4, 82 Fair Grounds, 2/25 MW: He likes the game and is getting better, but only Beyered an 82 in Lecomte with a great setup.
Owner: William S. Farish & Lora Jean Kilroy; Trainer: Neil Howard; Jockey: Robby Albarado
Three Rules 30*1 Swale, 2/4 Fountain of Youth, 1 1/16 m JP: Willing to give him mulligan in BC Juvenile as it was end of long campaign. Liked his Swale.
by Gone Astray   2nd by 3/4, 92 Gulfstream, 3/4 MW: I liked his Swale, too. A lot. But that's the thing. The Swale's a sprint, and he's best sprinting.
Owner: Shade Tree Thoroughbreds, et al; Trainer: Jose Pinchin; Jockey: Cornelio Velasquez
Lookin At Lee 50*1 Southwest, 2/20 Rebel, 1 1/16 m JP: Thinking he'll improve as prep season progresses, but wasn't anywhere close to top two at OP.
by Lookin At Lucky   3rd by 11 3/4, 83 Oaklawn, 3/18 MW: Maybe he'll improve. The fact is, though, he has three straight Beyers of 83, and that's his best.
Owner: L and N Racing; Trainer: Steve Asmussen; Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.