May 6th, 2017 − Churchill Downs

Derby Watch



Kentucky Derby Points Standings | Road to the DerbyTriple Crown Nominations 

Horse/Sire Watchmaker
Odds
Last Race, Result,
and Beyer
Next Likely Race,
Track, and Date
Jay Privman and Mike Watchmaker Comments
- designates Keeneland sales graduate
Classic Empire  5-1 Arkansas Derby, 4/15 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Considering route to Ark. Derby was far from ideal, and had traffic in race, quite the feat to win.
by Pioneerof the Nile   1st by 1/2, 94 Churchill Downs, 5/6 MW: The field he beat was uninspiring, as was his Beyer, but that was his first real race in 5 months.
Owner: John Oxley; Trainer: Mark Casse; Jockey: Julien Leparoux
 
Always Dreaming 6-1 Florida Derby, 4/1 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Original Derby Watch top 20 member continues his ascent with impressive Florida Derby victory.
by Bodemeister   1st by 5, 97 Churchill Downs, 5/6 MW: The Florida Derby was by far the best race he's ever run, so perhaps he has come into his own.
Owner: Brooklyn Boyz Stables, Teresa Viola Racing Stables, et al; Trainer: Todd Pletcher; Jockey: John Velazquez
 
Irish War Cry 8-1 Wood Memorial, 4/8 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Now the Fountain of Youth looks like an outlier for him. Holy Bull and Wood both solid victories.
by Curlin   1st by 3 1/2, 101 Churchill Downs, 5/6 MW: I liked his Wood more than his Holy Bull because he relaxed early, then pressed a strong pace.
Owner: Isabelle de Tomaso; Trainer: Graham Motion; Jockey: Rajiv Maragh
 
McCraken 10-1 Blue Grass, 4/8 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Only big name in Blue Grass I'm willing to give a mulligan. Needed it, trainer points for big target.
by Ghostzapper   3rd by 3 3/4, 88 Churchill Downs, 5/6 MW: If you were a fan before, you'll likely stay one. Truth is, though, he did very little real running.
Owner: Whitham Thoroughbreds; Trainer: Ian Wilkes; Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.
 
Gunnevera  12-1 Florida Derby, 4/1 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Ran on well in Fla. Derby in race dominated by early-speed types. Must avoid traffic in Ky. Derby.
by Dialed In   3rd by 6 1/2, 88 Churchill Downs, 5/6 MW: Was too late in Fla. Derby, but I also think he took a step back from Fountain of Youth, Holy Bull.
Owner: Peacock Racing Stables; Trainer: Antonio Sano; Jockey: Javier Castellano
 
Battalion Runner  15-1 Wood Memorial, 4/8 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Second-best in Wood while making his first start in more than two months. Has right to improve.
by Unbridled's Song   2nd by 3 1/2, 95 Churchill Downs, 5/6 MW: Set pace in Wood on a track that was decidedly speed favoring, but maybe he needed the race.
Owner: St. Elias Stable; Trainer: Todd Pletcher; Jockey: Undecided
 
Gormley  15-1 Santa Anita Derby, 4/8 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Got a sweet, stalking trip in SA Derby, proved best in closing yards in race whose fig came up soft.
by Malibu Moon   1st by 1/2, 88 Churchill Downs, 5/6 MW: Good news is for the first time, he won from off pace. Bad news is he had all day to get there.
Owner: Mr. & Mrs. Jerome Moss; Trainer: John Shirreffs; Jockey: Victor Espinoza
 
Practical Joke  15-1 Blue Grass, 4/8 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Both his races this year solid enough, but still don't believe he wants any part of 1 1/4 miles.
by Into Mischief   2nd 3/4, 92 Churchill Downs, 5/6 MW: That he had every chance to get by the maiden and couldn't confirmed his distance limitations.
Owner: Klaravich Stables & William Lawrence; Trainer: Chad Brown; Jockey: Joel Rosario
 
Battle of Midway 20-1 Santa Anita Derby, 4/8 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Did the dirty work in SA Derby, battled it out bravely. Fig was low, but his effort was courageous.
by Smart Strike   2nd by 1/2, 88 Churchill Downs, 5/6 MW: I don’t get why he was dueling for the early lead after settling nicely in a win two starts back.
Owner: WinStar Farm & Don Alberto Stable; Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer; Jockey: Flavien Prat
 
Girvin  20-1 Louisiana Derby, 4/1 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Recent adjustments to schedule, plus Z-bar shoes when training this week are discouraging signs.
by Tale of Ekati   1st by 1 1/4, 91 Churchill Downs, 5/6 MW: Had good trips, beat weak fields, earned soft Beyers, and now possible physical issues. I'll pass.
Owner: Brad Grady; Trainer: Joe Sharp; Jockey: Mike Smith
 
Hence 20-1 Sunland Derby, 3/26 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Sunland Derby looking better. Irap (Blue Grass 1st), Conquest Mo Money (Ark. Derby 2nd) exited.
by Street Boss   1st by 3 3/4, 97 Churchill Downs, 5/6 MW: Maybe that says something about the Blue Grass, Ark. Derby. He had great setup at Sunland.
Owner: Calumet Farm; Trainer: Steve Asmussen; Jockey: Florent Geroux
 
Irap  20-1 Blue Grass, 4/8 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Picked opportune time to win first race, but prior form an indictment of many he beat at Kee.
by Tiznow   1st 3/4, 93 Churchill Downs, 5/6 MW: His previous failures at Sunland took everyone in the Blue Grass down a peg or two, or 10.
Owner: Reddam Racing; Trainer: Doug O'Neill; Jockey: Mario Gutierrez
 
J Boys Echo  20-1 Blue Grass, 4/8 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Got bumped around leaving gate, but other than that, didn't see much excuse for missing the tri.
by Mineshaft   4th by 6 1/4, 84 Churchill Downs, 5/6 MW: The way a contested pace helped when he won Gotham, the lack of pace hurt in Blue Grass.
Owner: Albaugh Family Stable; Trainer: Dale Romans; Jockey: Luis Saez
 
Tapwrit 20-1 Blue Grass, 4/8 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Wide trip didn't help, but after improving steadily, he didn't fire. This year's Thunder Gulch?
by Tapit   5th by 11 1/2, 76 Churchill Downs, 5/6 MW: Thunder Gulch doesn’t deserve that. His Tampa form had holes, and didn't run a step at Kee.
Owner: Bridlewood Farm, Eclipse Thoroughbred & Robert LaPenta; Trainer: Todd Pletcher; Jockey: Jose Ortiz
 
Thunder Snow 20-1 UAE Derby, 3/25 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Talented colt has adapted well to dirt in Dubai this spring, seems like an intriguing prospect.
by Helmet   1st by a nose, 94 Churchill Downs, 5/6 MW: I get the appeal of the "new face" angle, but the first Ky. Derby winner from Dubai will beat me.
Owner: Godolphin Racing; Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor; Jockey: Christophe Soumillon
 
Lookin At Lee  30-1 Arkansas Derby, 4/15 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Likes distance, needs pace, which he could get in Derby. Ran on well through traffic in Ark. Derby.
by Lookin At Lucky   3rd by 1 1/2, 91 Churchill Downs, 5/6 MW: Beyers are still light, but the Ark. Derby was his best yet. He wasn't as far back early as usual.
Owner: L and N Racing; Trainer: Steve Asmussen; Jockey: Undecided
 
Patch 30-1 Louisiana Derby, 4/1 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Decent second in La. Derby, needs vast improvement to be a factor. Wish he'd await Belmont.
by Union Rags   2nd by 1 1/4, 89 Churchill Downs, 5/6 MW: Ran a Beyer point faster in La. Derby than the winner of the SA Derby. I agree, must improve.
Owner: Calumet Farm; Trainer: Todd Pletcher; Jockey: Undecided
 
State of Honor 30-1 Florida Derby, 4/1 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Will help force a lively Kentucky Derby pace, but think 1 1/4 miles will be beyond his range.
by To Honor and Serve   2nd by 5, 90 Churchill Downs, 5/6 MW: Agree on the distance concerns. Has had six route starts and lost ground late in all of them.
Owner: Conrad Farms; Trainer: Mark Casse; Jockey: Jose Lezcano
 
Fast and Accurate  50-1 Spiral, 3/25 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Prevailed in weakest of this year's preps, lone dirt race quite poor, must put up $200,000 to run.
by Hansen   1st by 3/4, 82 Churchill Downs, 5/6 MW: He could have been a late nominee for only $6,000 right before he won the Spiral. Just saying.
Owner: Kendall Hansen, Skychai Racing, et al; Trainer: Mike Maker; Jockey: Undecided
 
Untrapped  50-1 Arkansas Derby, 4/15 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Lost a lot of ground in Ark. Derby, probably doesn't want to run that far, don't think Derby suits.
by Trappe Shot   6th by 5, 86 Churchill Downs, 5/6 MW: In addition to being distance-challenged, he's also Beyer-challenged. An outsider here.
Owner: Michael Langford; Trainer: Steve Asmussen; Jockey: Undecided