04/13/2015 2:20PM

Kentucky Derby picture becoming more clear

Coady Photography
American Pharoah wins the Arkansas Derby on Saturday at Oaklawn Park.

After 35 races in which horses could earn points toward a berth in the Kentucky Derby on May 2, the prospective field is largely set, though the final composition of the maximum 20-horse field could undergo a few tweaks over the next 2 1/2 weeks, since there are a handful of horses currently in the body of the race whose status is cloudy.

What is clear-cut, though, is that this race goes through trainer Bob Baffert, who holds a powerful one-two punch with American Pharoah and Dortmund, and also has One Lucky Dane for significant support. American Pharoah won the last of the scoring races Saturday, with a romp in the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park that stamps him as the ante-post favorite for the Derby 19 days out.

The Arkansas Derby was one of two scoring races run Saturday, along with the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland. Divining Rod won the Lexington, a 10-point victory that gives him 20 points overall, a total that might very well end up in play by the time the Derby is drawn April 29. But Roy Jackson, who bred and owns Divining Rod along with his wife, Gretchen, squashed any thought he might run if he could get in quickly following the Lexington.

:: DERBY WATCH: Top 20 from Jay Privman and Mike Watchmaker

American Pharoah got a Beyer Speed Figure of 105 for his victory in the Arkansas Derby under Victor Espinoza, who won last year’s Derby on California Chrome.

“He delivered,” Baffert said. “I think what made more of an impression than just the margin was the way Victor was able to shut down, relax, and settle off [leader Bridget’s Big Luvy]. He rated kindly.”

American Pharoah traveled Monday to Churchill Downs, where Baffert said he is likely to have just one workout in advance of the Derby. There’s really not much that needs to be done with American Pharoah. He got his two preps out of the way on an accelerated training schedule.

“We’re going to wrap him in bubble wrap,” Baffert said Monday.

Baffert said he had yet to decide when he was going to send Dortmund and One Lucky Dane to Kentucky from California. It could be as early as Wednesday, as late as April 26. He said assistant trainer Jim Barnes was at Churchill Downs “doing reconnaissance.”

Scoreboard watching is what those on the bubble will be doing in upcoming weeks. The Derby allows for a 20-horse field, though as many as four also-eligibles are allowed at entry time, too. As of Monday, the point cutoff was at 30, though Bolo, currently ranked 20th with 30 points, is not certain for the race. In addition, Upstart, ninth on the points list with 76 points, missed a work last week when he spiked a temperature.

:: ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays

Currently ranked 21st on the points list – thus making him the next one in if someone in the top 20 defects – is Madefromlucky, who was fourth in the Arkansas Derby. Todd Pletcher, his trainer, said Monday that he had not yet spoken with the owners of Madefromlucky to see if they would want to run if he can get in.

Madefromlucky, like Bolo, has 30 points, but is ranked behind Bolo because he has fewer earnings in non-restricted stakes, the tiebreaker.

Ocho Ocho Ocho also has 30 points, but he is ranked 19th, above both Bolo and Materiality, owing to his Delta Downs Jackpot windfall. He is scheduled to work Wednesday at Santa Anita, said trainer Jim Cassidy, who said the riding assignment for the Derby was currently undecided, but would not be Santiago Gonzalez, who rode him to a third-place finish in the Blue Grass.

Both Keen Ice, ranked 22nd with 22 points, and Frammento, ranked 23rd with 20 points, would definitely run if they can get into the field.

– additional reporting byMarty McGee, Mary Rampellini, and Mike Welsch

Jack More than 1 year ago
Went back and replayed all the preps... here are my thoughts: BOTH Baffert horses look dangerous and it's difficult because BOTH have slightly different styles. AP just looks like he glides over dirt and Dortmund appears to plow thru it. Carpe Diem looks interesting but won't be more than 4-1 to 6-1. Frosted isn't really that fast and was all out to beat a NY bred ridden by one of those fabulous Ortiz brothers. I will have to key off of BOTH of Baffert's pair and pay attention to how they work at CD and how they look before the race to decide. I don't think this year's Tri/Super will be that remarkable if it runs chalky. What would we get if it's a Baffert Exacta with Carpe Diem in 3rd or 4th? Not very much. Steven Crist wrote a good article about how the points are being calculated now by CD and I have to agree that this methodology is more self-serving to them and not the public. Either way it goes, I will be using (depending upon the P.P.'s) and Post Positions Baffert's team to Win/Place/Show in Tri's and Super's with International and Carpe Diem in the 3rd/4th positions with ALL for the Supers. Good luck to all of you. Tommy... please get some professional assistance. There are Mental Health facilities and I will Google them for you if you ask. You just have to ask "nicely" like Jack Nicholson insisted upon in the movie, "A Few Good Men." You need help, kid.
Ron Pollaro More than 1 year ago
been trying to find the dosage index of the derby horses, on this site. cant find them
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
Nick the sire and dam on trueni'ks
Peter Joseph More than 1 year ago
Bob More than 1 year ago
The Kentucky Derby picture has been pretty clear for quite some time. Assuming Baffert's pair make it to the starting gate they dominate the race; perhaps even completing the exacta. Pletcher's horses will run their usual uninspiring races and some deep closer will come rolling through the stretch to grab a minor placing at hopelessly long odds....then the racing public will spend the rest of the summer betting the hopeless longshot every time he starts, only at much shorter odds... By the time the hopeless Derby longshot finally wins a race all of the hopeless bettors will have blown so much money betting the horse that the meager payoff they receive won't begin to cover their losses...and life will continue on.
Richard Manny More than 1 year ago
True-unless you can find a pattern where similiarities such as a good sneaky race at a track like the last two second place horses ran in for the last two derbys shows some semblance of possibility since the trainer pattern (Dallas Stewart) won't be there this time. Otherwise as I've been hearing for more than 50 years, spot plays like cc and cc, I'll have another and maybe this year the old adage 'when in doubt, bet the 1-2-3. Either way, enjoy the race and ahem-may the best horse win!!!
Alex T More than 1 year ago
The 2015 Kentucky Derby champion has already shown his hand, but ALOT of people are just blind or too stupid to realize it........hint his initials are A P.........
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
If AP gets any type of clean trip, he won't be beat. Especially if they get rain.
papajoe el papi More than 1 year ago
you are already decided the winner of the KENTUCKY DERBY congratulations you have to remember that they have beaten who? we have these fields of year old this year & in paper it looks lke 3 or 4 horses they are cinch aren't they we yearn for champion but there is none in the horizons those days are over folks we races of 1/2 millions & up with small fields & we don't race the horses against each other because of the bragging rights for stud fees & other propaganda I wish that we had really good champion but I don't see it this year happening I think they will take turns beating each other things are not same it used to be the greed of these billionaires have taken the best from us for breeding purposes in the .KD.i will not be beating on the favorites that's for sure after who have they beaten? listen to the propaganda again?
Francis Cherian More than 1 year ago
I believe Dortmund will win the Ride For The Roses.
Jack More than 1 year ago
Wow, wow, wow, how good might this colt be? His performance on Saturday was simply breathtaking! This is one very, veryspecial horse! Did you see what he did,as soon as he was allowed to take the lead, at the top of the stretch? His ears went straight forward, and stayed that way all the way down the stretch, as he cruised down the lane, under wraps the hole way, in 1:48 and change.. He could have run in 1:46 and change if asked! Let me tell you, you would be hard-pressed to find another horse, anywhere in the World today, that can move like this guy can on dirt, at this level.. His stride is almost other wordly, it’s that special.. He loves the lead, but he just proved to everyone, he doesn’t need it to win! If he’s allowed to take the lead, at the top of stretch, in the Derby, there not going to catch him! He is just so talented, I believe this colt can run a hole thru the wind, if he wants too! The only colt with a chance his Dortmund, he’s not as naturally talented, but his courage might overcome all odds! Believe me, whoever is looking this guy in the eye, the last 100 yds, is going to think there looking into the eyes of a Siberian tiger, getting ready to bite your head off! These two(2) might give us all a Spring to remember, and yes, I think either one of these colts is capable of winning the Triple Crown, if Bob can hold them together! Everyone better hope these guys come out of post 19 & 20, and knock each other down! But, if you like others, you still have a chance, as some will take a huge step forward, in the coming weeks, and surprise us all.. I usually pick the Derby winner, 5 for 5, the last five, including the trifectas, so if you need some help this year, be sure to follow me on Twitter, @saratogajack, as I’ll be giving my impressions on all the horses, and their workouts at Churchill this year.. Best of luck to all, should be a dandy!
Allan Gauthier More than 1 year ago
Wow The last five winners? Out of 20 horses each time? I've been to the last 35 Derbys Had the winner 9 times Including the last 2, You had the last 5 winners??? Amazing!!!!! Your my hero!!!
Franz Smythe More than 1 year ago
Plus the trifectas!!!!!!!
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
michael stapler More than 1 year ago
Yep. I've seen (read) it all, now. 5 in a row. Wow. Say hello to the Virgin Mary, and the Apostles for me, as you are my creator. The last 5 Derby winners were Chrome, Orb, I'll have another, Animal Kingdom & Super Saver???? I am guessing that Mine that Bird would have made the LIE too obvious? LOL
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Post of the Year, great job Mike I like that a lot.
Johnny Matheis More than 1 year ago
You have to remember, Michael, that the sort of person who makes these boasts is the one who picks half the horses in any race at any given time, such as one of them a day before, one that morning, one at lunch, and so forth, and usually it's the lowest priced ones. I've seen many chalk players at my windows who do exactly this. They truly believe they pick the winner, as do a few people who count on them and believe in them. When one of his ten picks wins, he forgets he ever bet also on the other nine.
Mike Cooper More than 1 year ago
Tommy's twin brother, only can spell better.
Mike Cooper More than 1 year ago
Just so you know, horses don't run faster at the end of a 1 1/8 or at the end of 1 1/4 unless your Secretariat. When horses get loose on the lead like American Pharoah they are running as fast a as they can in the stretch. It's the optimum they can run. They are usually slowing down like the rest of the field. It's a question of who is slowing down the least. Turf racing is different in that they tend to "jog" early and run fast late. But American dirt racing is all about speed. Run fast early and catch me if you can. If you can maintain a good cruising speed in the middle you could be special. Only 1 horse in the history of the KD has run faster as the race got longer and that was Secretariat. So when someone runs in 1:48 and they could have run in 1:46 if "urged" that is BS. You run the fastest on an uncontested lead.
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
Yoo picked the last 5 derby winners?You must be using the Alberto VO5 lactose intolerant bet every horse in the race tommy method.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Everybody Tommy thinks the Arkansas Derby is in Chicago, Illinois read his post attacking me. He is the dumbest person to ever post on this site.lol
Dom DiNatale More than 1 year ago
He is not the dumbest person on here...i agree he is a bit of a nut but at least he has the b***s to bet against dortmund
flash gordon More than 1 year ago
I don't think he knows what state he's even living in.
Mike Cooper More than 1 year ago
Tommy works for DRF. Look at all the traffic he generates and NO moderation. Shame on DRF.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago