04/15/2015 9:55AM

Kentucky Derby: Who's Hot, Who's Not for April 15

Tom Keyser
Mr. Z earned enough points for his third-place finish in the Arkansas Derby to get into the Kentucky Derby field.


Perhaps this category should be renamed “Who’s Lukewarm” this week, as the only newcomer to the Derby Watch top 20 is rated a 50-1 shot on the Kentucky Derby future line of Mike Watchmaker, Daily Racing Form’s national handicapper. That horse is Mr. Z, who earned a spot in the Derby field by virtue of his distant third-place finish in the Arkansas Derby. The top 20 becomes entirely points driven at this stage of the game; there’s no use listing horses who might not get into the starting gate. American Pharoah solidified his position as the Derby favorite with his win in the Arkansas Derby. He is now 7-2 on Watchmaker’s line after being 9-2 last week. Similarly, Dortmund, the second choice, was lowered to 4-1 from last week’s 5-1.

:: DERBY WATCH: Top 20 list | Kentucky Derby: When it's time for a Baffert star to work, Garcia punches in


Prospect Park was removed from Derby consideration late last week, so he was the lone defection from the top 20. In order to lower the prices on the top two choices and have a betting line that balances, Watchmaker raised the odds on both Firing Line and Upstart to 15-1 from last week’s 12-1 and raised Ocho Ocho Ocho to 50-1 from last week’s 30-1.


The final points standings have Madefromlucky, Keen Ice, and Frammento ranked 21st through 23rd, so they are the next horses who would come in if there are defections from the top 20. The connections of both Keen Ice and Frammento are eager to run if their horse can get in.

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