04/17/2013 4:00PM

Kentucky Derby: Who's hot, who's not for April 17

Tom Keyser
Titletown Five will shoot for the 20 Kentucky Derby qualifying points that go to the winner of the Derby Trial.


Charming Kitten, Falling Sky, Frac Daddy, and Tiz a Minister are the additions to this week's Derby Watch top 20 list, the bottom of which is increasingly influenced, at this stage, by where horses stand on the points list towards the May 4 Kentucky Derby. Charming Kitten and Frac Daddy are both 30-1 on the future line set by Mike Watchmaker, Daily Racing Form's national handicapper. Falling Sky and Tiz a Minister are both 50-1. Java's War, the Blue Grass winner, and Overanalyze, the Arkansas Derby winner, are both down to 15-1 after being 25-1 a week ago. Blue Grass runner-up Palace Malice also saw his price fall sharply, from 40-1 to 20-1.


Owing to performance or confirmed defections from the Derby trail, four horses - Den's Legacy, Rydilluc, Uncaptured, and War Academy - were removed from the top 20. Den's Legacy is not yet officially out of the Derby, so he could work his way back onto the list next week if his connections surprisingly decide to press forward. He likely will have enough points to run, but what's the point? There is - news flash! - life after the Derby. Watchmaker raised the prices on a handful of horses: Vyjack went from 12-1 to 15-1, Oxbow from 20-1 to 30-1, and Black Onyx from 30-1 to 50-1.


The Lexington on Saturday at Keeneland is worth 20 points for first, so the winner could conceivably have enough points to get into the Derby, and thus would merit inclusion on next week's list. Cerro and Sunbean are among the leading candidates in that race. The Illinois Derby at Hawthorne, also Saturday, was conspicuously cut out of the Derby points list by Churchill Downs. The Derby Trial at Churchill, April 27, is also worth 20 points for first, and Titletown Five - co-owned by Louisville resident Paul Hornung - is heading there. Like Den's Legacy, both Code West and Super Ninety Nine are unlikely for the Derby, but both could have enough points to run. If their connections decide to run, and they are in the top 20 on the points list, they would go back on Derby Watch, but hopefully sanity prevails.

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