04/02/2014 12:12PM

Kentucky Derby: Who's hot, who's not for April 2

Lynn Roberts/Hodges Photography
Vicar's in Trouble is back on the Kentucky Derby top 20 list after this victory in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby.


Vicar’s in Trouble and Toast of New York, both winners of major stakes races last Saturday, are the additions to this week’s Derby Watch top 20. Vicar’s in Trouble had been on the list in prior weeks but was squeezed out owing to a lack of Kentucky Derby qualifying points. He earned his way back onto the list with his victory in the Louisiana Derby. He is 15-1 on the future line for the May 3 Kentucky Derby set by Mike Watchmaker, Daily Racing Form ’s national handicapper. The 100 points earned by Toast of New York in the United Arab Emirates Derby put him in the Derby field should his connections decide to come, so he deserves to be on the list unless they bow out. He is 30-1 on Watchmaker’s line, which now has a new favorite, California Chrome, at 6-1. Constitution, who won the Florida Derby on Saturday, is now the second choice on Watchmaker’s line at 8-1 after being 20-1 a week ago.

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


In Trouble and Strong Mandate were removed from the top 20. In Trouble was placed fifth after disqualification in the Louisiana Derby. He has just 10 points. Strong Mandate was removed owing to his current low points total (11), though he will have a chance to move back onto the list when he runs in the Arkansas Derby on April 12. Cairo Prince, fourth as the favorite in the Florida Derby and now in jeopardy of not making the Kentucky Derby field with just 24 points, went from being the favorite last week at 6-1 to 12-1 this week.

[DERBY WATCH: Top 20 list | Candy Boy faces do-or-die situation in Santa Anita Derby]


The point values of the Santa Anita Derby and Wood Memorial (100 for first, 40 for second, 20 for third, and 10 for fourth) could propel horses not currently on the list into the Derby field. Bayern (Arkansas Derby next) and Bobby’s Kitten (Blue Grass Stakes) are former top-20 members who could rocket up the charts when they race next April 12.

john g More than 1 year ago
There is always going to be disagreement on who is on the list, and who is not, so I might as well throw my 2 cents in. (1) Cal. Chrome ( competition? ) (2) Tapiture ( consistient) (3) Wildcat Red ( A Fighter as in 7 = 4-3-0), (4) Vicars in Trouble ( Has beat 4 top 20 horses), (5) Hoppertunity ( Has beat my #2), (6) Gen. A Rod ( traded punches with #3), (7) Constitution ( has beat # 3 & 6, foundation? ), (8) Intense Holiday ( Has ran in 2 G-1's and 4 G-2's), (9) Samraat ( undefeated , but who has he beat?) , (10) Ride on Curlin ( slowly improving), (11) Candy Boy ( Over rated, & " Candy's" haven't faired so well in the Derby), (12) TIED Bayern, Social Inclusion , prove it ), (13) Bobby's Kitten ( should have won BC Turf, bad ride, dirt? ), (14) Chitu ( 2'nd. to over rated, and beat a miler, hmmm. ), (15) Strong Mandate ( will redeem himself, at least I hope so, my " sneaky pete Derby horse"), (16) Harry's Holiday ( my sneaky long bomb, bluegrass? ) (17) Albano ( could hit the super), (18) Ring Weekend ( 5 times to break maiden? ), (19) We Miss Artie ( at least he's not last), (20) Cairo Prince ( he is, I saved this spot for him)... also, glad to see Keenland going back to dirt for the Bluegrass will regain its status as a major Ky. Derby prep.
jason javino More than 1 year ago
i agree with almost everything you said. good job.
Andy Dean More than 1 year ago
Interesting post John! Of course differences of opinion are what make this game isn't it? Living in SoCal and I find the comments Art Sherman made on California Chrome insightful. As a kid he exercised the great Swaps and said Chrome reminds him of that great horse with his ease of stride and gliding over the surface action. Thing is there's so much of that early speed type of horse in those that have "proved" themselves I think we have the possibility of a meltdown. Having followed the ponies since '77 I make up my own mind, but I do glean info from those that make their living (e.g. Watchmaker, Privman et al) in and around the sport. To that end I have found TVG analyst Paul Lo Duca to be a cut above the others. His sneaky horse this year is Commanding Curve, who ran 3rd in the La. Derby. Yesterday, they had an interesting interview with a West Point Thoroughbred racing manager (can't remember his name) but he was VERY informative as to the personality of the horse (he's fearless and will split horses, ride the rail, whatever) and West Points approach to with this horse as regards the Derby. They were high on him from the start @ Saratoga, where he took money as the 3rd favorite in his initial out in a 7 furlong race. Then they immediately went to a mile and after that all his subsequent races were mile and a sixteenth or longer, three of them being @ Churchill Downs where he's had a 3rd, 2nd and winning performance. So you know he takes to the track. If you watch the replay of the Louisiana Derby he was about the only horse gaining at the end, and his gallop out was good. Paul might just have his 2014 Animal Kingdom choice so to speak, as he touted AK back in 2011 to win the Derby.