02/04/2015 3:01PM

Kentucky Derby: Who's hot, who's not for Feb. 4



Trainers Kiaran McLaughlin and Todd Pletcher landed the most runners on the inaugural Derby Watch top 20, with four each. The only other trainer with multiple runners on the list is Bob Baffert, who has American Pharoah and Dortmund. The first four finishers from the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile all made the top 20, including race winner Texas Red, the 8-1 favorite on the Kentucky Derby future line set by Mike Watchmaker, Daily Racing Form’s national handicapper. Remember, Watchmaker’s line is based on the 20 runners on the Derby Watch list, as if that were the actual field for the race May 2.

:: DERBY WATCH: Top 20 list | Kentucky Derby: This time McLaughlin has the numbers


Some well-known runners failed to make the cut, including Divining Rod, who was second to Ocean Knight in the Sam F. Davis Stakes last Saturday. Divining Rod was not among the 429 horses who were early nominees to the Triple Crown, and while he still could be nominated at the late-entry stage in March, the Derby Watch committee chose to only include horses currently nominated to the Triple Crown. Mr. Z was kept off the list owing to his disturbing penchant to lug out, which occurred in both the Smarty Jones Stakes and Los Alamitos Futurity.


California-based runners Lord Nelson and Prospect Park were among those who just failed to make it this week and could leap into the top 20 should one of the current members fail to perform to expectations Saturday.

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