03/20/2017 12:50PM

New stallions well represented on Derby trail

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Adam Coglianese/Coglianese Photos
Gunnevera will try to emulate his sire, Dialed In, by winning the Florida Derby on April 1.

A solid group of stallions with high hopes entered stud in 2013, lending the possibility of some new blood on this year’s Triple Crown trail. So far, the group has delivered. Four stallions have first-crop representatives in the top 20 of the Kentucky Derby point standings, with others knocking on the door.

Three-time graded stakes winner Gunnevera, who leads the points list following his victory in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth, helped power Dialed In to the top of the freshman sire list last year. The colt will now attempt to emulate his young sire by winning the Florida Derby. Meanwhile, Dialed In has another hopeful in John Battaglia Memorial Stakes winner It’s Your Nickel, who will attempt to punch his Kentucky Derby ticket in the Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes next month.

Dialed In stands at Darby Dan Farm alongside classic winner Shackleford, who also has a first-crop representative on the Kentucky Derby trail in Malagacy. The colt remained unbeaten in three starts by winning the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes on Saturday.

The other stallions with first-crop runners among the top 20 based on stakes performances are Gainesway’s To Honor and Serve, the sire of State of Honor, who finished third in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis and second in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby, and Hill ‘n’ Dale’s Maclean’s Music, the sire of Grade 3 Gotham Stakes runner-up Cloud Computing.

The promising American Anthem disappointed by going unplaced in the Rebel. However, his sire, WinStar Farm’s Bodemeister, has another hopeful in Always Dreaming, a possible starter in the Florida Derby.

Juvenile champion Hansen, who stood one season in Kentucky before being exported to Korea, has sired a handful of stakes horses in his first crop, including En Hanse, who will attempt to put his affinity for Turfway Park to good use in Saturday’s Grade 3 Spiral Stakes.

Meanwhile, Union Rags and The Factor, both standing at Lane’s End, were represented by Grade 1-winning juveniles last year with Dancing Rags and Noted and Quoted, respectively. The fillies still are among the top 14 on the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard. Stakes winner Chanel’s Legacy represents Spendthrift Farm’s young Dominus.