Welcome to In the Money Media’s 2023 Kentucky Derby Trail Contender Tracker. This will be your one-stop-shop for every horse pointing towards the upcoming Run for The Roses. It has been broken up into the top contenders of the crop, with detailed information on each of the best ten at the moment, and is followed by many runners across the country who also have Derby aspirations. 

The page will be updated with new tidbits on each contender as the trail progresses, as well as sharp maiden or allowance winners who will be added following strong performances. Is there any additional information you want to see on the contenders? Comment below or reach out to @ericdecoster_ on Twitter. 

(updated 1/29/2023 – expanded Faustin; added Geaux Rocket Ride)

(updated 1/28/2023 – a new #1 in the Top 10; added Eyeing Clover; updated Southwest runners; removed Corona Bolt)

Top 10

1 – Arabian Knight (0 Points)

Uncle Mo – Borealis Night (by Astrology)

  • Last start: 1st – G3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park (01/28)
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert*
  • Top Beyer: 97 (01/28)
  • Top TFUS: TBA

This imposing son of Uncle Mo leapt to the front of the three year old colt division with a dominant win in the Southwest. While it wasn’t necessarily a gimme, Arabian Knight handled a big ship, sloppy conditions, and his first two turn effort well enough and was rolling away at the wire. There’s no reason to think this colt can’t be the Kentucky Derby winner as long as he stays right.

2 – Forte (40 Points)

Violence – Queen Caroline (by Blame)

  • Last start: 1st – Breeders’ Cup Juvenile [G1] at Keeneland (11/05)
  • Trainer: Todd Pletcher
  • Top Beyer: 100 (11/05)
  • Top TFUS: 117 (11/05)

The presumed Eclipse Award Two-Year Old Champion for the 2022 season capped off a tri-G1 winning campaign with a Breeders’ Cup victory in November. He’s beaten six of the other nine horses on our top ten list already in his career. However, his top career Beyer still sits a few spots below the crop leaders and he has not posted the race-high TimeForm US figure in each of his last two starts. Next likely start: G2 Fountain of Youth S. at Gulfstream Park (03/04). 

3 – Cave Rock (0 Points)

Arrogate – Georgie’s Angel (by Bellamy Road)

  • Last start: 2nd – Breeders’ Cup Juvenile [G1] at Keeneland (11/05)
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert*
  • Top Beyer: 104 (10/08)
  • Top TFUS: 123 (11/05)

Cave Rock lost as the heavy favorite in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, but with strong reasoning. He was stuck in an early duel on the lead with a big price, which ultimately softened him up enough to fall to Forte. Nevertheless, he was only beaten 1 ½ lengths by that foe, and prior to the Keeneland run he stamped himself amongst the crops best with two Grade 1 wins. Expect a strong bounce back when he returns in the afternoons. 

4 – Instant Coffee (32 Points)

Bolt d’Oro – Follow No One (by Uncle Mo)

  • Last start: 1st – Lecomte S. at Fair Grounds (01/21)
  • Trainer: Brad Cox
  • Top Beyer: 92 (01/21)
  • Top TFUS: 108 (01/21)

Instant Coffee lept into the top rung of Derby contenders when taking the G3 Lecomte S. in emphatic fashion, his second straight graded stakes victory. Despite going off as the 7-5 favorite, questions loomed about his resume indicated he hadn’t improved from his maiden score to his G2 Kentucky Jockey Club S. win. However, he put concerns those concerns to rest with confidence and is morphing into one of the better sophomores on the Derby trail. Next likely start: G2 Risen Star S. (02/18) or G2 Louisiana Derby (03/24) at Fair Grounds.

5 – Victory Formation (10 Points)

Tapwrit – Smart N Soft (by Smart Strike)

  • Last start: 1stSmarty Jones S. at Oaklawn Park (01/01)
  • Trainer: Brad Cox
  • Top Beyer: 91 (01/01)
  • Top TimeformUS: 109 (01/01)

A strong climb through conditions capped off with a win in the Smarty Jones S., both his stakes and two-turn debut. He posted strong figures in his first two efforts sprinting, and with his rather effortless wire-to-wire win at Oaklawn this colt stamped himself as one of the better contenders in the region. As the trail goes on the competition will get tougher, but so far he has handled everyone thrown his way with ease. Next likely start: G2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park (02/25).

6 – Verifying (4 Points)

Justify – Diva Delite (by Pulpit)

  • Last start: 1st – Allowance at Oaklawn Park (01/14)
  • Trainer: Brad Cox
  • Top Beyer: 97 (01/14)
  • Top TimeformUS: 108 (10/08)

Verifying’s three year old debut may have been a turning point for this G1-placed colt, as he confidently handled a group of first level allowance rivals at Oaklawn, winning by 5 lengths. His 97 Beyer from that effort was a career high and puts him in the upper echelon of this crop from that standpoint. He came into that start following an even performance in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, where a squeezed start took him out of position early and he lagged from there to finish 6th. He gained his G1-placing with a strong runner up effort in the Champagne S.. If he can build off this confidence booster and lift well back into stakes company next time out, it will bode well for both his and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile runners’ Derby prospects.

7 – Two Phil’s (8 Points)

Hard Spun – Mia Torri (by General Quarters)

  • Last start: 2nd – Lecomte S. [G3] at Fair Grounds (01/28)
  • Trainer: Larry Rivelli
  • Top Beyer: 88 (01/28)
  • Top TFUS: 106 (01/28)

Two Phil’s proved he could run with strong competition with his brave runner up effort in the G3 Lecomte S. behind Instant Coffee. He entered that spot on the heels of a daylight win in the G3 Street Sense S., but the quality of competition from that score was universally considered suspect. Although he wasn’t able to topple the favored Instant Coffee in the Lecomte, he was closer to a pace that continually quickened throughout the running of that race and still gutted out a strong second. He is bred to get the Derby distance and will likely keep improving as races get longer on the Fair Grounds road to the Derby. 

8 – Blazing Sevens (16 Points)

Good Magic – Trophy Girl (by Warrior’s Reward)

  • Last start: 4th – Breeders’ Cup Juvenile [G1] at Keeneland (11/05)
  • Trainer: Chad Brown
  • Top Beyer: 93 (11/04)
  • Top TFUS: 110 twice (11/05 & 10/08)

A Grade 1 winner who had to make up a lot of ground at Keeneland last time out, expect Blazing Sevens to factor the longer the races continue to get. He already proved his ability with a victory in the G1 Champagne S. last October and his physical build suggests he will only improve with more time and distance. 

9 – Dubyuhnell (10 Points)

Good Magic – Wild Gams (by Forest Wildcat)

  • Last start: 1st – Remsen S. [G2] at Aqueduct (12/03)
  • Trainer: Danny Gargan
  • Top Beyer: 90 (12/03)
  • Top TFUS: 110 (12/03)

Back-to-back sons of Good Magic and another one who has proven his worth over a route of ground, Dubyuhnell exits a strong victory in the G2 Remsen S.. It is clear that added distance has been the key to his two recent wins and a big 90 Beyer Speed Figure in the Remsen was a head-turner. Take that with a grain of salt, however, since historically Remsen winners turn in strong numbers that don’t always pan out in future starts. Next likely start: G3 Sam F. Davis S. at Tampa Bay Downs (02/11). 

10 – National Treasure (0 Points)

Quality Road – Treasure (by Medaglia d’Oro)

  • Last start: 3rd – Sham S. [G3] at Santa Anita (01/08)
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert*
  • Top Beyer: 97 (10/08)
  • Top TFUS: 116 (10/08)

The third member from the Baffert barn in the top 10, National Treasure has been a high-level bridesmaid since breaking his maiden over Labor Day Weekend. Grade 1 placed twice as a juvenile, including a wide-trip 3rd in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, National Treasure failed to score as the heavy favorite in the G3 Sham S.. However, he did endure some contact on the bend and finished up strongly in the end behind two stablemates. Most importantly, I think this horse is a very one dimensional type, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a negative. Think back to Authentic, or a more similar type to this in Midnight Bourbon, who if established on the lead became very brave and hard to pass. If National Treasure can find himself on the lead in a future Derby prep, he could be dangerous.

Also Eligible – Extra Anejo (0 Points)

Into Mischief – Superioritycomplex (IRE) (by Hard Spun)

  • Last start: 1st – Maiden Special Weight at Keeneland (10/13)
  • Trainer: Steve Asmussen
  • Top Beyer: 92 (10/13)
  • Top TFUS: 119 (10/13)

Extra Anejo closed as the individual favorite in Pool #1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (12/1) just a few weeks after his well-publicized debut win. However, a recent injury and surgery has seemingly made the path to a Derby start very questionable, which is why you’ll find him outside our top ten at this stage. Reports indicate he will return to training shortly, but it is reasonable to think Steve Asmussen and co. will take their time bringing this star prospect along. 

Also Eligible – Loggins (4 Points)

Ghostzapper – Beyond Blame (by Blame)

  • Last start: 2nd – Breeders’ Futurity [G1] at Keeneland (10/08)
  • Trainer: Brad Cox
  • Top Beyer: 91 (10/08)
  • Top TFUS: 118 (10/08)

This methodically campaigned colt ran an incredible race in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity, just missing to Forte in only Loggins’s second career start. Trainer Brad Cox and connections opted to keep him fresh and focus on the 2023 campaign rather than press on to the Breeders’ Cup. His two 90+ Beyers standout amongst his regional counterparts. News came out on 01/19, however, that Loggins was still weeks away from returning to training and therefore seems a stretch to make the Derby. If they can wheel him into shape quickly, he’ll be right back in the top ten, but until then we’ll have him on the outside. 

Regional Runners to Watch

West Coast

 

Reincarnate (Bob Baffert*) – 0 Points

Reincarnate surprised as the “other, other” Bob Baffert runner in the G3 Sham S. in early January. Despite quick early fractions and constant pressure throughout, this son of Good Magic bravely took out this key early sophomore stakes that has produced multiple graded stakes winners throughout the years. How should we read a stakes race where only he and his stablemates showed up? I don’t really know. Newgate is a chronic placer, but beating National Treasure does hold some decent weight in my eyes. Take a wait-and-see approach here. 

Faustin (Bob Baffert*) – 0 Points

Although he lost his stakes debut, the G3 San Vicente S. at Santa Anita on 01/29, Faustin ran a winning race. Given trainer Bob Baffert has to spread his horses out somehow, he placed this well-bred Curlin colt in the 7 furlong event for continuity sake, as he broke his maiden around one turn a month brother. He still ran a game second that day behind talented sprinter and stablemate, Havnameltdown, and Baffert seems rather confident Faustin’s best days are ahead and around two bends. 

Baffert* Brigade: Newgate, Carmel Road, Massimo, Gilmore, Hejazi

There are a lot of runners from this barn with very similar profiles, so we’ll cover them in one quick go. Newgate and Carmel Road exit runner-up efforts in southern California stakes races and have additional high-level experience. Massimo, Gilmore, and Hejazi all broke their maidens in recent months, are working forwardly, and are likely heading to Derby preps in the near future. 

Practical Move (Tim Yakteen) – 10 Points

Practical Move asserted himself as one of the better west coast Derby prospects when winning the G2 Los Alamitos Futurity in December. While he clearly didn’t beat the strongest competition, he powered through the wire like a promising horse, and at the end of the day there is plenty of opportunity to pick up Derby points in an otherwise barren region. This colt also has experience on his side, having made five starts in his juvenile campaign. Next likely start: G2 Rebel S. at Oaklawn Park (02/25) or G2 San Felipe S. at Santa Anita (03/04). 

Geaux Rocket Ride (Richard Mandella) – 0 Points

A son of Candy Ride, this colt burst onto the scene with an open length debut score on 01/29, covering the six furlongs with ease and beating experienced rivals. The performance is sure to be backed up by strong figures. There’s stamina on the dam side to suggest Geaux Rocket Ride can handle two turns, but he’ll definitely need to be able to relax when that time comes. It’s also fair to wonder how aggressive Richard Mandella will get in pursuing a race on the Triple Crown Trail. No matter what, this is a horse with tons of potential to challenge the Bob Baffert juggernaut. 

Midwest

Curly Jack (Tom Amoss) – 17 Points

A busy two year old season for this colt was highlighted by a win in the G3 Iroquois S., the first points paying race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. He has since run a 5th in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, where he found himself close to an early quick pace, and then a game runner-up effort in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club S.. Expect him to appear in multiple Derby preps at Fair Grounds throughout the winter and spring. Next likely start: G2 Risen Star S. at Fair Grounds (02/18). 

Jace’s Road (Brad Cox) – 13 Points

Although he suffered a second stakes pummeling in three starts, the verdict can still be positive on Jace’s Road. He wasn’t able to be forwardly placed in the G3 Southwest S. at Oaklawn Park, which hurt him enough, but more importantly it was the second time he spun his wheels over an off racetrack. His runs over drier courses have been far more favorable, and before the Southwest Jace’s Road posted a points race win when taking the Gun Runner S. at Fair Grounds in late December. The son of Quality Road made all in that spot, showing more early speed than he had in two previous stakes efforts, and won in hand.

Hit Show (Brad Cox) – 0 Points

Hit Show burst through with a strong first level allowance victory in mid-December at Oaklawn. The colt bred for classic distances has always had high expectations, breaking his maiden at 7/5 on debut. After a loss to Confidence Game next out as heavy favorite, he bounced back to throw a career high 82 Beyer in the Oaklawn victory. One on the improve. Next likely start: G3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct (02/04).

Giant Mischief (Brad Cox) – 0 Points

Giant Mischief lost nothing in defeat after a disastrous start left him with a lot to do in the Springboard Mile at Remington Park. Prior to that run, he was unbeaten in two starts including a flashy allowance score at Keeneland. He does need to keep improving and has yet to prove himself amongst the crop’s best, but there is a lot of potential still left in this colt. Next likely start: G2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park (02/25). 

Angel of Empire (Brad Cox) – 4 Points

Brad Cox added to his already promising Derby trail grouping when his charges ran 1-2 in the Smarty Jones S. at Oaklawn. Angel of Empire ran 2nd that day, his stakes debut, and he improved leaps and bounds to post an 86 Beyer. The son of Classic Empire was forced to make an inside rally against a rather mundane pace, but still finished up well to gain runner-up honors. He was unbeaten on dirt before then with a maiden and first-level allowance victory, although those both came against lesser at Horseshoe Indianapolis. 

Tapit’s Conquest (Brad Cox) – 0 Points

Chasing a lone lead in a tough allowance field – his first outing against winners – Tapit’s Conquest rallied strongly to only lose a neck to stakes placed Determinedly. He exited an impressive maiden win at Churchill in October, his first try around two turns, and improved his career high Beyer by 10 notches (84) off a 3 1/2 month layoff. With a pedigree based on improving with time and a three year old debut to back that up, expect Tapit’s Conquest to make noise when he likely jumps to stakes company next time.

Eyeing Clover (Brad Cox) – 0 Points

I wanted to see where Brad Cox headed with Eyeing Clover after a promising maiden win at Oaklawn on New Years’ Eve, and he wheeled him back quickly to dominate a first level allowance at Fair Grounds on 1/28. His maiden win featured two impressive next out winners directly behind him and the following victory was by nearly 10 lengths, assuring there is tons of potential with this one. Just as impressively, he is both bred for and physically built to be a two-turn horse, yet both his wins have been over 6 furlongs. The sky’s the limit for yet another sophomore from the Cox barn. 

Wildatlanticstorm (Ray Ashford Jr.) – 0 Points

This Iowa-bred pulled off an upset when winning the Springboard Mile at Remington Park last time out. While he was a price on the board, his resume has been consistently strong, with four wins from six starts and back-to-back stakes scores. On top of all that, Wildatlanticstorm posted a very respectable 94 Beyer Speed Figure. This promising upstart was put on hold over the weekend of 01/15 when trainer Ray Ashford Jr. reported an issue that would require a month off, meaning he will miss the Southwest on 01/28. However, there is still hope he can get rounded back into form in time to make a 50 or 100 point prep later in the spring. 

Red Route One (Steve Asmussen) – 13 Points

This son of Gun Runner and out of a half-sister to Kentucky Oaks winner, Untapable, Red Route One has chased home some quality runners in four straight graded stakes starts. He most recently ran a very strong 2nd in the G3 Southwest Stakes, after being given far much to do but still rallying well behind Arabian Knight. Two back this colt was a tough luck 4th in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club, where he never had the opportunity to fully display his talents. He’s also already Grade 1 placed thanks to a strong 3rd in the Breeders’ Futurity, and his pedigree suggests that he’ll continue to progress as a three year old. Next likely start: G2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park (02/25).

Shopper’s Revenge (Steve Asmussen) – 0 Points

Another last out maiden winner, Shopper’s Revenge burst onto the scene by scoring his first career win at Oaklawn Park on 01/14. It was his second career start, as he made a late rally to finish 2nd on debut behind eventual Gun Runner S. runner up, Determinedly. In this colt’s maiden score, he coasted to the early lead, made his own pace, and burst away with ease to handle a large field in his first two turn effort. While deeper company awaits, this kind of win is one that will make him one to watch in a first level allowance or the right stakes race. Shopper’s Revenge also boasts one of the best pedigrees in the crop, being a son of Tapit and out of Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner, Stopchargingmaria. 

First Defender (Steve Asmussen) – 0 Points

First Defender aired on debut on 01/21 at Fair Grounds, posting an 83 Beyer in a very comfortable victory. As a son of Quality Road and out of the Grade 1 winning A.P. Indy mare, Love and Pride, it’s quite impressive how well this colt was able to handle 6 furlongs and should be a good omen for his chances stretching out. He’ll have to push it a little developmentally in order to make the Derby, but he’s done it all right so far. 

Confidence Game (Keith Desormeaux) – 7 Points

This colt exits a third place effort in the G3 Lecomte S. at Fair Grounds (01/21). He pressed a pace that got sharper as the race went along and looked to be finished heading into the lane, but this son of Candy Ride re-engaged nicely to be a clear third. Going into the Lecomte, Confidence Game was coming off an allowance win on the Churchill Downs Stars of Tomorrow card in November, where he went wire-to-wire and improved his career high Beyer by 19 points (83). If he is able to find softer pace scenarios in future preps he will certainly be a player.

Cyclone Mischief (Dale Romans) – 0 Points

This son of Into Mischief bounced back from an off the board effort in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club S. to blow out a salty allowance field on 01/10 at Gulfstream. It was the first time in his career that he’d properly rated off the pace, which was likely the key to that win and certainly gives him greater credence going forward on the Derby trail. In addition, despite his 7th place effort at Churchill in November, he was still only beaten less three lengths in his stakes debut that day. An interesting prospect circling into the right form as he jumps back into stakes company. Next likely start: G3 Holy Bull S. at Gulfstream Park (02/04). 

Banishing (Brendan Walsh) – 0 Points

Coming on Boxing Day at Fair Grounds, this colt stretched out beautifully in his first go around two turns and romped by eight lengths. He threw up a 90 Beyer that day and went wire-to-wire, which is impressive given TimeForm US demarcated the opening quarter of the race as hot. Banishing was scheduled to run on 01/21 at Fair Grounds but was forced to scratch after being cast in his still the night prior. He won’t miss too much time, however, and don’t be surprised if he takes a trip to Florida over the first weekend of February to tackle a first level allowance or the G3 Holy Bull S. at Gulfstream Park.  

Funtastic Again (Wesley Ward) – 0 Points

Funtastic Again established himself as one of the leading names in Turfway Park’s Road to the Kentucky Derby when he won the Leonatus S. That race is the first of three two-turn races over the track in the next few months meant to help prep for the Kentucky Derby, however the Leonatus S. is not a Derby points paying race. A need-the-lead type, Funtastic Again was left alone in his stakes debut and coasted from there, throwing a heady 85 Beyer in the process. He now stands at 3-for-5 lifetime, each coming at a mile, and also holds a dirt victory as he broke his maiden at Saratoga last summer. 

East Coast

 

Pletcher Maiden Winners: Tapit Trice, Shesterkin, Cuvier, Kingsbarns

As is tradition, Todd Pletcher has a few last out maiden winners who will comprise his winter and spring points race assaults. Tapit Trice put up a heady 87 Beyer when winning from off the pace in mid-December at Aqueduct. Shesterkin comfortably broke his maiden at Gulfstream on New Year’s Eve, posting an 82 Beyer. Cuvier fought through some tough fractions to break his maiden over a group of highly regarded sophomores; he’ll have to answer distance questions. Kingsbarns was the utmost professional when overcoming an unideal trip to confidently break his maiden going a mile at Gulfstream. 

Forbidden Secret (Todd Pletcher) – 0 Points

Forbidden Secret has improved leaps and bounds with every start. It took him three tries to shed his maiden tag, but it all came together when he put up a 9 ¾ length score at BAQ. He followed that effort up with a 7 length win in a first level allowance at Keeneland, beating a field that included Confidence Game and stakes placed, Hayes Strike. He hasn’t worked back since, but if he hits the tab at some point in January he’ll be in play for some Derby preps. 

Champions Dream (Mark Casse) – 1 Point

After winning the Nashua S. at Aqueduct to secure his first stakes victory on 11/04, Champions Dream was shifted to the Mark Casse barn. In his first start for that outfit, he ran a game second in the Pasco S. at Tampa Bay Downs while cutting back a furlong. Despite losing to lesser foes, it’s fair to think this son of Justify needs more ground to be more effective, which is why he is a horse to stay put on until we learn more in the G3 Sam F. Davis S. or G3 Tampa Bay Derby.

Signator (Shug McGaughey) – 0 Points

A bounding son of Tapit with plenty of stamina throughout his pedigree, Signator comes off a wave-making maiden win. In his second start, he rallied well from slightly off the pace to win in relative ease. While he didn’t improve in any way from that start, as he’s posted 73 Beyers in both outings, I would take the clear ability over the statistical returns to this point. Signator posted his first work back from a slight break on 12/31 as he preps for a three year old campaign. 

Cascais (Chad Brown) – 0 Points

Chad Brown has put away the majority of his two year olds to get geared up for the spring, but before that Cascais broke his maiden at second asking. The son of Into Mischief posted a solid 77 Beyer as he stretched out to a mile, beating a field that included the talented next out winner, Tapit Trice. We’ll see when Brown puts him back into play, but if he improves over the winter he’ll be able to fight for some Derby points late in the prep season. 

Awesome Strong (Jorge Delgado) – 0 Points

A Florida-bred yet to venture from those waters, Awesome Strong swept the Florida Stallions Stakes and is 4-for-4 lifetime. He passed the two turn test when winning the 1 1/16 miles Affirmed Division last time out, and a Breeders’ Cup try was on the docket before injury popped up. He hasn’t seen action since then, but if he’s as good as he was before this break he’ll be a player when he hits open company. 

Post Time (Brittany Russell) – 0 Points

This promising, undefeated colt hails from Maryland. After burning his first two conditions with relative ease he dominated his stakes debut, the Maryland Juvenile S., with a strong off-the-pace rally. He threw an 81 Beyer with the win and an 84 in the race before. While he’ll have to answer against graded stakes caliber horses eventually, there’s certainly nothing to knock from his first three outings.

Recruiter (Cathal Lynch) – 0 Points

Another mid-Atlantic representative, Recruiter is off to an impressive 4-for-4 start to his career. He’s rattled off back-to-back stakes scores, most recently in taking the Parx Juvenile S. at Parx on January 3rd. He is yet to journey beyond 7 furlongs and has yet to face top level talent, but he has put away other regional stakes winners with relative ease. Some may be familiar with trainer Cathal Lynch on the Triple Crown Trail, as he was the conditioner of the highly touted El Areeb, winner of the 2017 Withers S.. 

Lugan Knight (Michael McCarthy) – 10 Points

A son of Goldencents, Lugan Knight burst onto the scene with a gritty win in Aqueduct’s Jerome S. He was able to set the pace, and despite some pressure throughout he gutted out the win to gain 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. This colt has proven consistent, as he’s put together two quality wins in addition to two other board-hitting efforts. Prior to the Jerome, he finished a game third in an allowance at Churchill that was won by eventual Smarty Jones S. winner, Victory Formation. I heavily question this one’s ability to effectively stretch out, but he does have strong will to fight and win. Next likely start: G3 Gotham S. at Aqueduct (03/04). 

Arctic Arrogance (Linda Rice) – 8 Points

This New York-bred has earned respect on the Derby Trail following back-to-back runner up efforts in points paying preps. He was beaten a length in both the G2 Remsen S. and Jerome S., and showed versatility in each by setting the pace in one and pressing in the other. He’s also thrown three 80+ Beyers, including a strong 89 in the Remsen. Although he’s not getting home first in these open stakes races, Arctic Arrogance is doing everything else right, and could have the ability to be a strong points collector throughout the rest of the Trail. Next likely start: G3 Withers S. at Aqueduct (02/04). 

Slip Mahoney (Brad Cox) – 0 Points

We’ll consider this son of Arrogate an East Coast prospect despite being trained by Brad Cox, since he has made all three starts out of Cox’s small New York string. Out of the talented Grade 1 winning mare, Got Lucky, Slip Mahoney posted an 87 Beyer when breaking his maiden on 01/21 at Aqueduct, winning by a head over the well regarded Crupi. That duo was 15 lengths clear of third and it was clear that Slip Mahoney was getting better as the race went on. In his two starts prior, this colt ran very strongly behind well regarded prospects from the Todd Pletcher barn, including losing by only a neck to Tapit Trice. Next likely start: G3 Gotham S. at Aqueduct (03/04).

International

Continuar (Yoshito Yahagi) – 10 Points

Racing fans should be very familiar with Yoshito Yahagi, as he was the campaigner of both Loves Only You and Marche Lorraine when they scored in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup. Continuar established himself with a win in the Cattleya Sho, the first race on the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby, and is now expected to ship to the Middle East for the Saudi Derby and/or UAE Derby. 

Derma Sotogake (Hidetaka Otanashi) – 20 Points

The winner of the Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun, the second race on the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby, Derma Sotogake is 2-for-3 on the dirt and already has two wins over 9 furlongs. A son of star US sprinter, Mind Your Biscuits, his strong closing kick will beneficial over the long stretches of King Abdul Aziz (KSA) and Meydan (UAE), where he is expected to make his next two starts.

*Horses trained by Bob Baffert are not eligible for points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, but can earn them if transferred to a different trainer.

 

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