Derby Top 12

The TDN Derby Top 12 for Feb. 20

We've had this year's first significant shift in the GI Kentucky Derby Top 12 rankings, with a new leader bulling his way to the top of the crop. Expect the thawing trend to continue as the stakes action heats up, with eight high-ranked hopefuls expected to start on either the weekend of Mar. 2 or 9. 1) WAR OF WILL (c, War Front--Visions of Clarity {Ire}, by Sadler's Wells) O-Gary Barber. B-Flaxman Holdings Limited (KY). T-Mark Casse. Sales History: $175,000 RNA Ylg '17 KEESEP; €250,000 2yo '18 ARQMAY. Lifetime Record:...

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TDN Derby Top 12 for Feb. 5

Last Saturday's trio of graded stakes preps on the GI Kentucky Derby trail didn't make much of a dent in the Top 12 rankings, and most of the top guns are awaiting March starts for their 2019 debuts. But the lower tier of this week's edition of the standings is percolating with intrigue as we await the first major blockbuster performance of the season that will (eventually) upend the pecking order. 1) GAME WINNER (c, Candy Ride {Arg}--Indyan Giving, by A.P. Indy) 'TDN Rising Star'. O-Gary & Mary West. B-Summer...

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TDN Derby Top 12 for Jan. 22

There's a fair amount of parity within this week's edition of the Top 12. The dozen GI Kentucky Derby hopefuls are sired by 10 different stallions. Three of them are homebreds, and auction prices for the rest of the pack range from $32,000 up to $1.2 million. The horses ranked as Nos. 1-3 have held their positions all season long based on strong 2018 credentials, Nos. 4 and 5 delivered eye-opening performances in their first 2019 starts, and everybody else has flashed talent, but will need to do more to...

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TDN Derby Top 12 for Jan. 8

January's first three significant prep races for the GI Kentucky Derby made a small dent in the Top 12 rankings, but we're still largely in a familiar early-season holding pattern as we await February or March starts for the prime movers and shakers. The list right now resembles a beginning-game chess board, with a few bold pawns on the advance before the bigger playmaking pieces swing into action. 1) GAME WINNER (c, Candy Ride {Arg}--Indyan Giving, by A.P. Indy) 'TDN Rising Star'. O-Gary & Mary West. B-Summer Wind Equine (KY)....

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TDN Derby Top 12 for Dec. 28

by T.D. Thornton We're now 128 days out from the 145th GI Kentucky Derby, and the pecking order is hazily taking shape. The initial Top 12 rankings are largely based on 2-year-old form, but there's a speculative, forward-thinking element (read: guesswork) built into the equation, with the goal of projecting how these still-developing horses will blossom over the next four months. Get tied on and enjoy the ride.   1) GAME WINNER (c, Candy Ride {Arg}--Indyan Giving, by A.P. Indy) 'TDN Rising Star'. O-Gary & Mary West. B-Summer Wind Equine...

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The TDN Derby Top 20 for Apr. 24, Presented by WinStar Farm

We're now inside the two-week mark for the May 5 GI Kentucky Derby and big jumps in the prep-race pecking order have given way to behind-the-scenes strategizing, final workout intrigue, and the intensity of big-race anticipation. One Derby spot opened up on Monday morning and another is still in flux based on the dual news that Quip (Distorted Humor) has been withdrawn from Derby consideration to instead aim for the GI Preakness S. and that the British-based Gronkowski (Lonhro {Aus}) will also miss the race with a minor infection that...

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TDN Derby Top 20 for April 17

The prep season is over, but that doesn't mean the intrigue has ended as the racing world locks its focus on the main event, the May 5 GI Kentucky Derby. Please note that the rankings below are independent from the "Road to the Derby" points leaderboard that Churchill Downs will use to determine starting berths; that list can be accessed here. 1) MAGNUM MOON (c, Malibu Moon-Dazzling Song, by Unbridled's Song) 'TDN Rising Star' O-Robert E. & Lawana L. Low. B-Ramona S. Bass, LLC (KY). T-Todd Pletcher. Sales history: $380,000...

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TDN Derby Top 20 for April 10

Now that the big "power weekend" of coast-to-coast nine-furlong preps is behind us, the GI Kentucky Derby rankings have solidified enough to graduate from the top 12 in the division to the top 20. To illustrate how much has changed in the past three months, the two highest-rated prospects currently occupying the No. 1 and No. 2 rankings hadn't even made their racing debuts when this feature was first published for the season, and the colt now clocking in at No. 4 was considered an overseas-based turf specialist. Please note...

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TDN Derby Top 12 for April 3

The news that rocked the GI Kentucky Derby Top 12 over the weekend involved No. 1-ranked McKinzie (Street Sense) having his training halted while conditioner Bob Baffert awaits further testing to determine the extent of a potential hind-leg injury. The colt was declared out of his expected start in Saturday's GI Santa Anita Derby, and he has been removed from this list--at least temporarily--until a more definitive diagnosis reveals whether he is off the Derby trail for good. Subsequent reverberations have altered the makeup of the remaining ranked horses, several...

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TDN Derby Top 12 for March 27

As we enter the demanding segment of the GI Kentucky Derby prep schedule when most of the important stakes stretch to nine furlongs and are worth 100 qualifying points to the winners, five of this week's Top 12 horses are based in southern California with the remaining seven stabled in Florida. This coming Saturday's GI Florida Derby looms as a true three-horse throwdown featuring a trio of top-ranked hopefuls, and looking ahead two weeks the GI Santa Anita Derby is shaping up to be the best head-to-head Triple Crown prep...

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