Derby Top 12

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opened up on Monday morning and another is still in flux based on the dual news that Quip (Distorted Humor) has been withdrawn from Derby consideration to instead aim for the GI Preakness S. and that the British-based Gronkowski (Lonhro {Aus}) will also miss the race with a minor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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TDN Derby Top 12 for March 13

It doesn't really matter which side you take on this past weekend's GII San Felipe S. disqualification. The undeniable fact is that the controversy has sparked some much-needed interest in the GI Kentucky Derby chase by providing a bona fide rivalry at the top end of the division, and a close finish between two very talented colts only whets the appetite for what is to come further down the pipeline. Deeper down the list, we have a cluster of capable sophomores who might be one race away from muscling into...

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TDN Derby Top 12 for March 6

We have a new No. 1 in the TDN Top 12 rankings, but for how long? The two previous early-season leaders couldn't quite live up to their advance billings when returning off layoffs, and we've seen a steady progression of sophomores advancing through the ranks more or less by default without witnessing one powerfully dominant "Wow!" performance yet this season. But the cadence will quicken and the plot will thicken this coming weekend, with a trifecta of coast-to-coast preps spanning California, Florida and New York. 1) MCKINZIE (c, Street Sense--Runway...

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TDN Derby Top 12 for February 27

This week's GI Kentucky Derby Top 12 prognostications represent a calm stretch of water in a sea of uncertainty, but the journey only figures to become more turbulent over the next two weekends. The top end of this list has been dominated since January by contenders that have not raced since the Breeders' Cup, and although there have been several solid efforts, we have yet to see a scintillating performance in 2018 by any Derby candidate. We have to presume that such major breakthrough races are in the pipeline though,...

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The TDN Derby Top 12 for Feb. 21

With favorites losing five of the last six Road to the GI Kentucky Derby points races, this week marks a subtle shift in the TDN Top 12 rankings. Yet even as well-meant contenders meet defeat, their spots in the rankings haven't entirely been commandeered by long-shot winners of those races. Instead, the forefront of the list remains anchored by sophomores who have yet to debut in 2018. This coming weekend is a quiet one on the 3-stakes scene. But circle the weekends of Mar. 3 and 10 as the first...

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TDN Derby Top 12, Presented by WinStar Farm: February 5

This past weekend's stakes action was anchored by three Road to the GI Kentucky Derby points races, including one already at nine furlongs this early in the year. But the top-ranked Triple Crown hopefuls in the rankings are still largely biding their time, with three of the first four on this week's list still awaiting 2018 debuts. Expect the plot to thicken as the pace quickens later this month. 1) CATHOLIC BOY (c, More Than Ready--Song of Bernadette, by Bernardini) O-Robert V. LaPenta & Madaket Stables. B-Fred W. Hertrich III...

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