Derby Top 12

TDN Preakness Preview

This week's Triple Crown feature ranks the GI Preakness S. entrants in "likeliest winner" order. 1) Medina Spirit (Protonico--Mongolian Changa, by Brilliant Speed) O-Zedan Racing Stables; B-Gail Rice (FL); T-Bob Baffert; J-John Velazquez. Sales History: $1,000 ylg '19 OBSWIN; $35,000 2yo '20 OBSOPN. Equineline PPs. There's an old adage in sports betting that warns not to bet against underdog, overachieving teams that keep winning "must" games, and although that analogy is not an exact fit for Medina Spirit, he definitely matches the mold of having more fight in him than...

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TDN Top-To-Bottom Derby Rundown

This week's Triple Crown feature examines the trips of GI Kentucky Derby runners in detail from first to last: 1) MEDINA SPIRIT (c, Protonico--Mongolian Changa, by Briliant Speed) (Predicted finish: 9th) O-Zedan Racing Stables; B-Gail Rice (FL); T-Bob Baffert; John Velazquez. Sales History: $1,000 ylg '19 OBSWIN; $35,000 2yo '20 OBSOPN. Lifetime Record: GISW, 6-3-3-0, $2,175,200. Three months ago, Medina Spirit was the fourth-best colt on his trainer's Derby depth chart, and when Bob Baffert uttered a comparison to his 1997 Derby champ Silver Charm over the winter, that praise...

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The TDN Derby Top 20 for Apr. 29

by T.D. Thornton The last couple of anticipatory days prior to the GI Kentucky Derby can seem like a longer wait than the six-month prep season that preceded it. Here are the final TDN rankings, listed in "likeliest winner" order: 1) ESSENTIAL QUALITY (c, Tapit--Delightful Quality, by Elusive Quality) O/B-Godolphin (KY); T-Brad Cox; J-Luis Saez. Lifetime Record: Ch. 2yo Colt & MGISW, 5-5-0-0, $2,265,144. Last Start: 1st GII Toyota Blue Grass S., KEE, Apr. 3 Accomplishments: 'TDN Rising Star', 1st GI TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile, KEE, Nov. 6, 1st GI...

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The TDN Derby Top 20 for April 20

We've entered that fun phase of microscopic scrutiny that accompanies the GI Kentucky Derby waiting game. 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) ESSENTIAL QUALITY (c, Tapit--Delightful Quality, by Elusive Quality) O/B-Godolphin (KY). T-Brad Cox. Lifetime Record: Ch. 2yo Colt & MGISW, 5-5-0-0, $2,265,144. Last Start: 1st GII Toyota Blue Grass S., KEE, Apr. 3 Accomplishments: 'TDN Rising Star', 1st GI TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile, KEE, Nov. 6,...

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The TDN Derby Top 20 For April 13

The long prep season is over, but some jostling for a starting spot remains among the horses on the cusp of the qualifying points cutoff. Please note the rankings below are independent from the "Road to the GI Kentucky Derby" points leaderboard Churchill Downs uses to determine starting berths. That list can be accessed here. 1) ESSENTIAL QUALITY (c, Tapit--Delightful Quality, by Elusive Quality) O/B-Godolphin (KY). T-Brad Cox. Lifetime Record: Ch. 2yo Colt & MGISW, 5-5-0-0, $2,265,144. Last Start: 1st GII Toyota Blue Grass S., KEE, Apr. 3 Accomplishments: 'TDN...

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The TDN Derby Top 20 for April 6

The first Saturday in April's "power trio" of nine-furlong qualifying preps is in the books. We also learned last week that no Japan-based horse will be accepting the "Road to the GI Kentucky Derby" invitation this year, and that none of the qualifying European horses are nominated, meaning they'd have to supplement $200,000 to get in. So at this time it appears that all 20 starting spots will go to American horses. The rankings below are independent from the "Road to the Derby" points leaderboard Churchill Downs uses to determine...

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TDN Derby Top 12 for Mar. 30

We're on the cusp of the one-month mark to the GI Kentucky Derby, and this Saturday marks the most important weekend of nine-furlong preps on the Triple Crown calendar, with significant stakes at Santa Anita, Keeneland, and Aqueduct. Next week, the Top 12 expands to the Top 20 as the race for qualifying points intensifies and the actual field begins to take shape. 1) GREATEST HONOUR (c, Tapit--Tiffany's Honour, by Street Cry {Ire}) O/B-Courtlandt Farms (KY). T-Claude R. McGaughey III. Lifetime Record: MGSW & GISP, 7-3-1-3, $422,440. Last Start: 3rd...

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The TDN Derby Top 12 for March 23

No, the world didn't tilt off its axis last Saturday. But there was a seismic shift within the Top 12 rankings. 'TDN Rising Star' Life Is Good (Into Mischief) was declared off the GI Kentucky Derby trail with a left hind ankle chip, and two other highly rated contenders failed to fire in the GII Louisiana Derby. But new shooters have filled the vacuum--as always. The cadence quickens while the plot thickens inside the six-week mark to Derby 147. 1) GREATEST HONOUR (c, Tapit--Tiffany's Honour, by Street Cry {Ire}) O/B-Courtlandt...

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The TDN Derby Top 12 for March 9

This week's edition represents the most movement within the Top 12 all season. But brace yourself: the nine-furlong preps are next, and so are the juicier qualifying points opportunities. The GI Kentucky Derby forecast is for continued--but intriguing--volatility. 1) GREATEST HONOUR (c, Tapit--Tiffany's Honour, by Street Cry {Ire}) O/B-Courtlandt Farms (KY). T-Claude R. McGaughey III. Lifetime Record: MGSW, 6-3-1-2, $351,940. Last Start: 1st GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S., GP, Feb. 27 Accomplishments: 1st GIII Holy Bull S. Next Start: GI Curlin Florida Derby, GP, Mar. 27 Equineline PPs. KY...

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The TDN Derby Top 12 for Mar. 2

   We're now past the unofficial "Justify cutoff" of Feb. 18, which represents the latest maiden-breaking date of any GI Kentucky Derby winner. That means it's extremely likely we've already seen the 2021 winner in action, but it doesn't necessarily mean the Derby winner is ranked within this edition of the Top 12. This list represents the top of the crop while leaving speculation open to longshot Derby dreamers inside the 10-week mark to the first Saturday in May. 1) GREATEST HONOUR (c, Tapit--Tiffany's Honour, by Street Cry {Ire}) O/B-Courtlandt...

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TDN Derby Top 12 for February 17

The weather-related rescheduling of Oaklawn's GIII Southwest S. to the final weekend in February will cause some havoc for downstream prep races. The GII Rebel S. on Mar. 13 will now have only a two-week spacing within the Oaklawn series and Southwest participants who figured to run back in the Mar. 20 GII Louisiana Derby also might balk at having just three weeks off between preps and then six weeks until the GI Kentucky Derby itself. But our sport has gotten quite used to unexpected schedule switches over the last...

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The TDN Derby Top 12 for February 2

The Nos. 1, 2 and 3 candidates atop this week's GI Kentucky Derby rankings are fascinating from a tactical standpoint. In order, their styles are that of a relentless stalker, a high-cruising speed specialist, and a dominant, off-the-pace tailgater. But the contenders ranked behind them are poised to pounce as we edge past the 90-day mark until the first Saturday in May. 1) ESSENTIAL QUALITY (c, Tapit--Delightful Quality, by Elusive Quality) O/B-Godolphin (KY). T-Brad Cox. Lifetime Record: Ch. 2yo Colt & GISW, 3-3-0-0, $1,335,144. Last Start: 1st GI TVG Breeders'...

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