Derby Top 12

Derby Top 12

TDN Sophomore Top 12: 'Rising Stars' Anchor Top Three Spots

You may have noticed a change in the title of this column, from "Derby Top 12" to "Sophomore Top 12." Churchill Downs, Inc., has barred trainer Bob Baffert from competing in the GI Kentucky Derby, and that left us in a quandary over how to assess the nation's best 3-year-old prospects. It didn't seem right to dismiss the accomplishments of elite-level sophomores, regardless of whether they were eligible for the Derby or not. Nor did it seem proper to ignore the benchmarks their performances provide to help establish the overall...

TDN Derby Top 12: Ace On Top, Rest of Deck Gets a Good Reshuffling

As if ranking the contenders for the GI Kentucky Derby isn't enough of a challenge in and of itself, the crystal ball-gazing becomes even more hazy when you factor in the ban imposed by Churchill Downs, Inc., on trainees from Bob Baffert's stable (click here for a more detailed writeup on this subject). Even though the official Derby qualifying points leaderboard omits those horses, TDN's Top 12 will continue to include them for the time being on the basis that 1) the situation could change; 2) the performances of those...

TDN Derby Top 12: Dreams of Roses Take the Chill out of January

We're inside the 120-day mark for the 150th GI Kentucky Derby, and the pecking order is hazily taking shape. There's a speculative, forward-thinking element (read: lots of 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) NYSOS (c, Nyquist--Zetta Z, by Bernardini) 'TDN Rising Star' O-Baoma Corp; B-Susie Atkins (KY); T-Bob Baffert. Sales history: $130,000 Wlg '21 KEENOV; $150,000 Ylg '22 FTKOCT; $550,000 2yo '23 OBSAPR. Lifetime Record: GSW, 2-2-0-0,...

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) Mage (No. 12 in TDN pre-race rankings) Mage, the little horse who could, was a characteristic beat slow out of the starting gate. Javier Castellano let him roll with the flow as the field sorted itself out through the first furlong, then darted to secure the rail while fourth-last the first time under the wire. Unhurried through the turn, this son of Good Magic ($235,000 KEESEP; $290,000 EASMAY) raced several...

TDN Derby Top 20: Cadence Quickens, Plot Thickens

This week's rankings are in "likeliest winner" format, based on the 20 current qualifiers on the "Road to the GI Kentucky Derby" points list. 1) PRACTICAL MOVE (c, Practical Joke--Ack Naughty, by Afleet Alex) O-Leslie & Pierre Jean Amestoy & Roger Beasley; B-Chad Brown & Head of Plains Partners (KY); T-Tim Yakteen. Sales history: $90,000 RNA yrl '21 KEESEP; $230,000 2yo '22 OBSAPR. Lifetime Record: GISW, 7-4-1-2, $884,200. Last Start: 1st Apr. 8 GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby. Kentucky Derby Points: 160. Practical Move rides a three-race win streak into...

TDN Derby Top 20: The Waiting is the Hardest Part

The rankings below are independent from the "Road to the Derby" leaderboard Churchill Downs uses to determine starting berths, with several horses included here who are currently below the cut. View the qualifying list here. 1) PRACTICAL MOVE (c, Practical Joke--Ack Naughty, by Afleet Alex) O-Leslie & Pierre Jean Amestoy & Roger Beasley; B-Chad Brown & Head of Plains Partners (KY); T-Tim Yakteen. Sales history: $90,000 RNA yrl '21 KEESEP; $230,000 2yo '22 OBSAPR. Lifetime Record: GISW, 7-4-1-2, $884,200. Last Start: 1st Apr. 8 GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby. Kentucky...

TDN Derby Top 20: Upheaval in the Ranks

A new kingpin graces the No. 1 slot after a wild, final weekend of 100-point preps. The rankings below are independent from the "Road to the Derby" leaderboard Churchill Downs uses to determine starting berths, with several horses included here who are currently below the cut.   1) PRACTICAL MOVE (c, Practical Joke--Ack Naughty, by Afleet Alex) O-Leslie & Pierre Jean Amestoy & Roger Beasley; B-Chad Brown & Head of Plains Partners (KY); T-Tim Yakteen. Sales history: $90,000 RNA yrl '21 KEESEP; $230,000 2yo '22 OBSAPR. Lifetime Record: GISW, 7-4-1-2,...

TDN Derby Top 12: Final Fireworks Before the Caravan Rolls On

We're approaching the edge of the GI Kentucky Derby abyss. Three final 100-points prep races Saturday, followed by four weeks of microscopic analysis and animated speculation. Bring it on! 1) FORTE (c, Violence--Queen Caroline, by Blame) 'TDN Rising Star'. O-Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable; B-South Gate Farm (KY); T-Todd Pletcher. Sales history: $80,000 Wlg '20 KEENOV; $110,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: Ch. 2yo Colt, MGISW, 7-6-0-0, $1,833,230. Last start: 1st GI Curlin Florida Derby at Gulfstream Apr. 1. Kentucky Derby Points: 190. 'TDN Rising Star' Forte has made...

TDN Derby Top 12: The Real Running Starts Now

We've taken the plunge into the deeper end of the prep pool for the GI Kentucky Derby. Five nine-furlong stakes each awarding 100 qualifying points are scheduled over the next two Saturdays, after which this list will expand to the Top 20. 1) FORTE (c, Violence--Queen Caroline, by Blame) 'TDN Rising Star'. O-Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable; B-South Gate Farm (KY); T-Todd Pletcher. Sales history: $80,000 Wlg '20 KEENOV; $110,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: Ch. 2yo Colt, MGISW, 6-5-0-0, $1,833,230. Last start: 1st GII Fountain of Youth S....

TDN Derby Top 12: Forte Vs. Everyone Else

Only one contender within the Top 12 was in action last week. But Sunday's news about 'TDN Rising Star' Arabian Knight (Uncle Mo) being declared off the GI Kentucky Derby trail left a void within the top tier that widens the gap between the juvenile champ and a cast of aspirants aiming to define themselves at longer distances. 1) FORTE (c, Violence--Queen Caroline, by Blame) 'TDN Rising Star'. O-Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable; B-South Gate Farm (KY); T-Todd Pletcher. Sales history: $80,000 Wlg '20 KEENOV; $110,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP....

TDN Derby Top 12 For Mar. 2: Will March Separate Lions From Lambs

The first Saturday in May is the ultimate goal on the GI Kentucky Derby trail. But the first Saturday in March is often a make-or-break day on the national calendar, with key stakes in Florida, California and New York providing an uptick in intensity. 1) ARABIAN KNIGHT (c, Uncle Mo--Borealis Night, by Astrology) 'TDN Rising Star'. O-Zedan Racing Stables, Inc.; B-Corser Thoroughbreds LLC (KY); T-Tim Yakteen. Sales history: $250,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP; $2,300,000 2yo '22 OBSAPR. Lifetime Record: GSW, 2-2-0-0, $544.275 Last start: 1st GIII Southwest S. at Oaklawn Park,...

TDN Derby Top 12: Front Four Unchanged Inside 75-Day Mark

There's been a mid-season reshuffling at the back of the pack within this week's rankings. The next significant target date on the GI Kentucky Derby trail that could shake up the Top 12 leaders will be the trio of preps in Florida, California and New York Mar. 4. 1) ARABIAN KNIGHT (c, Uncle Mo--Borealis Night, by Astrology) 'TDN Rising Star'. O-Zedan Racing Stables, Inc.; B-Corser Thoroughbreds LLC (KY); T-Bob Baffert. Sales history: $250,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP; $2,300,000 2yo '22 OBSAPR. Lifetime Record: GSW, 2-2-0-0, $544.275 Last start: 1st GIII Southwest...

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