Derby Top 12

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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The TDN Kentucky Derby Top 12 For Jan. 26

Two new shooters debut on the Top 12 this week and there was a large leap forward from the previously ranked No. 10 contender all the way up to the No. 2 spot. Four qualifying races on the Road to the GI Kentucky Derby points series are on the docket for the next two weekends. 1) ESSENTIAL QUALITY (c, Tapit--Delightful Quality, by Elusive Quality) O/B-Godolphin (Ky); T-Brad Cox. Lifetime Record: GISW, 3-3-0-0, $1,335,144. Last Start: 1st GI TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile, KEE, Nov. 6 Accomplishments Include: 1st GI Claiborne Breeders'...

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TDN Derby Top 12 for Dec. 30

We're now inside the 125-day mark until the first Saturday in May. The debut 2021 GI Kentucky Derby rankings are compiled largely with an eye toward sophomore prowess rather than lauding horses for accomplishments at age two. Interestingly, five homebreds have secured spots within the initial Top 12, a departure from previous seasons when there were only one or two. 1) ESSENTIAL QUALITY (c, Tapit--Delightful Quality, by Elusive Quality) O/B-Godolphin (Ky); T-Brad Cox. Lifetime Record: GISW, 3-3-0-0, $1,335,144. Last Start: 1st GI TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Kee, Nov. 6 Accomplishments Include:...

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TDN Top-to-Bottom Derby Rundown

This week's TDN Triple Crown feature examines the GI Kentucky Derby runners in detail from first to last. 1) AUTHENTIC (c, Into Mischief--Flawless, by Mr. Greeley) O-Spendthrift Farm LLC, MyRaceHorse Stable, Madaket Stables LLC & Starlight Racing. B-Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds LLC (KY). T-Bob Baffert. Sales History: $350,000 yrl '18 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: MGISW, 6-5-1-0, $2,871,200. Front-running Authentic bested 14 Derby foes in admirable, take-the-heat fashion. But it was the way this $350,000 KEESEP Into Mischief bay overcame a long season's worth of focusing issues to finally put forth a...

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The TDN Derby Rankings for September 2

Here are the final TDN GI Kentucky Derby rankings after an entertaining, intriguing, and unusually long buildup to the first Saturday in September. The field is listed in "likeliest winner" order. The Top 10... 1) TIZ THE LAW (c, Constitution--Tizfiz, by Tiznow) O-Sackatoga Stable. B-Twin Creeks Farm (NY). T-Barclay Tagg. Sales History: $110,000 yrl '18 FTNAUG. Lifetime Record: MGISW, 7-6-0-1, $2,015,300. Last Start: 1st GI Runhappy Travers S., SAR, Aug. 8 Accomplishments Include: 1st GI Belmont S., BEL, June 20, 1st GI Curlin Florida Derby, GP, Mar. 28, 1st GI...

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