Derby Top 12

TDN Preakness Preview

  This week's TDN Triple Crown feature examines the GI Preakness S. entrants listed in "likeliest winner" order. 1) Epicenter (c, Not This Time--Silent Candy, by Candy Ride {Arg}) O-Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC. B-Westwind Farms (KY). T-Steve Asmussen. Sales History: $260,000 yrl '20 KEESEP. Epicenter's second-place run in the GI Kentucky Derby was the type of effort that would have resulted in a win in most years. It also underscored his top-of-the-crop status as an impeccably consistent A-lister who is not dependent on a certain running style and doesn't need other...

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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) Rich Strike (unranked also-eligible in TDN pre-race rankings) There are three components of a metaphorical "black swan" event: The happenstance is highly unlikely; it has outsized consequences that almost no one sees coming, and people try to force a rationalization given the benefit of hindsight. That definition sums up Rich Strike's 80-1 shocker in the Derby. This former $30,000 maiden-claiming son of Keen Ice dropped sharply inside shortly after an...

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TDN Kentucky Derby Top 20 for May 5

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) ZANDON (c, Upstart--Memories Prevail, by Creative Cause) O-Jeff Drown. B-Brereton C. Jones (KY). T-Chad C. Brown. Sales History: $170,000 ylg '20 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: GISW, 4-2-1-1, $713,000. Last Start: 1st GI Toyota Blue Grass S. KY Derby Points: 114. Post 10, 3-1. Zandon enters the Derby having rightfully earned kingpin status. A...

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The TDN Kentucky Derby Top 20 for April 19

With all the points-earning preps completed, the GI Kentucky Derby picture moves into "microscope mode" as we approach the two-week mark. The rankings below are independent from the "Road to the Derby" leaderboard Churchill Downs uses to determine starting berths. Access that list here. 1) ZANDON (c, Upstart--Memories Prevail, by Creative Cause) O-Jeff Drown. B-Brereton C. Jones (KY). T-Chad C. Brown. Sales History: $170,000 ylg '20 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: GISW, 4-2-1-1, $713,000. Last Start: 1st GI Toyota Blue Grass S., KEE, Apr. 9. Next Start: GI Kentucky Derby, CD, May...

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TDN Kentucky Derby Top 20 For Apr. 12

All the nine-furlong preps for the GI Kentucky Derby are in the books, but Saturday's GIII Lexington S. still offers 20 points to the winner, so there could be some shakeout in the bottom tier of the Top 20. The rankings below are independent from the "Road to the Derby" points leaderboard Churchill Downs uses to determine starting berths. Access that list here.  1) ZANDON (c, Upstart--Memories Prevail, by Creative Cause) O-Jeff Drown. B-Brereton C. Jones (KY). T-Chad C. Brown. Sales History: $170,000 ylg '20 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: GISW, 4-2-1-1,...

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TDN Kentucky Derby Top 12 for Apr. 5

Seven horses among the current Top 12 will be in action Saturday in the last nine-furlong preps of the season. This past weekend's trio of stakes at Gulfstream, Oaklawn and Turfway dislodged former No. 1 contender Classic Causeway (Giant's Causeway), but no winners from those races vaulted into the upper echelon. The rankings below are independent from the "Road to the GI Kentucky Derby" points leaderboard Churchill Downs uses to determine starting berths. Access that list here. 1) SMILE HAPPY (c, Runhappy--Pleasant Smile, by Pleasant Tap) 'TDN Rising Star' O-Lucky...

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TDN Kentucky Derby Top 12 for Mar. 29

Over the next two weeks, chaos could take root within the GI Kentucky Derby rankings. This will be the first year that all the nine-furlong, points-earning prep races will be in the books a full four weeks out from the Derby (because of the GI Arkansas Derby moving from three weeks out to five). Thus, every horse on this list (with the exception of this past weekend's GII Louisiana Derby winner) will be in action either this coming Saturday or the next. 1) CLASSIC CAUSEWAY (c, Giant's Causeway--Private World, by...

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TDN Kentucky Derby Top 12 for Mar. 22

We now 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. This Saturday's GII Louisiana Derby is the focal point of the weekend, and it's also the lone 1 3/16-mile prep in North America. 1) CLASSIC CAUSEWAY (c, Giant's Causeway--Private World, by Thunder Gulch) O/B-Kentucky West Racing LLC & Clarke M. Cooper Family Living Trust (KY). T-Brian A. Lynch. Lifetime Record: MGSW & GISP, 5-3-1-1, $511,100. Last Start: 1st...

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TDN Derby Top 12 for Mar. 8

Sometimes a big weekend of prep races brings answers to key development questions on the GI Kentucky Derby trail. Other times--like this past Saturday--those major stakes only produce more questions. Part of the fun about the emerging puzzle this year is that at this point, no one contender within the Top 12 stands very far above his peers. 1) CLASSIC CAUSEWAY (c, Giant's Causeway--Private World, by Thunder Gulch) O/B-Kentucky West Racing LLC & Clarke M. Cooper Family Living Trust (KY). T-Brian A. Lynch. Lifetime Record: GSW & GISP, 4-2-1-1, $301,100....

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TDN Derby 12 for March 1

There was only one points-based GI Kentucky Derby prep last weekend, but even though it produced a 75-1 winner, there was no major shakeup within the ranks. This coming Saturday's quartet of qualifying points races, headlined by the GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. at Gulfstream Park, portends the possibility of some major moves in the near future, though. 1) CLASSIC CAUSEWAY (c, Giant's Causeway--Private World, by Thunder Gulch) O/B-Kentucky West Racing LLC & Clarke M. Cooper Family Living Trust (KY). T-Brian A. Lynch. Lifetime Record: GSW & GISP, 4-2-1-1,...

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TDN Derby 12 for Feb. 23

We're inside the 11-week mark to the GI Kentucky Derby, but still a month away from the important leap to races at nine furlongs or longer. Although there was no major upheaval within the rankings this week, we do have a new No 1. The subplots thicken as the cadence quickens. 1) CLASSIC CAUSEWAY (c, Giant's Causeway--Private World, by Thunder Gulch) O/B-Kentucky West Racing LLC & Clarke M. Cooper Family Living Trust (KY). T-Brian A. Lynch. Lifetime Record: GSW & GISP, 4-2-1-1, $301,100. Last Start: 1st GIII Sam F. Davis...

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TDN Derby Top 12 for Feb. 8

We're inside the three-month mark to the GI Kentucky Derby. The Top 12 portfolio has been re-balanced by culling highly rated contenders who have yet to post published workouts in 2022. So 'TDN Rising Stars' Corniche (Quality Road) and Jack Christopher (Munnings) are out, and new shooters who emerged from this past weekend's trio of stakes have rushed forward to fill the gap. Nature abhors a vacuum--and so do Derby lists. 1) SMILE HAPPY (c, Runhappy--Pleasant Smile, by Pleasant Tap) 'TDN Rising Star' O-Lucky Seven Stable. B-Moreau Bloodstock Int'l Inc....

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