Derby Top 12

TDN Derby Top 12 for Apr. 2

With three major nine-furlong stakes upcoming this weekend, the first Saturday in April is usually when the sophomore division attains a new level of clarity. It had better. Favorites have now gone down in flames in nine consecutive Road to the GI Kentucky Derby qualifying points races run on United States dirt tracks, and only one of the top five horses in this week's rankings won his last start. If a dominant division leader doesn't emerge this weekend, it might be time to embrace the chaos rather than fight it....

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TDN Derby Top 12 for Mar. 26

Another weekend of preps for the GI Kentucky Derby is in the books, and favorites continue to stumble through March without posting authoritative victories that match their odds. But the calendar from here on out is loaded with nine-furlong opportunities, perhaps providing some separation between the true contenders and the early spring pretenders. 1) GAME WINNER (c, Candy Ride {Arg}--Indyan Giving, by A.P. Indy) 'TDN Rising Star'. O-Gary & Mary West. B-Summer Wind Equine (KY). T-Bob Baffert. Sales History: $110,000 Ylg '17 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: MGISW, 5-4-1-0, $1,646,000. Last Start:...

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The TDN Derby Top 12 for Mar. 12
The TDN Derby Top 12 for Mar. 12

This past weekend's trio of prep races at Aqueduct, Tampa Bay Downs, and Turfway Park did not produce any big breakout performance that cracked the Top 12, and the cancellation of racing at Santa Anita delayed the coming-out parties of several top West Coast stars. But plenty of intrigue still simmers beneath the surface as we edge within 55 days of the GI Kentucky Derby. 1) WAR OF WILL (c, War Front--Visions of Clarity {Ire}, by Sadler's Wells) O-Gary Barber. B-Flaxman Holdings Limited (KY). T-Mark Casse. Sales History: $175,000 RNA...

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TDN Derby Top 12 for Mar. 5

The GII Fountain of Youth S. this past Saturday was the only major GI Kentucky Derby prep of the weekend, but it produced five horses ranked within this week's Top 12. This coming Saturday's triple-header of preps at Santa Anita, Aqueduct and Tampa Bay Downs could be the first true make-or-break weekend that causes serious upheaval in the rankings. Get tied on and enjoy the ride. 1) WAR OF WILL (c, War Front--Visions of Clarity {Ire}, by Sadler's Wells) O-Gary Barber. B-Flaxman Holdings Limited (KY). T-Mark Casse. Sales History: $175,000...

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The TDN Derby Top 12 for Feb. 20

We've had this year's first significant shift in the GI Kentucky Derby Top 12 rankings, with a new leader bulling his way to the top of the crop. Expect the thawing trend to continue as the stakes action heats up, with eight high-ranked hopefuls expected to start on either the weekend of Mar. 2 or 9. 1) WAR OF WILL (c, War Front--Visions of Clarity {Ire}, by Sadler's Wells) O-Gary Barber. B-Flaxman Holdings Limited (KY). T-Mark Casse. Sales History: $175,000 RNA Ylg '17 KEESEP; €250,000 2yo '18 ARQMAY. Lifetime Record:...

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TDN Derby Top 12 for Feb. 5

Last Saturday's trio of graded stakes preps on the GI Kentucky Derby trail didn't make much of a dent in the Top 12 rankings, and most of the top guns are awaiting March starts for their 2019 debuts. But the lower tier of this week's edition of the standings is percolating with intrigue as we await the first major blockbuster performance of the season that will (eventually) upend the pecking order. 1) GAME WINNER (c, Candy Ride {Arg}--Indyan Giving, by A.P. Indy) 'TDN Rising Star'. O-Gary & Mary West. B-Summer...

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TDN Derby Top 12 for Jan. 22

There's a fair amount of parity within this week's edition of the Top 12. The dozen GI Kentucky Derby hopefuls are sired by 10 different stallions. Three of them are homebreds, and auction prices for the rest of the pack range from $32,000 up to $1.2 million. The horses ranked as Nos. 1-3 have held their positions all season long based on strong 2018 credentials, Nos. 4 and 5 delivered eye-opening performances in their first 2019 starts, and everybody else has flashed talent, but will need to do more to...

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TDN Derby Top 12 for Jan. 8

January's first three significant prep races for the GI Kentucky Derby made a small dent in the Top 12 rankings, but we're still largely in a familiar early-season holding pattern as we await February or March starts for the prime movers and shakers. The list right now resembles a beginning-game chess board, with a few bold pawns on the advance before the bigger playmaking pieces swing into action. 1) GAME WINNER (c, Candy Ride {Arg}--Indyan Giving, by A.P. Indy) 'TDN Rising Star'. O-Gary & Mary West. B-Summer Wind Equine (KY)....

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TDN Derby Top 12 for Dec. 28

by T.D. Thornton We're now 128 days out from the 145th GI Kentucky Derby, and the pecking order is hazily taking shape. The initial Top 12 rankings are largely based on 2-year-old form, but there's a speculative, forward-thinking element (read: 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) GAME WINNER (c, Candy Ride {Arg}--Indyan Giving, by A.P. Indy) 'TDN Rising Star'. O-Gary & Mary West. B-Summer Wind Equine...

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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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