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Kentucky Derby 140- One Week Out

2014 Kentucky Derby Line-up So Far

We are right around the corner for this year’s Kentucky Derby and the field is starting to take shape. With a week away from that first Saturday in May, I thought it would be the ideal time to take a look at the contenders and see where we stand. By point’s standings, this is how the field for Kentucky Derby 140 looks-

 

California ChromeCalifornia Chrome– California Chrome sits on top of the point’s standings list with 150 points and based on the buzz around this colt, he is likely to be this year’s favorite, especially after his 5 ¼ length romp in the Santa Anita Derby. At the moment, he is working at Los Alamitos having handily worked four furlongs at :47 4/5 on April 19th and scheduled for his final serious work on April 26 at Los Alamitos, as well. He will ship to Louisville on Monday. Trained by Art Sherman, California Chrome will have Victor Espinoza in the irons.

 

Vicar's In TroubleVicar’s In Trouble– 2nd in point’s standings at 120 points is Vicar’s In Trouble. In his 5 starts, he has performed quite well including a 6 ¾ length win in the Grade 3 Le Comte Stakes and his 3 ½ length victory in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby. His last workout was at the Churchill Down’s Training Course on April 19th where he breezed 1:00.40 over 5 furlongs. His work prior to that was a breezing 48.20 over 4 furlongs. He is scheduled to breeze on Saturday at Churchill. Trained by Mike Maker, Vicar’s In Trouble will have Rosie Napravnik in the irons.

 

Dance With FateDance With Fate– At number 3 on the point’s standings is Dance With Fate with 108 points. Dance With Fate looked strong coming up as a two year old, running 2nd in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity and 2nd in the Grade 1 Front Runner Stakes before running 8th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. This year, Dance With Fate pulled in a 2nd place finish in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby and a 1 ¾ length victory in the Grade 1 Blue Grass. Dance With Fate is currently at Santa Anita and is scheduled to work out there once before shipping to Kentucky on April 28th. Trained by Peter Eurton, Dance With Fate will have Corey Nakatani in the irons.

 

Wicked StrongWicked Strong– 4th in the point’s standings is Wicked Strong with 102 points. In his 2 year old campaign, Wicked Strong’s best performance was a 3rd place finish in the Grade 2 Remsen, missing the win by ½ of a length. In his last start, Wicked Strong won the Grade 1 Wood Memorial by 3 ½ lengths on April 5th. In his last work out, he breezed 4 furlongs in 49.62 at Belmont Park on April 17th. He will probably get in one more work before Friday, before shipping out to Kentucky. He is expected to blow out at Churchill two days before the Derby. Trained by Jimmy Jerkens, Wicked Strong will have Rajiv Maragh in the irons.

 

SamraatSamraat– 5th on the list is Samraat with 100 points and $640,000 in earnings. Samraat is sitting on one of the best win records in this field having won 5 of his 6 starts, including wins in the Grade 3 Withers and the Grade 3 Gotham. In his last outing he ran 2nd in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial, 3 ½ lengths behind Wicked Strong. In his last work, Samraat breezed 4 furlongs at Belmont Park in 49.12 on April 18th. He will have one more work there before shipping to Churchill Downs. Trained by Rick Violette, Jr., Samraat will have Jose Ortiz in the irons.

 

DanzaDanza– Danza is 6th on the list with 100 points and $620,000 in earnings. Danza has 4 starts in his career so far, including a 3rd place finish in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special where he was only 1/2 of a length out of it and most notably, his 4 ¾ length surprise victory in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park.  Danza arrived at Churchill earlier this week and according to how the weather plays out over the weekend, Danza is scheduled for a work on Sunday at Churchill Downs. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Danza will have Joe Bravo in the irons.

 

HoppertunityHoppertunity– 7th on the list is Hoppertunity with 95 points. Hoppertunity did not run as a two-year old, but has put up some great outings this year with a 4th place finish in the Grade 2 Risen Star, a ½ of a length victory in the Grade 2 Rebel and 2nd place finish in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, 5 ¼ lengths behind California Chrome. Since then he has had a handily 1:00.20 5 furlong work at Santa Anita on April 18th and a breezing 1:00.20 5 furlong work at Churchill Downs on April 23rd.  Trained by Bob Baffert, Hoppertunity will have Mike Smith in the irons.

 

Intense HolidayIntense Holiday– Intense Holiday is 8th on the Derby Points List with 93 points. Intense Holiday fared well in his 2 year old campaign with two 4th place finishes in the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes and Grade 2 Remsen. In his 3 year old campaign, he earned a 3rd place finish in the Grade 2 Holy Bull, a victory in the Grade 2 Risen Star by a nose and a 2nd place finish in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby. Since then he has been working at the Palm Meadows Training center, posting a 48.90 4 furlong breezing work on April 13th and a 48.75 4 furlong breezing work on April 20th.  According to how the weather plays out, Intense Holiday is scheduled for a work on Sunday. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Intense Holiday will have John Velazquez in the irons.

 

Wildcat RedWildcat Red– Number 9 on the list is Wildcat Red with 90 points. Wildcat Red has finished no worse than 2nd in his 7 starts with wins in the Grade 3 Hutcheson and Grade 2 Fountain of Youth, as well as 2nd place finishes in the Gulfstream Derby and the Grade 1 Florida Derby. On April 20th, Wildcat Red put in a breezing 4 furlong work of 48.69 at Gulfstream. He shipped to Churchill Downs on Tuesday and is scheduled to put in a work on the track either Saturday or Sunday. Trained by Jose Garoffalo, Wildcat Red will have Luis Saez in the irons.

 

We Miss ArtieWe Miss Artie– We Miss Artie is 10th on the point’s standings list with 60 points. In his two year old campaign, We Miss Artie won the Grade 1 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland by 2 ¾ lengths. As a three year old, he placed 2nd in the Kitten’s Joy at Gulfstream, fell to 8th in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth and then pulled out a nose win in the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes. Since then he worked 4 furlongs breezing at 48.90 on April 13th and 5 furlongs breezing at 1:01.00 on April 20th. Both works were at Palm Meadows Training Center. We Miss Artie arrived at Churchill on Tuesday. According to how the weather plays out, We Miss Artie is scheduled for a work on Sunday. Trained by Todd Pletcher, We Miss Artie will have Javier Castellano in the irons.

 

Ride On CurlinRide On Curlin– In at number 11 on the list is Ride On Curlin with 55 points. In his 2 year old season, Ride On Curlin produced respectable finishes, running 4th in the Grade 3 Iroquios Stakes, 3rd in the Grade 1 Champagne and 3rd in the Street Sense Stakes. As a 3 year old, he finished 3rd in the Grade 3 Southwest, 3rd in the Grade 3 Rebel and 2nd in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby. Depending on the weather, Ride On Curlin is scheduled to work on Saturday at Churchill. Trained by Billy Gowan, Ride On Curlin will have Calvin Borel in the irons.

 

ChituChitu– In the 12 spot is Chitu with 54 points. Chitu has a pretty nice career record so far with 3 wins and 1 place. He ran 2nd in the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis, missing the win by a ½ length and won the Grade 3 Sunland Derby by 2 ¼ lengths. Since then he has had 3 works. On April 3rd he put in a handily 46.40 4 furlong and on April 13th a handily 1:00.80 5 furlong, both at Santa Anita. His last work was at Churchill Downs on April 21st where he breezed a 47.60 over 4 furlongs. There are a few unanswered questions about Chitu, as he is entered in the Derby Trial this Saturday (see 2014 Derby Trial). Trained by Bob Baffert, Chitu’s jockey for the Derby is to be announced.

 

TapitureTapiture– Number 13 on the list is Tapiture with 52 points. As a two year old, Tapiture ran an impressive 3rd in the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes and captured a 4 ¼ length victory in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. As a three year old, he won the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes by 4 ¼ lengths, ran 2nd in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes missing the win by a ½ of a length and ran 4th in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby. On April 21st, Tapiture breezed 5 furlongs at Churchill Downs in 1:02.80.  Trained by Steve Asmussen, Tapiture will have Ricardo Santana, Jr. in the irons.

 

Ring WeekendRing Weekend– Ring Weekend holds down the 14th spot in the standings with 50 points. Ring Weekend didn’t break maiden until his 3 year old campaign, but went on to win the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs by 3 lengths and ran 2nd in the Calder Derby, missing the win by a distant 9 ¾ lengths.  That Calder Derby finish has many wondering if his Tampa Bay Derby was a fluke. As of this writing he has not put in a work since the Calder Derby, but is scheduled for a work on Friday at Fair Hill. Trained by Graham Motion, Ring Weekend will have Alan Garcia in the irons. UPDATE- Ring Weekend will no longer be in the Derby due to health issues.

 

General a RodGeneral a Rod– Number 14 in the standings is General a Rod with 40 points and $240,000 in earnings. As a 2 year old, General a Rod won his first outing at Keeneland by 2 ¾ lengths. As a 3 year old he won the Gulfstream Park Derby by a head over rival Wildcat Red, ran 2nd to Wildcat Red in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth missing the win by a head and ran 3rd in the Grade 1 Florida Derby, out of it by 1 ½ lengths. Since then he has had two works at Churchill Downs. The first was on April 17th where he breezed 5 furlongs in 59.80. The second was on April 23rd where he breezed 5 furlongs in 1:03.40. Trained by Mike Maker, General a Rod will have Joel Rosario in the irons.

 

Medal CountMedal Count– Medal Count comes in at 15th on the points’ standings list with 40 points and $226,500 in earnings. In his 3 year old campaign, Medal Count finished 5th in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth, but followed that effort up with a 1 ¼ length victory in the Grade 3 Transylvania and a second place finish in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes, missing the win by 1 ¾ lengths. He hasn’t had a work since the Blue Grass, but is scheduled for a work on Saturday. Trained by Dale Romans, Medal Count will have Robby Albarado in the irons.

 

Candy BoyCandy Boy– 16th on the list is Candy Boy with 30 points. Candy Boy ended his 2 year old campaign with a 2nd place finish in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity, missing the win by a distant 5 ¾ lengths. As a three year old, he won the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis by 1 ½ lengths and followed that up with a 3rd place finish in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, a distant 8 ¾ lengths out of it. Since then he has had one work at Santa Anita, putting up a handily 59.80 over 5 furlongs. He is scheduled for a work at Churchill on Saturday. Trained by John Sadler, Candy Boy will have Gary Stevens in the irons.

 

Uncle Sigh*Uncle Sigh– Uncle Sigh lands at number 17 on the list with 24 points. As a three year old, Uncle Sigh ran 2nd in the Grade 3 Withers losing by 1 length to Samraat. He followed that up with a 2nd place finish in the Grade 3 Gotham, missing the win by a neck to Samraat. In the Grade 1 Wood Memorial he finished 5th, 8 lengths out of it. On April 18th he breezed 5 furlongs at Belmont in 1:00.31. He is scheduled for another work at Belmont on Friday morning and is scheduled to van to Churchill on Saturday. Trained by Gary Contessa, Uncle Sigh will have Irad Ortiz, Jr. in the irons.

 

VinceremosVinceremos– Vinceremos squeezes in at 18th in the standings with 20 points and $191,666 in earnings. In his 3 year old campaign, Vinceremos won the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes by a nose and ran ran 2nd in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby, missing the win by 3 lengths. His last outing was in the Grade 1 Blue Grass where he finished 14th. According to how the weather plays out, Vinceremos is scheduled for a work on Sunday at Churchill. An announcement to whether or not he will participate in the Derby will come early next week. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Vinceremos’ jockey is to be announced depending on if he enters.

 

Harry's HolidayHarry’s Holiday– Harry’s Holiday breaks into the number 19 spot with 20 points and $152,622 in earnings. As a three year old, Harry’s Holiday ran 3rd in the John Battaglia, out of it by 9 ¾ lengths. He followed that effort up with a 2nd place finish in the Grade 3 Spiral, missing the win by a nose to We Miss Artie. His last outing was in the Grade 1 Blue Grass where he finished 13th. His next work out has yet to be announced. Trained by Mike Maker, Harry’s Holiday’s jockey has yet to be announced.

 

 

Commanding CurveCommanding Curve– Commanding Curve sneaks in at #20 now that Ring Weekend has stepped out of consideration. As a two year old, Commanding Curve broke maiden on his 4th attempt at Churchill Downs in November. As a 3 year old, he ran 6th in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes and improved in his Grade 2 Louisiana Derby attempt, running 3rd, 5 lengths out of it.  He has put in 3 works at Churchill Downs since then. On April 10th he breezed 48.20 over 4 furlongs. On the 18th he breezed 5 furlongs at 1:00.40 and on the 26th he breezed 1:02.60 over 5 furlongs. Trained by Dallas Stewart, Commanding Curve will have Shaun Bridgmohan in the irons.

 

On the Bubble

BayernthmbWith a week left before the Derby and the 4 slots available for also eligible, anything can happen! Looking for a chance to squeeze into this field are the “on the bubble” horses listed in order- Pablo Del Monte, Social Inclusion, Big Bazinga, Coastline, Strong Mandate, In Trouble, Noble Moon, Cleburne, Commissioner, Schiverelli, Conquest Titan, Casiguapo, and Asserting Bear.

 

Horses No Longer In the Running

Below are the horses that have either been sidelined due to injury, inactive, no longer under Derby consideration or not Triple Crown nominated-

Toast of New York (100, $1,200,000), Constitution (100, $600,000), Midnight Hawk (52, $420,000)  Ring Weekend (50, $260,000), Asmar-IRE(40, $557,500), Albano (34, $190,000), Emirates Flyer-GB (20, $381,691),  Bayern (20, $134,280), Havana (14, $660,000), Cairo Prince, (19, $520,000), Honor Code (14, $300,000), Kristo (14, $76,000), Tamarando (12, $495,000), Bond Holder (11, $333,000), Ami’s Holiday (11, $146,145), New Year’s Day (10, $1,100,000), Rise Up (10, $786,633), Giovanni Boldini (10, $345,678),  Mr Speaker (10, $210,000), Tanzanite Cat (10, $111,000), Top Billing (10, $40,000), Surfing USA (10, $35,000), Dublin Up (10, $60,000), Rebranded (5,), Financial Mogul (5, $95,000), East Hall (5, $77,550), Classic Giacnroll (5, $62,500), Schoolofhardrocks (5, $18,250), Smarty’s Echo (4, $82,000), Walt (4, $45,857), Laddie Boy (4, $45,599), Scotland (4, $45,000), Divine Oath (4, $40,000), Smart Cover (4, $38,418), Go Greeley (2, $220,601), Enterprising (2, $138,000), Roman Unbridled (2, $113,000), Rankhasprivileges (2, $100,250), Ontology (2, $77,250), Artic Slope (2, $42,252), Gold Hawk (2, $38,000), Supermonic (2, $20,000), Awesome Sky (2, $16,819), Can the Man (1, $111,000), Diamond Bachelor (1, $97,020), Matuszak (1, $42,667), Rum Point (1,$30,250), Almost Famous (1, $28,579), Puppy Manners (1, $18,000), Son of a Preacher (1, $11,500), Buck Magic (1, $8,410), and I’ll Wrap it Up (1, $6,000).

Special Announcement from HHR

2014KentuckyDerby140logoIn next week’s articles, we’ve decided to go head-to-head in our selections for this year’s Kentucky Derby in a father-son duke out. Both Mike Sr. and I will give you our own personal takes on this year’s Derby, complete with our own personal selections. It could get ugly so be sure to check back with us next week for this- you won’t want to miss it!

 

 

 

 

 

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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at HandicapHorseRacing.com and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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