Ky. Derby Leaderboard: Minor Moves, Major Races This Weekend

January 30, 2023

Arabian Knight winning the Southwest at Oaklawn Park. (Coady Photography)

Saturday, Feb. 4: G3 Withers, G3 Holy Bull and G3 Robert B. News, each race offering 20-8-6-4-2 points!

By Maribeth Kalinich
Update Statistics by Darren Rogers/Churchill Downs

With last weekend’s running of the Southwest at Oaklawn Park the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard top 10 changed just a bit with Jace’s Road moving into the No. 5 spot with 15 total points.  

West Point Thoroughbreds and Albaugh Family’s Jace’s Road earned two more points on his Derby campaign with his fifth-place finish in the Southwest. 

Winchell Thoroughbred’s Red Route One is just behind in No. 6 with 13 points after collecting eight points for his second place in the Southwest. The Steve Asmussen trainee earned his other five points with a fourth in the Kentucky Jockey Club (2 points) and a third in the Claiborne Breeders Futurity (3 points) at Keeneland. 

Forte remains No. 1 with 40 points with Instant Coffee still in No. 2 with 32 Points. Forte breezed a relaxed four furlongs in 51.43 for Todd Pletcher at Palm Beach Downs on Saturday. There are no recent works noted for Instant Coffee. 

Frosted Departure (right) dueling Two Eagles River for the win in the Renaissance Dec. 31, 2022, at Oaklawn. (Coady Photography)

Moving up to No. 16 and new on the leaderboard is C&H Diamond Racing & Magdelena Racing’s Frosted Departure earning six points for a third-place finish in the Southwest.  The Frosted colt out of More The Ready mare Undeterred is trained by Kenny McPeek. 

With nine starts in juvenile campaign, the gray colt closed out the year with a win in the Renaissance Stakes at Oaklawn Park earning Black Type. Prior to that start Frosted Departure had a fourth place in the Advent Stakes at Oaklawn and third place finish and Ed Brown Stakes at Churchill Downs.

Also joining the leaderboard at No. 22 is R.T. Racing Stables and Cypress Creek Equine’s Sun Thunder. The Into Mischief colt earned his four points with a fourth place in the Southwest. 

The bay, trained by Kenny McPeek, had two starts as a 2-year-old breaking his maiden on second asking. The Southwest was his first start of 2023.

The winner of the Southwest stakes was Arabian Knight who received no points due to his trainer, Bob Baffert’s two-year ban from starting in the Kentucky Derby until 2024.

The Kentucky Derby Leaderboard Top 10

1. Forte (40)
2. Instant Coffee (32)
3. Curly Jack (17)
4. Blazing Sevens (16)
5. Jace’s Road (15)
6. Red Route One (13)
7. Victory Formation (10)
8. Dubyuhnell (10)
9. Practical Move (10)
10. Lugan Knight (10)

February is a boon of points and exciting races with three on February 4th all with 20-8-6-4-2 points: the G3 Withers at Aqueduct, G3 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park and G3 Robert B. News at Santa Anita. February 11 is the G3 Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs (20-8-6-4-2) and the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields (10-4-3-2-1). 

The month wraps up with big points in the G2 Risen Star at the Fair Grounds (50-20-15-10-5) on Feb. 18, the Hyacinth (30-12-9-6-3) on the Japan Road at Tokyo Racecourse on the 19th and the G2 Rebel (50-20-15-10-5) at Oaklawn Park.

Kentucky Derby Prep Races

Last Year’s Prep Winners

Early Voting won the 2022 Withers, was second in the G2 Wood Memorial and went on to win the G1 Preakness Stakes. 

The 2022 winner of the Holy Bull, White Abarrio went on to win the G1 Florida Derby, was second in the G3 Ohio Derby and third in the G1 Cigar Mile. 

Messier was the winner of the 2022 Robert B. News. The Baffert trainee had previously won the G3 Bob Hope and scored a second in the Los Alamitos Futurity and followed up his Santa Anita win with a second in the G1 Santa Anita Derby. However, Baffert was under the ban and Messier collected no points to be Derby eligible. 

The G2 Risen Star was won in 2022 by Epicenter who was second in the G1 Kentucky Derby and second in the G1 Preakness then went on to win the G2 Jim Dandy, G1 Travers and the 2022 Eclipse Award for Champion Three-Year-Old Male. 

The El Camino Real Derby 2022 winner was Blackadder. The Quality Road colt had previously broken his maiden Dec. 16, 2021, at Santa Anita in his third start. The win gave him an automatic berth into the Preakness. After his ninth-place finish in the G1 Toyota Blue Grass he did not start in the Preakness.

European and Japan Roads

On the European Road, The Derby Condition Stakes will be held at Kempton in Great Britain March 1st for 20-8-6-4-2 points. March 3rd will be the Patton at Dundalk in Ireland for the same points system. In Chelmsford City in Great Britain March 30 is the Cardinal Conditions Stakes for 30-12-9-6-3 points. 

The European Road Leaderboard

The Fukuryu will wrap up the Japan Road at Nakayama on March 25th for 40-16-12-8-4 points.

The Japan Road Leaderboard

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