Road to the Kentucky Derby: Who’s where and what’s next

March 21, 2021

With six weeks left until the Kentucky Derby, let’s take a look at who’s where and what’s next

Undefeated Life Is Good (60 points), who was number 4 on the leaderboard, is out with an injury. That moves Moonlite Strike up into the top 20 with 11 points. Hot Rod Charlie was awarded 100 points for his win in the Louisiana Derby. Midnight Bourbon received 40 points for second place, O Besos 20 for third and Proxy, 10 for fourth place. 

The Top 20 on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard after this weekend’s Louisiana Derby:

Rank, Horse, Points, Last Race

1. Hot Rod Charlie – 110, Louisiana Derby, 1st, 3/20/2021

2. Midnight Bourbon – 66, Louisiana Derby, 2nd, 3/20/2021

3. Greatest Honour – 60, Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth, 1st, 2/27/2021

4. Life Is Good – 60, out with injury

5. Mandaloun – 52, Louisiana Derby, 6th, 3/20/2021

6. Concert Tour – 50, Rebel Stakes, 1st, 3/13/2021

7. Helium – 50, Tampa Bay Derby, 1st, 3/6/2021

8. Weyburn – 50, The Gotham, 1st, 3/6/2021

9. Essential Quality – 40, Southwest Stakes, 1st, 2/27/2021

10. Proxy – 34, Louisiana Derby, 4th, 3/20/2021

11. Medina Spirit – 34, San Filipe, 2nd, 3/6/2021

12. O Besos – 25, Louisiana Derby, 3rd, 3/20/2021

13. Hidden Stash – 22, Tampa Bay Derby, 2nd, 3/6/2021

14. Hozier – 20, Rebel Stakes, 2nd, 3/13/2021

15. Crowded Trade – 20, The Gotham, 2nd, 3/6/2021

16. Keepmeinmind – 18, Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, 1st, 11/28/2020

17. Spielberg – 17, Southwest Stakes, 2nd, 2/27/2021

18. Rombauer – 14, El Camino Real Derby, 1st, 2/13/2021

19. Capo Kane – 12, The Gotham, 6th, 3/6/2021

20. Papetu – 11, Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth, 3rd, 2/27/2021

21. (20) Moonlite Strike – 11, Tampa Bay Derby, 3rd, 3/6/2021

There are 10 horses on the bubble with 10 points each. Any one of them could pick up 100 points with a win in one of the remaining prep races. They are: Get Her Number, Sittin On Go, Risk Taking, Caddo River, Candy Man Rocket, Highly Motivated, Big Lake, Brooklyn Strong, Hush of a Storm and Dream Shake. 

There are also 23 horses from the European trail with points ranging from 1 to 20 with My Generation, and Highland Avenue (IRE) in the lead with 20 points each and Sealiway (FR), Mac Swiney (IRE), New Mandate (IRE) and High Definition (IRE) just behind with 10 points a piece. With one European Road race remaining, the Cardinal Conditioning Stakes at Chelmsford City on March 27, these 3-year-olds can pick up 30-12-6-3 points for first, second, third and fourth place, respectively. 

From the Japan Road are 11 horses ranging from 1 to 30 points. The top runners are: La Perouse (JPN) with 30 points and Alain Barows (JPN) with 20 points. There is one more Japan prep race remaining, the Fukuryu at Nakayama on April 1 carrying 40-16-8-4 points.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby ends with 10 races and 1,343 points on the line. The last two races, the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn, worth 100-40-20-10  and the Lexington at Keeneland worth 20-8-4-2, will be run on April 10.  

Here are the remaining pre races:

Race, Track, Points (first, second, third, fourth place)

—MARCH 27—

Jeff Ruby Steaks, Turfway Park, 100-40-20-10

Florida Derby, Gulfstream Park, 100-40-20-10

UAE Derby, Meydan Racecourse, 100-40-20-10

Fukuryu, Nakayama, 40-16-8-4

—APRIL 1—

Cardinal Condition Stakes, Chelmsford City, 30-12-6-3

—APRIL 3—

Blue Grass, Keeneland, 100-40-20-10

Santa Anita Derby, Santa Anita Park, 100-40-20-10

Wood Memorial, Aqueduct, 100-40-20-10

—APRIL 10—

Arkansas Derby, Oaklawn Park, 100-40-20-10

Lexington, Keeneland, 20-8-4-2

Scheduled dates subject to change.

By Maribeth Kalinich

Photo by Eric Kalet

Contributing Authors

MB Kalinich

Maribeth Kalinich is a racing enthusiast and historian who writes about current racing events, Thoroughbred history and preservation of historic racing sites. Growing up in...

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@jonathanstettin Great article!

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