2019 Kentucky Derby Pros and Cons

Tacitus, Tapit, Bill Mott

Pros: Good speed numbers in last two races (especially in Wood Memorial); has beaten Tax, Haikal and Win Win Win this year; by leading sire Tapit; trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott; three-race win streak; ridden by Eclipse winning jockey Jose Ortiz

Cons: No Wood Memorial winner has won the Ky Derby since Fusaichi Pegasus in 2000; trainer Mott 0-8 in Derby; fields in the Wood and Tampa Bay Derby may be suspect

Past Derby winner he hopes to be: Fusaichi Pegasus

 

Omaha Beach, War Front, Richard Mandella

Pros: by leading sire War Front; has won over off-track twice; ridden by 2-time Derby winning jockey Mike Smith; trained by Hall of Famer Mandella; has beaten Game Winner, Improbable, Country House; GAME wins in Rebel and Arkansas Derby (would NOT let other horses by); Arkansas Derby has been one of the most productive KY Derby preps of the last ten years

Cons: Consistently good speed numbers, but not any of the highest in the field; Mandella 0-6 in Derby; can he get similar trip in Derby as he did in Arkansas races?

Past Derby winner he hopes to be: American Pharoah

 

Vekoma, Candy Ride, George Weaver

Pros: Big win in Blue Grass, with big speed number defeating Win Win Win; by leading sire Candy Ride; jockey Castellano a four-time Eclipse Award winner; posted big speed number in Nashua win as 2yo

Cons: last Blue Grass winner to win Derby was Strike the Gold, 1991; 3rd in Fountain of Youth was a head scratcher, with no real excuse

Past Derby winner he hopes to be: Strike the Gold

 

Plus Que Parfait, Point of Entry, Brendan Walsh

Pros: won last out UAE Derby (9.5 furlongs) over Gray Magician; career best speed number in good runner-up finish in KY Jockey Club at Churchill as 2yo (over sloppy track)

Cons: 13th in Risen Star, 5th in Lecomte; has 2nd lowest career-best speed number in body of Derby field, UAE Derby has not been a key Derby prep

Past Derby winner he hopes to be: Charismatic

 

Roadster, Quality Road, Bob Baffert

Pros: won Santa Anita Derby over Game Winner; trained by five-time Derby winner Baffert; by leading sire Quality Road, Santa Anita Derby one of the most productive preps for KY Derby in last ten years

Cons: Consistently good speed numbers, but not any of the highest in the field; has not shipped outside of California; other than Game Winner, questions about who he’s faced; jockey Smith opted for Omaha Beach

Past Derby winner he hopes to be: Justify

 

By My Standards, Goldencents, Bret Calhoun

Pros: Excellent Louisiana Derby win, with big speed number, beating Spinoff; experience over a sloppy track (2nd on debut at Churchill)

Cons: Pedigree doesn’t really lean toward him getting a mile and a quarter; last Louisiana Derby winner to win KY Derby was Grindstone, 1996; LA Derby was monster performance, hadn’t run a race remotely close to that prior

Past Derby winner he hopes to be: Grindstone

 

Maximum Security, New Year’s Day, Jason Servis

Pros: Undefeated in four races; big speed numbers in Florida Derby and 18 length Allowance win in February; Florida Derby one of the most successful KY Derby preps in last ten years; beat Code of Honor in FL Derby; has muddy track experience

Cons: Hasn’t run outside of Gulfstream; is a mile and a quarter his distance? How will he handle being pressed on the lead? If he doesn’t get the lead, then what?

 Past Derby winner he hopes to be: Big Brown

 

Game Winner, Candy Ride, Bob Baffert

Pros: Baffert; has won at Churchill (BC Juvenile); beaten a nose by Omaha Beach and half-length by Roadster; by leading sire Candy Ride; Santa Anita Derby one of the most productive Derby preps of the last ten years

Cons: Hasn’t won as a 3yo; has he progressed since the Breeders’ Cup? had a bad trip in a field of six in the Santa Anita Derby, what does he do in a field of 20?

 Past Derby winner he hopes to be: Street Sense

 

Code of Honor, Noble Honor, Shug McGaughey

Pros: Trainer McGaughey won ’13 Derby with Orb; good Fountain of Youth win, defeating BG winner Vekoma; Florida Derby one of the most productive KY Derby preps of last ten years; jockey Velazquez two-time KY Derby winning jockey (’11 Animal Kingdom, ’17 Always Dreaming)

Cons: Speed numbers are consistent, but not very high; decent Florida Derby effort, but never really gained on Maximum Security or 2nd-place; are we sure he wants a mile and a quarter? Only three times since 1995 has KY Derby winner run 3rd or worse in prep before Derby

 Past Derby winner he hopes to be: Thunder Gulch

 

Haikal, Daaher, Kiaran McLaughlin

Pros: Monster Gotham performance, off of a hot pace, of which there will almost assuredly be in KY Derby; solid Wood Memorial run, even for 3rd place 

Cons: distance questions; trainer McLaughlin 0-8 in KY Derby; Only three times since 1995 has KY Derby winner run 3rd or worse in prep before Derby

Past Derby winner he hopes to be: Monarchos

 

Improbable, City Zip, Bob Baffert

Pros: Consistently fast against top competition; 2nd by a neck to Long Range Toddy, 2nd by a length to Omaha Beach; trained by five-time Derby winner Baffert; beat Country House in Arkansas Derby; has sloppy track experience; Arkansas Derby a recent key Derby prep

Cons: Hasn’t won as a 3yo; third jockey in as many races; does he want a mile and a quarter?

Past Derby winner he hopes to be: Real Quiet

 

War of Will, War Front, Mark Casse

Pros: By leading sire War Front; has won over sloppy track (msw at Churchill); was top 3yo on Derby trail in January and February, including good speed number wins in LeComte and Risen Star; Hall of Fame trainer Casse

Cons: no big speed number efforts; has been working well since Louisiana Derby, but what did that race take out of him? trainer Casse 0-6 in Derby; Only three times since 1995 has KY Derby winner run 3rd or worse in prep before Derby

Past Derby winner he hopes to be: Assault

 

Long Range Toddy, Take Charge Indy, Steve Asmussen

Pros: Very good Rebel win, over Improbable; good 3rd in Southwest in February; Hall of Fame trainer Asmussen

Cons: 6th in Arkansas Derby, with no real excuse; trainer Asmussen 0-19 in KY Derby; Only three times since 1995 has KY Derby winner run 3rd or worse in prep before Derby

Past Derby winner he hopes to be: Giacomo

 

Tax, Arch, Danny Gargan

Pros: Huge efforts in the Withers and Wood Memorial; very high speed numbers in both starts as a 3yo

Cons: runs big efforts and doesn’t win (Wood and Remsen); Wood hasn’t been a key Derby prep recently

Past Derby winner he hopes to be: Super Saver

 

Cutting Humor, First Samurai, Todd Pletcher

Pros: Very good effort winning Sunland Derby; two-time Derby winning trainer Pletcher; has sloppy track experience (2nd place debut at Belmont)

Cons: 7th in Southwest Stakes; how good was the field for the Sunland Derby? can he get a mile and a quarter? Jockey Velazquez opted for Code of Honor

 Past Derby winner he hopes to be: Go For Gin

 

Win Win Win, Hat Trick, Michael Trombetta

Pros: consistently high speed numbers against good competition; very good runner-up finish in Blue Grass

Cons: Blue Grass not a consistent Derby prep over the last ten years; Tampa Bay Derby effort was a head scratcher

Past Derby winner he hopes to be: Unbridled

 

Country House, Lookin at Lucky, Bill Mott

Pros: Hall of Fame trainer Mott; sloppy track experience (3rd in Arkansas Derby); good runner-up finish to War of Will in Risen Star

Cons: Only three times since 1995 has KY Derby winner run 3rd or worse in prep before Derby; only one win in six starts; Arkansas Derby run was a step back from Louisiana Derby;

Past Derby winner he hopes to be: Ferdinand

 

Gray Magician, Graydar, Peter Miller

Pros: Good runner-up effort in Miracle Wood in February; good 2nd to Plus Que Parfait in UAE Derby

Cons: lowest career high speed number in the Derby field; can he get a mile and a quarter? UAE Derby hasn’t been a key race for KY Derby; one win from eight career starts

Past Derby winner he hopes to be: Mine That Bird

 

Spinoff, Hard Spun, Todd Pletcher

Pros: Huge effort in Louisiana Derby; two-time Derby winning training Pletcher

Cons: Does he bounce off of the Louisiana Derby effort? How good was the field for Louisiana Derby behind him?

Past Derby winner he hopes to be: Lil E. Tee

 

Master Fencer, Just a Way, Koichi Tsunoda

Pros: Has already run a mile and a quarter twice (as a 2yo!); finished 2nd in Fukuryu Stakes last out to the very good Der Flug; great-great grandsire Sunday Silence won 1989 Derby

Cons: best finish of Japan-based horse in KY Derby was Lani, 9th in 2016;

Past Derby winner he hopes to be: Halma

 

AE-Bodexpress, Bodemeister, Gustavo Delgado

Pros: Sire Bodemeister sired ‘17 Derby winner Always Dreaming; last two starts have been solid, with good speed numbers; beat Code of Honor in Florida Derby

Cons: maiden (last maiden to win KY Derby-1933), other than Florida Derby, who’s he run against?

 Past Derby winner he hopes to be: Broker’s Tip

 

AE-Signalman, General Quarters, Ken McPeek

Pros: won the Ky Jockey Club over a sloppy track at Churchill; big effort in BC Juvenile; solid run in Blue Grass

 Cons: hasn’t won as a 3yo; 7th in Fountain of Youth;

 Past Derby winner he hopes to be: Sea Hero

 

 

 

 

 

About shepracing

Thoroughbred racing, research and writing.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s