The Road to the Kentucky Derby goes through just about every major track in the U.S., with the top three-year-olds in training attempting to accumulate enough graded stakes earnings to make it into the starting gate for the Run for the Roses on Saturday, May 5 at Churchill Downs.
Last year Animal Kingdom used the Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park as his final prep for the Run for the Roses.
In 2010 Super Saver made his final Kentucky Derby prep with a runner up finish in the Arkansas Derby. Mine That Bird pulled off the huge Derby upset in 2009 after checking in fourth in the Sunland Derby at Sunland Park.
Last year it took $120,000 (Derby Kitten) in graded earnings to assure a starting spot in the gate in Louisville on the first Saturday of May.
In 2011 the last horse to get into the field was Make Music for Me with $218,750 in graded earnings.
This year with several key preps having increased purses, the cutoff may approach the $250,000 mark to assure a spot in the starting gate for the Run for the Roses.
For an update on the graded earnings list for this year’s Kentucky Derby, click here.
If you are looking for an online Racebook for your Kentucky Derby future wagering or just your everyday horse betting click here for Turf ‘n’ Sport’s recommended places to wager.
Here is a look at the key prep races for three-year-olds that are looking to make it to Louisville on the first Saturday of May, with the top three finishers in each race:
Gulfstream Park Derby
Win: Reveron Place: Casual Trick Show: King Kid
Count Fleet S.
Win: Alpha Place: Stephanoatsee Show: Il Villano
Win: Out of Bounds Place: Secret Circle Show: Longview Drive
Turfway Prevue S.
Win: Mr. Prankster Place: Magical Season Show: Frankie Is Rock
Win: Mr. Bowling Place: Z Dager Show: Shared Property
Kitten’s Joy S.
Win: Howe Great Place: Lucky Chappy (IRE) Show: Empire Builder
San Pedro S.
Win: Midnight Transfer Place: Got Even Show: Let’s Get Crackin
Holy Bull S.
Win: Algorithms Place: Hansen Show: My Adonis
Win: Alpha Place: Speightscity Show: Tiger Walk
Sam F. Davis S
Win: Battle Hardened Place: Prospective Show: Reveron
Robert B. Lewis S
Win: I’ll Have Another Place: Empire Way Show: Rousing Sermon
Win: Mr. Prankster Place: Phantom Fury Show: Magical Season
Win: Thunder Moccasin Place: Il Villano Show: Quick Wit
El Camino Real Derby
Win: Daddy Nose Best Place: Lucky Chappy (IRE) Show: Handsome Mike
San Vicente S
Win: Drill Place: American Act Show: Creative Cause
Win: Secret Circle Place: Scatman Show: Adirondack King
Risen Star S.
Win: El Padrino Place: Mark Valeski Show: Z Dager
Win: Isn’t He Clever Place: Zackn’mat Show: Major Hope
Miracle Wood S
Win: The Lumber Guy Place: Brimstone Island Show: Rocky Gap
Turf Paradise Derby
Win: Taylors Deal Place: Makors Finale Show: Born Force
Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S.
Win: Union Rags Place: News Pending Show: Discreet Dancer
Win: Hansen Place: My Adonis Show: Finnegans Wake
John Battaglia Memorial S
Win: State of Play Place: Ill Conceived Show: Dynamical
Fred “Cappy” Capossela S
Win: Hardened Wildcat Place: Beggarthyneighbor Show: How Do I Win
Tampa Bay Derby
Win: Prospective Place: Golden Ticket Show: Cozzetti
San Felipe S
Win: Creative Cause Place: Bodemeister Show: Midnight Transfer
Win: Trinniberg Place: Hello Prince Show: Ever So Lucky
Palm Beach S
Win: Howe Great Place: Dullahan Show: Csaba
OBS Championship (Colts and Geldings Division) S.
Win: Crafty Unicorn Place: Burn the Mortgage Show: Moon Traveler
Win: Secret Circle Place: Optimizer Show: Scatman
Private Terms S
Win: Raconteur Place: Hakama Show: Brimstone Island
Vinery Racing Spiral S.
Win: Went the Day Well Place: Holiday Promise Show: Heavy Breathing
Win: Daddy Nose Best Place: Isn’t He Clever Show: Stirred Up
Win: Take Charge Lady Place: Reveron Show: Union Rags
Win: Hero of Order Place: Mark Valeski Show: Rousing Sermon
Wood Memorial S
Win: Gemologist Place: Alpha Show: Teeth of the Dog
Santa Anita Derby
Win: I’ll Have Another Place: Creative Cause Show: Blueskiesnrainbows
Win: Done Talking Place: Morgan’s Guerrilla Show: Hakama
Bay Shore S
Win: Trinniberg Place: Hardened Wildcat Show: How Do I Win
Win: Bodemeister Place: Secret Circle Show: Sabercat
Toyota Blue Grass S
Win: Dullahan Place: Hansen Show: Gung Ho
Coolmore Lexington S
The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial S
Michael Dempsey provides his selections for major tracks each racing day. Mike’s Best Plays Report is available each weekend, with his strongest plays and selections including the top stakes races.
For the third time in the last five years subscribers using Mike’s Reports had the winner of the Kentucky Derby. In 2011 Mike nailed Animal Kingdom with his top pick, the upset winner paying $43.20 to win, $19.60 to place & $13.00 to show!
In the 2010 Kentucky Derby, Mike hit Super Saver with his top pick, the winner returning $18.00, $8.80, and $6.00.
Street Sense was his top pick in 2007, the winner returning $11.80, $6.40, and $4.60.