Road to Derby Preps Finally Make Sense

Road to Derby

Vekoma won the Toyota Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland on Saturday and will head to the Kentucky Derby (G1) as a major player. (Photo credit: Keeneland).

It’s been a rocky Road to the Kentucky Derby this spring, but Saturday’s results have brought back some normalcy to the proceedings.

Two favorites and a second choice won the three key Derby preps on Saturday, and the picture for the Run for the Roses got a bit clearer with one major Road to the Kentucky Derby points race still yet to be decided.

Early Kentucky Derby favorite Game Winner did lose again in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), coming up a half-length short to his stablemate Roadster, but still might end up the betting choice on the first Saturday of May.

With one day left of wagering in Pool 4 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, Game Winner is sitting at 5-1, while Roadster has been bet down from his 15-1 opening morning line down to 5-1.

Derby Prep Beyers

Santa Anita Derby: Roadster 98

Wood Memorial: Tacitus 97

Toyota Blue Grass: Vekoma 94

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert potentially could have the top three favorites for the Kentucky Derby. Improbable is currently listed at 11-1 in Pool 4 of the KDFW and makes his final prep next Saturday in the Arkansas Derby (G1).

Santa Anita Derby Replay

Tacitus took over the top spot in the Road to the Kentucky Derby points standings with his victory in the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct on Saturday. Combined with his victory in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) the colt has 150 points.

The colt is trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott and has won three of his four starts. In Pool 4 of the KDFW the colt stands at 10-1 going into the final day of wagering.

The colt did not have the cleanest of trips in the Wood. He was bumped hard coming out of the gate, was rank early, got his heels clipped, battled with Tax in the stretch and prevailed by 1 ¼ lengths.

Tax, who came into the race off a victory in the Withers (G3) was a solid second and is now safely in the Derby field with 52 points. The colt is part of the All-Others in the KDFW, the price sitting at 15-1.

Wood Memorial Replay

Vekoma won the Toyota Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland on Saturday as the betting favorite. The colt opened up in the stretch and won by 3 ½ lengths. The colt has a very odd gait and I have a hard time picturing that style getting the job done going 1 ¼ miles at Churchill Downs in four weeks.

Trained by George Weaver, the colt is currently listed at 17-1 in Pool 4 of the KDFW.

Win Win Win rallied from far back to finish second in the Blue Grass, picking up 40 points to stamp his ticket to Louisville. The Michael Trombetta trainee had run third in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) in his previous outing.

Toyota Blue Grass Replay

Bourbon War is sitting at 20th in the Road to the Kentucky Derby points standings with 31 points, but could soon find himself on the outside looking in.

Master Fencer is the leader in points on the Japan Road to the Derby and is eligible to make the field.

For the latest Kentucky Derby future odds check out USRacing.

On Saturday there are three Derby points races. The Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park offers up 100-40-20-10 points. The Lexington (G3) at Keeneland is worth 20-8-4-2. Overseas the Cardinal Condition Stakes at Chelmsford is worth 30-12-6-3 points.

Road to the Kentucky Derby Points Standings

Horse Trainer Points Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1. Tacitus Bill Mott 150 $610,000
2. Vekoma George Weaver 110 $747,600
3. Plus Que Parfait Brendan Walsh 104 $1,540,400
4. Roadster Bob Baffert 100 $636,000
5. By My Standards Bret Calhoun 100 $600,000
6. Maximum Security Jason Servis 100 $582,800
7. Game Winner Bob Baffert 85 $1,810,000
8. Code of Honor Shug McGaughey 74 $432,070
9. Haikal Kiaran McLaughlin 70 $322,500
10. War of Will Mark Casse 60 $440,840
11. Long Range Toddy Steve Asmussen 53.5 $830,000
12. Tax Danny Gargan 52 $307,500
13. Cutting Humor Todd Pletcher 50 $462,467
14. Win Win Win Mike Trombetta 50 $350,000
15. Gray Magician Peter Miller 41 $526,000
16. Spinoff Todd Pletcher 40 $224,000
17. Bodexpress Gustavo Delgado 40 $188,000
18. Signalman Kenny McPeek 38 $496,840
19. Omaha Beach Richard Mandella 37.5 $450,000
20. Master Fencer (JPN) Koichi Tsunoda (Japan)
21. Bourbon War Mark Hennig 31 $137,200
22. Somelikeithotbrown Mike Maker 30 $371,655
23. Instagrand Jerry Hollendorfer 30 $276,000
24. Anothertwistafate Blaine Wright 30 $228,960
25. Country House Bill Mott 30 $120,000
26. Sueno Keith Desormeaux 28 $265,000
27. Improbable Bob Baffert 25 $389,520
28. Mucho Gusto Bob Baffert 24 $286,800
29. Outshine Todd Pletcher 20 $74,500
30. Harvey Wallbanger Kenny McPeek 10 $218,320


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