The Kentucky Derby (G1) is in the news again as the race has a new date and races offering points to get into the 1 1/4 mile classic are underway.
If you forget who’s who on the road to the Derby, not to worry, most of us did. It has been a long few months of little racing and a host of big event cancellations.
(The Derby Points Leaderboard is below)
Starting May 23, the second weekend since famed Churchill Downs has opened, races advertised as stepping stones to the September 2 Derby will no doubt have big, competitive fields.
Godolphin’s Maxfield was made the 5-2 morning line favorite for his highly-anticipated 3-year-old debut in Saturday’s $150,000 Matt Winn presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade III).
Saturday’s Matt Winn is the first race on the revised Road to the Kentucky Derby schedule and will award the Top 4 finishers points on a 50-20-10-5 scale.
While Maxfield will be the rage in the Matt Winn, a 1 1/16 mile, two-turn race, his off-the-pace style in a race lacking a lot of early speed makes him vulnerable off the layoff. The other Godolphin Stable runner, #1 Mystic Guide deserves a long look as does the speedy NY Traffic, #6.
“I feel like all of us have been anticipating his next start since his scratch before the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile),” trainer Brendan Walsh said. “We always thought that his best races were ahead of him. When he debuted last year I really wasn’t even thinking about the Breeders’ Futurity if he won that race. I had thought that his best races were going to be when he turned 3-years-old or even into next year.”
Maxfield was one of the likely favorites for last year’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) following his $500,000 Breeders’ Futurity (GI) victory but a minor ankle injury forced him to scratch and spend several months on the sidelines. Maxfield shipped back to Walsh’s string of horses in South Florida but once the COVID-19 pandemic struck, he was forced to switch plans for his seasonal bow.
“It would’ve been a little bit unorthodox if we were still prepping for the Derby (on the first Saturday in May),” Walsh said. “We were still going to target the Derby but we would’ve only had one race to get him qualified. Now, we have a couple of races that we can get him ready for the race in September.”
The Matt Winn is the featured race on Saturday’s program that has been dubbed “Stephen Foster Preview Day” and features four additional stakes events: the $100,000 Shawnee (Race 7), $100,000 Tepin (Race 8), $100,000 Blame (Race 9) and $100,000 War Chant (Race 11). First post is 1 p.m. (all times Eastern) and the Matt Winn is slated at 5:44 p.m.
The card includes a trio of Pick 4 and Pick 5 wagers along with the 20-cent Single 6 Jackpot. The late Pick 5 will have a guaranteed pool of $500,000 and feature an all-stakes sequence. Free Brisnet past performances and additional handicapping information will be available at www.churchilldowns.com/handicapping.
Rank/Horse/Points/Owner(s)/Trainer/Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1. Nadal 150 George Bolton, Arthur Hoyeau, Barry Lipman & Mark Mathiesen Bob Baffert $1,020,000
2. Tiz the Law 122 Sackatoga Stable (Jack Knowlton et al) Barclay Tagg $902,400
3. Wells Bayou 104 Lance Gasaway, Clint Gasaway, Madaket Stables LLC (Sol Kumin & Jason onteleone) & Wonder Stables Brad Cox $765,000
4. Charlatan 100 SF Racing LLC (Gavin Murphy), Starlight Racing (Jack & Laurie Wolf), Madaket Stables LLC (Sol Kumin & Jason Monteleone), Frederick Hertrich III, John D. Fielding and Golconda Stables (Ben Goldberg & Elliot Friman) Bob Baffert $300,000
5. $-King Guillermo 90 Victoria’s Ranch Juan Carlos Avila $317,050
6. Ete Indien 74 Linda Shanahan, Sanford Bacon, Dream With Me Stable Inc., Horse France America, D P Racing LLC (Deron Pearson) & Patrick L. Biancone Racing LLC Patrick Biancone $357,156
7. Modernist 70 Pam & Martin Wygod Bill Mott $340,000
8. Authentic 60 SF Racing LLC (Gavin Murphy), Starlight Racing (Jack & Laurie Wolf), Madaket Stables LLC (Sol Kumin & Jason Monteleone), Frederick Hertrich III, John D. Fielding and Golconda Stables (Ben Goldberg & Elliot Friman) Bob Baffert $300,000
9. Mr. Monomoy 52 Madaket Stables LLC (Sol Kumin & Jason Monteleone), Michael Dubb & Doheny Racing Stable (Michael Doheny) Brad Cox $260,000
10. Basin 50 Jackpot Farm Steve Asmussen $392,500
11. Mischevious Alex 50 Cash is King LLC (Chuck Zacney et al) & LC Racing LLC (Glenn
Bennett) John Servis $308,410
12. Ny Traffic 50 John Fanelli, Cash is King LLC, LC Racing & Paul Braverman Saffie Joseph Jr. $244,320
13. Shivaree 40 Jacks or Better Farm Inc. Ralph Nicks $284,505
14. Gouverneur Morris 34 Team Valor International (Barry Irwin) & WinStar Farm LLC (Kenny Troutt)
Todd Pletcher $186,000
15. Enforceable 33 John C. Oxley Mark Casse $284,550
16. Storm the Court 32 David A. Bernsen LLC, Exline-Border Racing LLC (Ryan Exline and family & Justin Border), Dan Hudock & Susanna Wilson Peter Eurton $1,198,851
17. Sole Volante 30 Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Andie Biancone & Limelight Stables Corp.
Patrick Biancone $243,510
18. Major Fed 30 Lloyd Madison Farms IV LLC Greg Foley $120,000
19. Thousand Words 25 Albaugh Family Stables (LLC Dennis Albaugh & Jason Loustch) & Spendthrift Farm LLC (B. Wayne Hughes)
Bob Baffert $205,500
20. Finnick the Fierce 25 Arnaldo Monge & Rey Hernandez Rey Hernandez $120,200
21. Silver Prospector 21 Ed and Susie Orr Steve Asmussen $664,018
— +Field Pass 20 Three Diamonds Farm Mike Maker $229,960
22. Excession 20 Calumet Farm (Brad Kelley) Steve Asmussen $206,000
23. Candy Tycoon 20 Mathis Stable LLC Todd Pletcher $83,500
24. Honor A. P. 20 C R K Stable LLC (Lee & Susan Searing) John Shirreffs $80,000
25. Untitled 20 Gary Barber & Michael B. Sebastian Mark Casse $67,275