What: 147th KENTUCKY DERBY (G1) – 1 1/4 miles, 3-year-olds

When: Kentucky Derby (G1) – Saturday May 1; Kentucky Oaks, Friday April 30

Where: Churchill Downs

How to watch wager: HPI and HPItv in Canada, NBC Sports


Who are the latest defections and additions heading into Derby week?

CADDO RIVER and GIVE ME HER NUMBER were withdrawn on the weekend, allowing for Keepmeinmind and Brooklyn Strong to move into the top 20 on Derby points.

BROOKLYN STRONG, a son of Wicked Strong, was bought on a whim by Mark Schwartz for $5,000 at the Ocala Spring 2-year-old sale last year.

The gelding was originally a $30,000 weanling in 2018 and then bought back for $6,000 as an Ocala yearling in 2019.
Brooklyn Strong is out of the long-winded mare Riviera Chic, a daughter of Medaglia D’Oro, who has two winners from two starters including a route winner.

The gelding was fifth in the Wood Memorial in his 2021 season opener.


What is the Canadian content?

No Canadian-bred horses in the field, but some bits that relate to our country.

Canadian-born ROBERTINO DIODORO, who hails from Calgary, will have his first Derby starter with KEEPMEINMIND, who won the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs as a juvenile but has been unplaced in two outings this season.

Woodbine’s leading trainer MARK CASSE will send out lightly-raced fellows SOUP AND SANDWICH, for Sovereign Award winning owner Charlotte Weber, and the unbeaten HELIUM, who won the Display Stakes at Woodbine last October.  Casse seeks his first Derby win.

HIGHLY MOTIVATED, an Into Mischief Kentucky-bred, is from the Ontario-bred mare Strong Incentive who won the Jammed Lovely Stakes at Woodbine. Strong Incentive was bred by Spendthrift Farm and she is by Warrior’s Reward.


Who are the favourites?

ESSENTIAL QUALITY figures to be in the 2-to-1 range and the 2020 Champion 2-year-old has never lost in five career races, including two this year, the Blue Grass (G2) and Southwest Stakes (G3). Brad Cox is starting his first Derby horse and also has MANDALOUN in the field, a Juddmonte colt who was so impressive in the Risen Star Stakes (G2) with a 98 Beyer Speed Figure but very flat when sixth behind Hot Rod Charlie in the Louisiana Derby (G2).

HIGHLY MOTIVATED will get a lot of betting support based on his impressive string of workouts heading into the Derby for trainer Chad Brown. The colt engaged Essential Quality in the Blue Grass Stakes and missed by a neck.

ROCK YOUR WORLD, also unbeaten, has the best Beyer Figure in the field with the 100 earned in his front-running score in the Santa Anita Derby (G1). The Candy Ride (Arg) colt arrived in Kentucky on Sunday from California along with HOT ROD CHARLIE, who was also a front-running winner of his prep, the La. Derby, with a 99 Beyer Figure.

KNOWN AGENDA is one of three in the field for top trainer Todd Pletcher and this Curlin colt won the Florida Derby (G1) with a 94 Beyer Figure. Pletcher also has Wood Memorial winner BOURBONIC and DYNAMIC ONE.


Who are the ‘buzz’ horses from the workouts in the last two weeks?

If you were watching the Kentucky Derby workout show, then you know some of the horses who have been visually impressive in their preparations. DYNAMIC ONE, by Union Rags from the immediate family of greats such as My Flag, has been very sharp since his second-place finish in the Wood Memorial.

O BESOS (Orb), third in the Louisiana Derby, is a Kentucky favourite from the barn of local trainer Greg Foley, and he has looked very good. Highly Motivated, as mentioned, has thrived and KING FURY, winner of the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes, had a big workout on April 24 with a strong gallop out.


Trainer Steve Asmussen is in a good spot

Asmussen will soon become the winningest trainer in racing history later this year and he seeks his first Derby win. He trains his father’s SUPER STOCK, a strong stretch runner by Dialed In who won the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby and the speedy MIDNIGHT BOURBON for longtime clients Winchell Thoroughbreds.

PROBABLE FIELD, post draw on Tuesday, April 27.

Rank Horse Points Owner(s) Trainer Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings

1. Essential Quality 140 Godolphin LLC (Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum) Brad Cox $2,210,000
Last 3 Beyers 97, 96, 95
by Tapit

2. Hot Rod Charlie 110 Roadrunner Racing (Greg Helm), Boat Racing LLC (Eric Armagost, Dan Giovaccini, Reiley Higgins, Patrick O’Neill & Alex Quoyeser) & Strauss Bros Racing (Bill Strauss) Doug O’Neill $962,000
99, 94, 94
by Oxbow

3. Super Stock 109 Erv Woolsey & Keith Asmussen Steve Asmussen $709,000
92, 93, 79
by Dialed In

4. Like the King 104 M Racing Group LLC (Mickey Gonzalez) Wesley Ward $161,300
86, 82, 75
by Palace Malice

5. Known Agenda 102 St. Elias Stable (Vincent Viola) Todd Pletcher $461,100
94, 82, 77
by Curlin

6. Rock Your World 100 Hronis Racing LLC (Kosta & Pete Hronis) & David Michael Talla John Sadler $510,000
Career: $546,600
100, 82, 82
By Candy Ride (Arg)

7. Bourbonic 100 Calumet Farm (Brad Kelley) Todd Pletcher $400,000
89, 76, 71
by Bernardini

8. Medina Spirit 74 Zedan Racing Stables Inc. (Amr F. Zedan) Bob Baffert $290,000
94, 95, 94
by Protonico

9. Midnight Bourbon 66 Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC (Ron Winchell) Steve Asmussen $430,000
96, 96, 93
by Tiznow

10. Mandaloun 52 Juddmonte Farms Inc. (Prince Fahad bin Khaled) Brad Cox $270,000
82, 98, 91
by Into Mischief

11. Caddo River 50 Shortleaf Stable Inc. (John Ed Anthony) Brad Cox $320,000

12. Highly Motivated 50 Klaravich Stables Inc. (Seth Klarman) Chad Brown $271,000
97, 92, 96
by Into Mischief

13. $-Helium 50 D J Stable LLC (Leonard Green) Mark Casse $255,492
84, 75, 76
by Ironicus

14. Soup and Sandwich 40 Live Oak Plantation (Charlotte C. Weber) Mark Casse $161,000
90, 84, 89
by Into Mischief

15. Dynamic One 40 Repole Stable (Mike Repole), Phipps Stable (Daisy Phipps Pulito) &St. Elias Stable (Vincent Viola)Todd Pletcher $140,000
89, 79, 72
by Union Rags

16. Sainthood 40 WinStar Farm LLC (Kenny Troutt) & CHC Inc. (Kit Ng) Todd Pletcher $47,500
84, 76, 79
by Mshawish

17. Hidden Stash 32 BBN Racing LLC (Brian Klatsky, Brendan O’Brien & Braxton Lynch) Vicki Oliver $130,000
82, 83, 82
by Constitution

18. O Besos 25 L. Barrett Bernard, Tagg Team Racing & West Point Thoroughbreds (Terry Finley et al)
Greg Foley $116,000
96, 88, 83
by Orb

19. King Fury 20 Fern Circle Stables & Three Chimneys Farm LLC Kenny McPeek $207,595
96, 71, 78
by Curlin

20. Keepmeinmind 18 Spendthrift Farm (B. Wayne Hughes), Cypress Creek LLC (Kevin Moody) & Arnold Bennewith Robertino Diodoro $409,707
73, 81, 80
by Laoban

21. g-Brooklyn Strong 10 Mark Schwartz Daniel Velazquez $112,500
82, 94, 77
by Wicked Strong

22. Starrinmydreams 4 Stewart Racing Stable & WinStar Farm LLC Dallas Stewart $44,000


KENTUCKY OAKS, Friday April 30, 3-year-old fillies

Rank Horse Points Owner(s) Trainer Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings

1. Search Results 150 Klaravich Stables Inc. (Seth Klarman) Chad Brown $275,000
2. Travel Column 132 OXO Equine LLC (Larry Best) Brad Cox $462,040
3. Crazy Beautiful 128 Phoenix Thoroughbred LTD (Amer Abdulaziz) Kenny McPeek $366,165
4. Pauline’s Pearl 120 Stonestreet Stables LLC (Barbara Banke) Steve Asmussen $420,000
5. Malathaat 110 Shadwell Stable (Rick Nichols) Todd Pletcher $377,500
6. Clairiere 94 Stonestreet Stables LLC (Barbara Banke) Steve Asmussen $301,400
7. Will’s Secret 80 Willis Horton Racing LLC (Willis Horton) Dallas Stewart $340,000
8. Millefeuille 44 Juddmonte Farms Inc. (Prince Fahad bin Khaled) Bill Mott $71,200
9. Moraz 42 Don Alberto Stable (Liliana Solari Falabella and Andrea & CarlosHeller)
Michael McCarthy $92,000
10. Ava’s Grace 40 Cypress Creek Equine LLC (Richard Moody) Robertino Diodoro $138,000
11. Pass the Champagne 40 R. A. Hill Stable (Raymond A. Hill III), Black Type Thoroughbreds
(Jake Ballis), Rock Ridge Racing LLC (Codee S. Guffey), BlackRidgeStables LLC (William Daugherty) & James BrownGeorge Weaver $80,000
12. $-Maracuja 40 Beach Haven Thoroughbreds LLC Rob Atras $50,000
13. $-Competitive Speed 30 John C. Minchello Javier Gonzalez $85,635
14. Coach 26 Kueber Racing LLC (Rick Kueber) Brad Cox $186,640