The Road to the Kentucky Derby Points Update - March 14, 2016

Dave Bond | OTB Writer
Updated: September 29, 2016 -- 12:05 PM ET

Kentucky Derby Points Update

Las Vegas, NV - The Road to the Kentucky Derby is quickly coming to an intriguing conclusion as three year olds from around the world try to qualify for arguably the biggest race on the planet - the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

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Five of the seven races in the Kentucky Derby Championship Series have been run. They awarded a 50-20-10-5 scale for the first to fourth place finishers. Needless to say the contenders for the Run for the Roses have started to separate themselves from the pack. The Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs, the San Felipe at Santa Anita, the Rebel at Oaklawn and the Spiral at Turfway are still on the docket in the first leg of the Championship Series before things get really interesting as the second leg kicks off. The second leg includes seven races with a 100-40-20-10 scale - the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park, the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds, the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, the Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita, the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn, and the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland and the UAE Derby in Dubai.

There are two races in the weeks preceding the Kentucky Derby in which contenders can earn points on a 20-8-4-2 scale - this is the "Wild Card Round".

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So after all of the "Prep Series" races and five in the Championship Series and after Destin and Danzig Candy posted surprise wins this past weekend, what does the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard look like? Let's take a look.

Mohaymen, Kiaran McLaughlin, 70 points - has won all five career starts (four graded stakes) including the Fountain of Youth Stakes February 27, the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park January 30, the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct November 28 and the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes on that same track November 4. He has been one of the favorites to win the Derby during this whole process and has done nothing to say otherwise.

Destin, Todd Pletcher, 51 points - has three wins and a second place finish in five career starts but made a serious statement this past weekend with a 50 point haul in the Tampa Bay Derby. He also won the Sam F. Davis Stakes on that track February 13.

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Gun Runner, Steve Asmussen, 51 points - got 50 qualifying points thanks to a win in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds February 20. He also had a fourth in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes in November.

Danzing Candy, Cliff Sise Jr., 50 points - wasn't really on anyone's radar before a win this past weekend in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes - his stakes debut.

Shagaf, Chad Brown, 50 points - has won all three career starts and got his 50 points from a win March 5 in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct.

Mor Spirit, Bob Baffert, 44 points - won the Robert B Lewis Stakes February 6 at Santa Anita and also posted victory in the Los Alamitos Futurity December 19. He also had a seconds in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes this past weekend (a slight disappointment) and in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes November 28.

Nyquist, Doug O'Neill, 30 points - has won all six career starts and is an early favorite for the Run for the Roses. Wins include the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes February 15 at Santa Anita in record time (that race didn't offer up any qualifying points toward the Derby), the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, the Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes September 26 and the Del Mar Futurity September 7. He hasn't been touched so far.

Exaggerator, Keith Desormeaux, 26 points - won the Grade 3 $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot November 21 and had a fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, a second in the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity October 3 and a win in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special in August. He has been OK in his last two starts - a third in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes this past weekend followed a second in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes February 15. He's been busy indeed.

Sunny Ridge, Jason Servis, 23 points - had been sitting outside the top 20 before a nice win in the Withers Stakes at Aqueduct January 30. He also has a fourth in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes March 5 and a second in the $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot in November.

Mo Tom, Tom Amoss, 22 points - has three wins and three third place finishes in six career starts. His points came from a third place finish in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes February 20, a win in the Grade 3 LeComte Stakes January 16 and a third in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes in November.

Laoban, Eric Guillot, 22 points - has yet to post a win in his four race career - two seconds and a third place finish so far. Last time out was a third in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes March 5 after a third in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes January 9.

Forevamo, Al Stall Jr., 20 points - has a win and three runner-up finishes in six career starts. He has yet to post a graded stakes score but had a second in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds February 20.

Zulu, Todd Pletcher, 20 points - has two wins and a second place finish in his three career starts. His points came from a second place finish in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes February 27 - his stakes debut.

Outwork, Todd Pletcher, 20 points - got his 20 points thanks to a second place finish in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Stakes this past weekend - his only stakes start to date.

Flexibility, Chad Brown, 15 points - started 2016 with a good win in the Grade 3 Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct January 2 and also had second place finishes in the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes November 28 and the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes November 4 - also at Aqueduct. Last time out was a disappointing fourth in the Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct January 30.

Brody's Cause, Dale Romans, 14 points - earned his points with a third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and a win in the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland October 3. He was an ugly seventh this past weekend however in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby.

Greenpointcrusader, Dominick Schettino, 14 - got his 14 points thanks to a second place finish last time out in the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes January 30 and a win in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park October 3 but was a somewhat disappointing seventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile against many of his future competitors.

Swipe, Keith Desormeaux, 14 - got his points with a couple of respectable runner-up finishes - in the Breeders' Cup and the Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita September 26. He has yet to post a graded stakes score but has finished second in four straight.

Fellowship, Stanley Gold, 12 points - has 10 career starts with two wins, there seconds and two thirds. His points came from third place finishes in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream February 27 and the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes on that track January 30.

Adventist, Leah Gyarmati, 12 points - has a win and two third place finishes in three career starts. His points came from third place finishes - the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes last time out March 5 and the Grade 3 Withers Stakes January 30 - all results at Aqueduct.

Collected, Bob Baffert, 11 - has two wins and a second place finish in four career starts including a victory in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes in his dirt debut as overwhelming favorite. Last time out was a fourth in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park February 15.

  • Suddenbreakingnews, Donnie Von Hemel, 10
  • Cocked and Loaded, Larry Rivelli, 10
  • Discreetness, Williams Fires, 10
  • Frank Conversation, Doug O'Neill, 10
  • Airoforce, Mark Casse, 10
  • Riker, Nick Gonzalez, 10
  • Star Hill, Rusty Arnold II, 10
  • Uncle Lino, Gary Sherlock, 9
  • Vorticity, James Lawrence II, 8
  • Rated R Superstar, Kenny McPeek, 6
  • Kasseopia-GB, Charles Fellowes, 6

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Australia A 9:50 PM
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