The Road to the Kentucky Derby Points Update - March 18
Las Vegas, NV - The "Road to the Kentucky Derby" is really starting to heat up. This past weekend a long shot gained the valuable 50 points to vault to top spot in the standings. The Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park went down Saturday and it was D. Wayne Lukas's 28-1 shot Will Take Charge that came up with the win and the 50 points - he now sits atop the standings with 60. Another Lukas colt finished second and earned the 20 points - he now has 36.
There are two more races in the Championship Series where the points are 50-20-10-5 for first to fourth place finishers. The Grade 3 Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes comes our way this Saturday from Turfway Park and the Grade 3 Sunland Derby is on tap for this Sunday. After those two races the points values jump significantly - 100-40-20-10 for first to fourth will start in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds on March 30.
Let's break down the standing as they lay going into the Spiral Stakes and Sunland Derby this weekend.
As mentioned, D. Wayne Lukas's Will Take Charge now leads the way in the points standings with 60 after his win this past weekend. A quartet of colts is next with 50 points - Vyjack under the tutelage of suspended trainer Rudy Rodriguez, Todd Pletcher's Verrazano, Jerry Hollendorfer's Hear the Ghost and Shug McGaughey's Orb are tied and look OK already to qualify for the Derby in May.
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Oxbow, off his second place finish on the weekend sits alone in sixth with 36 points while Bob Baffert's Flashback is next with 30 points. Doug O'Neill's Goldencents is eighth with 29 points, Todd Pletcher's highly regarded Shanghai Bobby is ninth with 24 and rounding out the top 10 is Kenny McPeek's Java's War who has 22 points
There are four colts occupying tenth to fourteenth place in the standings - Bob Baffert's Den's Legacy, off a third place finish this past weekend now has 20 points along with another Baffert pupil Code West, Falling Sky and West Hills Giant (the last two are trained by John Terranova). Next in fifteenth place is Mark Casse's Dynamic Sky with 13 points.
The next grouping will need some results the next six weeks in order to secure themselves a spot in the Run for the Roses. Eddie Plesa's Speak Logistics sits in sixteenth with 11 points and there is a glut with 10 points - nine colts are ties and on the bubble to qualify. Among this group is Itsmyluckyday, Todd Pletcher's Overanalyze, Mark Casse's Uncaptured, the favorite in this past weekend's Rebel Stakes Super Ninety Nine and another Bob Baffert pupil Power Broker, Revolutionary. Elnaawi and Doug O'Neill's Palace Malice.
There are currently some interesting names on the outside looking in. They include, Texas Bling, Siete de Oros, Doug O'Neill's He's Had Enough, Bob Baffert's Carving and Frac Daddy.
The Road to the Kentucky Derby standings are ever-changing. This weekend two tracks will host three year old hopefuls as they try to accumulate points toward the Big Show in May. Stay tuned to OffTrackBetting.com for previews for all of the upcoming points races and frequent updates on this bumpy yet exhilarating Road.