Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Kentucky Derby is finally upon us - all of the hype, the prep races and the anticipation culminates this Saturday, May 4 at Churchill Downs in Lexington, Kentucky. The best three year olds on the planet will go 1 1/4 miles this weekend as they search for the winner's share of the $2 million purse.
A full field of 20 of the best three year olds in the world has been confirmed for the Kentucky Derby - race 11 on Churchill Downs' Saturday schedule. Post time is 6:24 PM. Here is a look at the past performances of all 20 entries plus the one Alternate Entry for the long awaited, much anticipate Run for the Roses.
Orb - Claude R. McGaughey III trained colt enters the Kentucky Derby on a three race win streak - an impressive score last time out in the Grade 1 Florida Derby March 30 at Gulfstream followed a win in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes (largely because of the omissions of Itsmyluckyday and Shanghai Bobby for that race) February 23 and an Allowance Optional Claiming score January 26. He also had a MSW win at Aqueduct November 24. He has those four wins and a third place finish in his seven career starts and seems to be improving drastically each and every time out.
Verrazano - probably Todd Pletcher's best chance made his stakes debut with an impressive score with 101 Beyer Speed Figure in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby March 9 after two starts and two more wins - an impressive Allowance Optional Claiming by 16 3/4 lengths at Gulfstream February 2 with a Beyer Speed figure of 105 and a MSW score by 7 3/4 lengths in his debut January 1 also at Gulfstream. Last time out he made it 4-for-4 in his career with another impressive win in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct April 6. He was the top point getter on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and is one of the colts everyone is looking at ahead of the Derby.
Revolutionary - highly regarded Todd Pletcher trained colt enters the Kentucky Derby on a three race win streak - a terrific score in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby March 30, a win in the Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct February 2 and an 8 1/2 length win over Transparent at Aqueduct December 28 over 1 mile. He jumped up to fourth in Road to the Kentucky Derby standing based on his recent form and has to be considered one of the favorites for Saturday's Run for the Roses.
Goldencents - had an impressive victory in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes over Den's Legacy at Santa Anita January 5 after another win in the $1 million Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot over Bern Identity November 17 at Delta Downs in gate-to-wire fashion. He stumbled to a disappointing fourth in the Grade 2 San Felipe March 9 after fading but rebounded last time out - an impressive win in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby March 6. Trainer Doug O'Neil's Goldencents has four wins and a second in six career starts with three graded stakes wins in his last four starts overall. He was in the Derby conversation at the beginning of the year and remains there for good reason.
Normandy Invasion - Chad Brown pupil has five career starts with a win in a Maiden Special Weight race November 2 to follow a fifth in his debut September 15 at Churchill Downs. He was a nice second in the Grade 2 Remsen in November but finished a disappointing fifth in the Grade 2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds February 23. He rebounded nicely with a second in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial behind Verrazano last time out to earn the points necessary to qualify for this weekend. He hasn't tasted victory since November and hasn't recorded a graded stakes score yet but Normandy Invasion certainly has been close.
Itsmyluckyday - has five stakes wins in 10 career starts for trainer Edward Plesa and has been very good lately - a second last time out behind Orb in the Florida Derby followed a win over Shanghai Bobby by two lengths in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes January 26. His other stakes wins include the minor Gulfstream Park Derby by 6 3/4 lengths on January 1, the Foolish Pleasure Stakes and the Tipton Turf Dash Stakes. He had a fourth in the Dania Beach Stakes December 15 and a sixth in the Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot in November but Itsmyluckyday has steadily improved and could be a factor Saturday.
Overanalyze - Todd Pletcher colt won in the Grade 2 Futurity Stakes at Churchill Downs September 30 to put his name on the map and then recorded another impressive win in the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct November 24 after an OK third as 9-5 favorite in the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes October 28. He was an ugly fifth in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct March 2 but bounced back in a big way with an impressive score in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park April 13.
Java`s War - Kenneth McPeek colt is coming off his most impressive race to date - a win in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland April 13. Before that was good second in his only start in nearly four months in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby behind Verrazano March 9. He was an OK third in the Dixiana behind Dynamic Sky in October and was sixth at the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs November 24 but his last two outing have been very promising ahead of the Run for the Roses.
Vyjack - has five career starts with four wins all at Aqueduct - a Maiden Special Weight in his career debut in November, the Traskwood Stakes December 9, the Grade 2 Jerome Stakes over Siete de Oros January 5 and in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes March 2. Trainer Rudy Rodriguez saw Vyjack slip a little last time out to a third in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial behind Verrazano and Normandy Invasion but there is no doubting that Vyjack is used to winning and is a serious threat this weekend.
Palace Malice - Todd Pletcher trained colt was in the money in all of his first five career starts before a disappointing seventh in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds March 30. He bounced back from that disappointment last time out with a very nice second in the Blue Grass Stakes April 13 behind Java's War. He had a good third 1/2 length back in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes February 23 after a win in a MSW in his second career start and a pair of second place finishes. He has been a tad inconsistent but has placed in two of his last three graded stakes starts.
Will Take Charge - D Wayne Lukas trainee has seven career starts with three wins and a second place finish. He is coming off the biggest win of his career at the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park March 16 after an ugly sixth in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes also at Oaklawn Park February 18. He started his 2013 campaign with a win in the minor Smarty Jones Stakes also at Oaklawn Park after ending 2012 with a second in a minor stakes at Remington Park. He enters the Derby in the best form of his career although his form pale in comparison to the frontrunners.
Charming Kitten - Todd Pletcher colt was third last time out in the Grade 1 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland April 13 after a good second in the Grade 2 Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream March 3 and a nice win in the minor Kitten's Joy Stakes January 20. Before that was a decent second in the Dania Beach December 15. He has placed in his last four stakes races but has yet to win in graded stakes company but he has been knocking on the door.
Frac Daddy - Kenneth McPeek trained colt has six career starts with just one win in a Maiden Special Weight by 9 3/4 lengths at Churchill Downs in November and three second place finishes - in impressive fashion last time out in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn April 13, at a MSW in his debut in October and a very close second to Uncaptured in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes November 24. He had a disappointing seventh in the Grade 1 Florida Derby March 30 after an equally disappointing sixth in the Grade 3 Holy Bull January 26 but bounced back nicely in the Arkansas. Frac Daddy may be a tad inconsistent but looks good when running right.
Mylute - finished second to Bern Identity in the minor Jean Lafitte Stakes October 20 after a fifth in the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity September 8. Since then has been some OK results - a third in the Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot November 17 was followed by an Allowance Optional Claiming score December 26, an ugly seventh in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes February 23 and a nice bounce back second place finish in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds March 20.
Oxbow - D. Wayne Lucas trainee started with four Maiden Special Weight races in his career with one win (in his fourth start), a third, a fourth and a seventh place finish. Since that time he has had a pair of fourths in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity at 60/1 odds and Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes by just 1/2 length with a great win by an incredible 11 1/2 lengths in the Grade 3 LeComte Stakes at Fair Grounds January 19 sandwiched in there. He had a good second in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park March 16 to put him right in the thick of the Kentucky Derby picture but was fifth most recently in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby April 13 at Oaklawn Park. He has been rather inconsistent but is dangerous just the same.
Lines of Battle - has six career starts for trainer Aidan O'Brien with three wins and a second place finish but just one on North American soil - a disappointing seventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf in November. He has wins surrounding that result however including last time out in the UAE Derby March 30 - the race that gave him the necessary points to qualify for this race. He is a bit of a Wild Card but an intriguing one at that!
Black Onyx - made his stakes debut in the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes and surprised the field with an impressive win March 23 at Turfway Park for trainer Kelly Breen. He won two of his previous three starts as well - an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream February 23 and a MSW at Aqueduct three back November 11. He has two wins and a second place finish in four career starts.
Golden Soul - finished an OK fourth last time out in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds March 30 after a pedestrian sixth in the Grade 2 Risen Star February 23 and a good second in the Grade 2 LeComte Stakes January 19. He started his career with a second in a MSW and followed that with a MSW score on this track December 30 but has finished off the board in his last two graded stakes races overall against the colts he hopes to beat Saturday.
Falling Sky - has six career starts and three wins - a 1 3/4 length score in a 6 1/2 furlong Allowance Optional Claiming December 14 in which he earned an 89 Beyer Speed figure, a MSW score in his debut November 1 at Calder and two back in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs in gate-to-wire fashion February 2. Sandwiched in there is a fourth in the minor Inaugural Stakes December 1. Last time out was an OK fourth in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby after a third behind Verrazano and Java's War in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby March 9.
Giant Finish - has five career starts for trainer Anthony Dutrow and is coming off an OK third in the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes March 23 after an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Aqueduct January 17 and a second in the John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park February 2 behind General Election. He has two wins and a second and a third place finish in five career starts.
Fear The Kitten - Michael Maker trained colt is the Alternate Entry for the Derby. He has been competitive in his seven race career with two wins, a second and a third place finish. He enters off a pair of fifth place finishes however - last time out in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes and in the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park March 23. He had a second in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park February 18 after a third in the Grade 3 LeComte January 19 at Fair Grounds to prove he can compete with the best.
Race 11 on Churchill Downs' Saturday card with a Post Time of 6:24 PM.
||Lines of Battle
||E. Plesa, Jr.
||J. Terranova, II
||C. McGaughey III
||Will Take Charge
||Fear the Kitten (AE)