I began grading the Kentucky Derby 2012 preps with the Breeders’ Cup last November and the BC Juvenile has turned out to be quite a productive race.
I gave the BC Juvenile a B grade, which was my highest ranked 2-year-old Derby prep of 2011. The race did not earn a triple digit speed rating but I liked the looks visually and thought there were numerous well bred prospects capable of making noise on the Derby trail including Union Rags, Creative Cause, and Alpha.
So far, I have graded 29 Kentucky Derby preps, beginning with the BC Juvenile Sprint (11-4-11) through the Rebel Stakes (3-17-12). The next phase of Derby preps stretch the stamina limits to nine furlongs so I thought this was an appropriate time to rank the aforementioned 29 Derby prep races.
I graded each prep along the way like a teacher, using the A-B-C-D format. For ranking purposes, I have included a number with the letter grade. For example, 100 is the highest number possible, an A+ perfect prep. A 60 or D- is the lowest possible grade.
In the chart below, El Padrino‘s allowance win at Gulfstream Park in January received an A- grade or 90, which is my highest ranked race on the Derby trail up to this point. The Delta Jackpot is ranked lowest with a grade of 65.
How did I come up with the rankings? I considered speed figures, strength of competition, and visual impressions, which helped me compile the rankings below.