KENTUCKY DERBY 2015 Contenders: American Pharoah is the favorite

American Pharoah is the Kentucky Derby 2015 favorite following another facile win in the Grade I Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park on Saturday, April 4.

American Pharoah did not control the pace this time. Instead, he allowed overmatched longshot Bridget’s Big Luvy to scoot away early. American Pharaoh inhaled the speed and coasted home by eight lengths under a hand ride.

The Kentucky Derby favorite arrived at Churchill Downs earlier this week. He got a late start this year and the Derby will be his third start in seven weeks.

Click on the names of each horse below (Top 5) to view their Horse Racing Nation profile page, which includes pedigree information, results, and video.

Jarrod Horak’s “Exceptional Eleven” Kentucky Derby 2015 Contenders

  1. CARPE DIEM (Giant’s Causeway – Rebridled Dreams, by Unbridled’s Song) carpe diem silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: WinStar Farm & Stonestreet Stables

Last Start: 1st in G1 Blue Grass at Keeneland on April 4.

Comments: He’s been part of my list since last September and has occupied the top spot for more than four months. The feeling here is that we have not seen his best.

Derby Points (164)

  1. DORTMUND (Big Brown – Our Josephina, by Tale of the Cat) dortmund silks

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Kaleem Shah, Inc.

Last Start: 1st in G1 SA Derby on April 4.

Comments: The undefeated Derby contender elevated his game to new heights in back-to-back graded wire jobs in the San Felipe and SA Derby. The massive colt owns early-pressing versatility and cruised in his lone Churchill start.

Derby Points (170)

  1. INTERNATIONAL STAR (Fusaichi Pegasus – Parlez, by French Deputy) international star silks

Trainer: Michael Maker – Owner: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :49 (7/9) at Churchill Training on April 11.

Last Start: 1st in G2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds on Saturday, March 28.

Comments: My original #1 ranked Ky Derby contender when I started this list Sept. ’14. The very experienced Derby contender began his career last June. He keeps getting better but needs further improvement to make a splash on the first Saturday in May. I love his professionalism.    

Derby Points (171)

  1. AMERICAN PHAROAH (Pioneerof The Nile – Littleprincessemma, by Yankee Gentleman) american pharoah silks

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Zayat Stables

Last Start: 1st in the G1 Arkansas Derby.

Comments: The 2YO Champ did not break a sweat in the Rebel or Arkansas Derby and heads to Churchill Downs as the Kentucky Derby favorite.

Derby Points (160)

  1. FROSTED (Tapit – Fast Cookie, by Deputy Minister) frosted silks

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Godolphin Racing

Latest Published Workout: 5f bullet in 1:01.35 (1/7) at Palm Meadows on April 16.

Last Start: 1st in G1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 4.

Comments: He’s the fourth member of my original list from September and I played him Derby Future Pool 1. He showed a new closing dimension in the Wood Memorial and will do the bulk of his Kentucky Derby preparations in Florida.

Derby Points (113)

  1. EL KABEIR (Scat Daddy – Great Venue, by Unbridled’s Song) el kabeir silks

Trainer: John Terranova II – Owner: Zayat Stables

Last Start: 3rd in G1 Wood Memorial on April 4.

Comments: The 5th and final member of my original Derby list. Nothing bothers the versatile, consistent sort and he certainly brings plenty of experience to the table.

Derby Points (95)

  1. FIRING LINE (Line of David – Sister Girl Blues, by Hold for Gold) firing line silks

Trainer: Simon Callaghan – Owner: Arnold Zetcher

Latest Published Workout: 5f in :59.20 (5/56) at Santa Anita on April 11.

Last Start: 1st in G3 Sunland Derby on March 22.

Comments: After two grueling defeats to Dortmund, he cruised to a very easy win at Sunland. The Kentucky Derby will be his first start in six weeks.

Derby Points (58)

  1. UPSTART (Flatter – Party Silks, by Touch Gold) upstart silks

Trainer: Richard Violette – Owner: Ralph M. Evans

Latest Published Workout: 4f bullet in :47.40 (1/6) at Palm Meadows on April 17.

Last Start: 2nd in G1 Florida Derby on March 28.

Comments: Spiked a fever and missed his workout last week but looked good returning to the worktab April 17.

Derby Points (76)

  1. ONE LUCKY DANE (Lookin At Lucky – Echo Harbor, by Boston Harbor) one lucky dane silks

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Michael Lund Petersen

Last Start: 2nd in G1 SA Derby on April 4.

Comments: His sire Lookin at Lucky was my Kentucky Derby horse in 2010 and his son qualified for the Derby with a smart runner-up finish behind stablemate Dortmund in the SA Derby on April 4.

Derby Points (40)

  1. MATERIALITY (Afleet Alex – Wildwood Flower, by Langfuhr) materiality silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: Alto Racing, LLC.

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :48.50 (4/15) at Palm Beach Downs on April 11.

Last Start: 1st in G1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on March 28.

Comments: The last unraced 2-year-old to win the Kentucky Derby was Apollo in 1882. He earned a 110 BSF in the G1 Florida Derby and looms a pace player on the first Saturday in May.

Derby Points (100)

  1. WAR STORY (Northern Afleet – Belle Watling, by Pulpit) war story silks

Trainer: Tom Amoss – Owner: Loooch Racing Stable

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :49.40 (12/18) at Churchill Downs on April 15.

Last Start: 3rd in G2 LA Derby on March 28.

Comments: Hard-knocking gelding earned his way into the Kentucky Derby with a 2nd in the G3 Lecomte, another 2nd in the G2 Risen Star, and a 3rd in the G2 LA Derby.

Derby Points (44)

Honorable Mention: (12) Far Right, (13) Bolo, (14) Itsaknockout, (15) Ocho Ocho Ocho, (16) Stanford, (17) Mubtaahij, (18) Danzig Moon, (19) Tencendur, (20) Mr. Z, (21) Madefromlucky, (22) Keen Ice, (23) Frammento, (24) Bold Conquest, (25) Metaboss

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