Post positions have been selected and the field has been set for Kentucky Derby 2015. I have posted odds and post positions below.
The Derby blog began last September and my final “Exceptional Eleven” rankings are listed below. It has been an especially fun ride this year with five of my contenders from September making the Derby cut.
Stanford scratched, allowing #21 Frammento to make the Derby starting gate.
El Kabeir missed his morning gallop on Friday, May 1 and seems to have a tender left foot. His Derby status will be determined Saturday morning.
I will continue to follow the current sophomore class through the Triple Crown series and beyond, and my 2016 Kentucky Derby contenders blog will debut after Del Mar & Saratoga in September.
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
- CARPE DIEM (Giant’s Causeway – Rebridled Dreams, by Unbridled’s Song)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: WinStar Farm & Stonestreet Stables
Latest Published Workout: 4f in :48.60 (2/63) at Keeneland on April 25.
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 but he might have a tough go of it from post 2.
Derby Points (164)
- DORTMUND (Big Brown – Our Josephina, by Tale of the Cat)
Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Kaleem Shah, Inc.
Latest Published Workout: 6f in 1:13.60 (19/33) at Santa Anita on April 25.
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. He is training forwardly and did well landing post 8.
Derby Points (170)
- INTERNATIONAL STAR (Fusaichi Pegasus – Parlez, by French Deputy)
Trainer: Michael Maker – Owner: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey
Latest Published Workout: 4f in 50.80 (11/12) at Churchill Training on April 25.
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 and he drew favorably in post 12.
Derby Points (171)
- AMERICAN PHAROAH (Pioneerof The Nile – Littleprincessemma, by Yankee Gentleman)
Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Zayat Stables
Latest Published Workout: 5f bullet in 58.80 (1/33) at Churchill Downs on April 26.
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. He has looked sensational in the mornings and will break from post 18.
Derby Points (160)
- FROSTED (Tapit – Fast Cookie, by Deputy Minister)
Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Godolphin Racing
Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:01.10 (2/9) at Palm Meadows on April 25.
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 did the bulk of his Kentucky Derby preparations in Florida. He will break from the auxiliary gate in post 15 and should have plenty of room to maneuver.
Derby Points (113)
- EL KABEIR (Scat Daddy – Great Venue, by Unbridled’s Song)
Trainer: John Terranova II – Owner: Zayat Stables
Latest Published Workout: 4f in :46.81 (3/55) at Belmont Park on April 25.
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. He will leave from post 7 and you know Borel will find the rail at some point. He seemingly has a foot bruise and is not certain to compete in the Derby.
Derby Points (95)
- FIRING LINE (Line of David – Sister Girl Blues, by Hold for Gold)
Trainer: Simon Callaghan – Owner: Arnold Zetcher
Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:02.20 (51/59) at Santa Anita on April 25.
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. Jockey Gary Stevens was ecstatic after getting post 10. He is training well and if you like Dortmund, you will be getting a contender with similar ability at four times the price as the Baffert trainee.
Derby Points (58)
- UPSTART (Flatter – Party Silks, by Touch Gold)
Trainer: Richard Violette – Owner: Ralph M. Evans
Latest Published Workout: 5f bullet in :59.95 (1/9) at Palm Meadows on April 25.
Last Start: 2nd in G1 Florida Derby on March 28.
Comments: Spiked a fever and missed a workout earlier in April but bounced back with two bullets on April 17 & 25. He owns competitive speed figures but must overcome post 19. I will like his chances more when the Belmont Stakes rolls around.
Derby Points (76)
- MATERIALITY (Afleet Alex – Wildwood Flower, by Langfuhr)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: Alto Racing, LLC.
Latest Published Workout: 4f in :48 (7/78) at Churchill Downs on April 24.
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. He must overcome a lack of experience and post 3 on Derby Day.
Derby Points (100)
- WAR STORY (Northern Afleet – Belle Watling, by Pulpit)
Trainer: Tom Amoss – Owner: Loooch Racing Stable
Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:02 (7/20) at Churchill Downs on April 22.
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. The 50-1 longshot will leave from gate 16.
Derby Points (44)
- MUBTAAHIJ (Dubawi – Pennegale, by Pennekamp)
Trainer: Michael F. de Kock – Owner: Sheikh Mohammad bin Khalifa al Maktoum
Latest Published Workout: 3f in :37.40 (10/15) at Churchill Downs on April 30.
Last Start: 1st UAE Derby.
Comments: The Irish-bred mystery horse is traveling across the globe for a shot at Derby glory. Trainer Mike de Kock is one of the best in the world. He will break from post position 6.
Derby Points (100)
The Rest of the Derby Field: Far Right, Bolo, Itsaknockout, Ocho Ocho Ocho, Danzig Moon, Tencendur, Mr. Z, Keen Ice, Frammento. Stanford (scratched). Also-eligible Tale of Verve will not make the Derby field.
SATURDAY’S KENTUCKY DERBY DAY (MAY 2) full card analysis from Churchill Downs is now available to purchase at:
The Runaway Horse
Upcoming full cards: Santa Anita weekends (May 2-3). PREAKNESS DAY (May 16) analysis from Pimlico coming soon! Every full card includes suggested Early Pick 4, Pick 5, Pick 6, and Late Pick 4 spread tickets.
Weekend full card recaps with highlights are posted on The Runaway Horse What You Missed page