Magnum Moon established himself as a top contender for the 2018 Kentucky Derby in the March 17 Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park, earning a 100 BRIS Speed rating for the decisive victory. He’s trained by two-time Kentucky Derby victor Todd Pletcher, who captured last year’s running with Always Dreaming.

Unbeaten from three starts, the Malibu Moon colt becomes the second unraced juvenile this year to attract major attention. Justify was bet down as the 6-1 individual choice in Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager following a convincing allowance win on March 11.

Both are trying to become the first Kentucky Derby winner without 2-year-old experience since Apollo in 1882.

Magnum Moon didn’t match the 104 BRIS Speed rating registered by Justify in his last outing, but he defeated stakes rivals and virtually guaranteed himself a spot in the Kentucky Derby field with the 50-point prize. Justify has yet to try stakes company. These exciting sophomore runners are scheduled to meet in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) on April 14.

Solomini, thrice Grade 1-placed as a juvenile, broke a half-step slow in his 3-year-old bow and saved ground before getting blocked along the rail turning for home. He wasn’t going to challenge the winner but showed good courage getting up late for second, a head better than the late-running Combatant.

The Curlin colt will need to improve upon a 96 BRIS Speed rating in the final prep.

Combatant placed in a fourth consecutive qualifier. His BRIS numbers could be better (the closer lacks a triple-digit Late Pace figure) but Combatant has another prep to build upon.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby series determines eligibility and a 35-race schedule is divided between the Prep Season and Championship Series.

Top BRIS Speed ratings so far in the Championship Series, which began in mid-February (90 and above):

Horse

 

Race (finish)

 

BRIS Speed

Enticed

 

Gotham (1st)

 

104

Promises Fulfilled

 

Fountain of Youth (1st)

 

104

Strike Power

 

Fountain of Youth (2nd)

 

101

Old Time Revival

 

Gotham (2nd)

 

101

Magnum Moon

 

Rebel (1st)

 

100

Blended Citizen

 

Jeff Ruby Steaks (1st)

 

100

Pony Up

 

Jeff Ruby Steaks (2nd)

 

99

Bolt d’Oro

 

San Felipe (1st)

 

98

Bravazo

 

Risen Star (1st)

 

98

Quip

 

Tampa Bay Derby (1st)

 

98

McKinzie

 

San Felipe (2nd)

 

98

Snapper Sinclair

 

Risen Star (2nd)

 

98

Arawak

 

Jeff Ruby Steaks (3rd)

 

98

Good Magic

 

Fountain of Youth (3rd)

 

98

Flameaway

 

Tampa Bay Derby (2nd)

 

97

Solomini

 

Rebel (2nd)

 

96

Combatant

 

Rebel (3rd)

 

96

Free Drop Billy

 

Gotham (3rd)

 

96

Noble Indy

 

Risen Star (3rd)

 

96

World of Trouble

 

Tampa Bay Derby (3rd)

 

96

Machismo

 

Fountain of Youth (4th)

 

96

Instilled Regard

 

Risen Star (4th)

 

95

Title Ready

 

Rebel (4th)

 

94

Firenze Fire

 

Gotham (4th)

 

93

Kanthaka

 

San Felipe (3rd)

 

91

Vino Rosso

 

Tampa Bay Derby (4th)

 

91

Peace

 

San Felipe (4th)

 

90

 

 

 

 

 

Top BRIS Speed ratings from the Prep Season, which began last September and concluded in mid-February:

Horse (finish)

 

Race

 

BRIS Speed

Audible

 

Holy Bull (1st)

 

105

Bolt d’Oro

 

FrontRunner (1st)

 

105

Good Magic

 

BC Juvenile (1st)

 

105

McKinzie

 

Sham (1st)

 

104

Flameaway

 

Sam F. Davis (1st)

 

101

Catholic Boy

 

Sam F. Davis (2nd)

 

101

Solomini

 

Los Alamitos Futurity (3rd)

 

101

McKinzie

 

Los Alamitos Futurity (1st)

 

100

Instilled Regard

 

Los Alamitos Futurity (2nd)

 

100

Solomini

 

BC Juvenile (2nd)

 

100

Vino Rosso

 

Sam F. Davis (3rd)

 

100

All Out Blitz

 

Sham (2nd)

 

99

Free Drop Billy

 

Holy Bull (2nd)

 

99

Bolt d’Oro

 

BC Juvenile (3rd)

 

99

Catholic Boy

 

Remsen (1st)

 

98

My Boy Jack

 

Southwest (1st)

 

98

Firenze Fire

 

Champagne (1st)

 

96

Instilled Regard

 

Lecomte (1st)

 

96

Good Magic

 

Champagne (2nd)

 

96

Solomini

 

FrontRunner (2nd)

 

96

Firenze Fire

 

Jerome (1st)

 

94

Seven Trumpets

 

Jerome (2nd)

 

94

My Boy Jack

 

Sham (3rd)

 

94

Shivermetimbers

 

Sham (4th)

 

94

Enticed

 

Ky Jockey Club (1st)

 

93

Greyvitos

 

Springboard Mile (1st)

 

93

Tiz Mischief

 

Ky Jockey Club (2nd)

 

93

The Tabulator

 

Iroquois (1st)

 

92

Combatant

 

Southwest (2nd)

 

92

Firenze Fire

 

Withers (2nd)

 

92

Principe Guilherme

 

Lecomte (2nd)

 

92

Enticed

 

Champagne (3rd)

 

92

Snapper Sinclair

 

Lecomte (3rd)

 

92

Free Drop Billy

 

Breeders’ Futurity (1st)

 

91

Combatant

 

Springboard Mile (2nd)

 

91

Hollywood Star

 

Iroquois (2nd)

 

91

Marconi

 

Withers (3rd)

 

91

Vouch

 

Remsen (3rd)

 

91

Promises Fulfilled

 

Ky Jockey Club (3rd)

 

90

Enticed

 

Holy Bull (4th)

 

90