Stay up to speed on the Road to the Kentucky Derby with a weekly roundup of all the latest news and developments:
Changes on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard
He had to work hard to overcome a wide trip, but Maxfield delivered as expected in the Matt Winn (G3) on Saturday at Churchill Downs, prevailing by a length to keep his undefeated record intact. A dominant winner of the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) as a juvenile, Maxfield now boasts 60 qualification points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, placing him ninth on the leaderboard.
Matt Winn runner-up Ny Traffic has also secured a prominent place in the rankings, advancing to eighth with 70 points. The speedy son of Cross Traffic previously hit the board in the Louisiana Derby (G2) and a division of the Risen Star (G2), placing him thoroughly in the mix for qualifying to the Derby.
Pneumatic (10 points) and Attachment Rate (15 points) also moved up the leaderboard while finishing third and fourth in the Matt Winn, though they currently rank outside the Top 20 and will need to gain additional points to challenge for Derby qualification.
News and Notes
There are a few updates to the Road to the Kentucky Derby race schedule. The Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland has been rescheduled for July 11, reducing uncertainty for the connections of Kentucky-based Derby contenders. A new date for the Belmont Stakes (G1) has also been announced, with the traditional third leg of the Triple Crown now slated to go first on June 20.
Meanwhile, two new races have been added to the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby agenda. The June 21 Unicorn (G3) at Tokyo Racecourse and the July 8 Japan Dirt Derby at Oi Racecourse will both award 68 qualification points to the top four finishers on a 40-16-8-4 basis.
On the Kentucky Derby Work Tab
Anneau d’Or: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) runner-up sped 5 furlongs in a snappy 1:00.00 on Saturday at Golden Gate Fields.
Authentic: The undefeated favorite for the Santa Anita Derby (G1) took to the Santa Anita main track on Sunday and blazed 6 furlongs in 1:12.00.
Azul Coast: El Camino Real Derby winner turned in a stiff workout at Santa Anita on Monday, traversing 7 furlongs in 1:25.40.
Basin: Runner-up in the first division of the Arkansas Derby (G1), last year’s Hopeful (G1) winner returned to the work tab on Friday with an easy half-mile in :53.00 at Oaklawn Park.
Cezanne: Took another step toward his much-anticipated debut when sprinting 5 furlongs in :59.40 on Saturday at Santa Anita.
Dr. Post: Up-and-coming Unbridled S. winner clocked a half-mile in :48.92 on Friday at Palm Beach Downs.
Farmington Road: With the Belmont S. as his next major goal, the Oaklawn S. runner-up worked a half-mile in :48.48 on Friday at Palm Beach Downs.
Gouverneur Morris: Aiming for a start in the Belmont, this two-time Grade 1-placed colt breezed a half-mile in :48.92 on Friday at Palm Beach Downs.
Honor A. P.: The San Felipe (G2) runner-up continued his preparations for the Santa Anita Derby by blazing 5 furlongs in a bullet :59.20 on Friday at Santa Anita.
Max Player: Aiming for a possible start in the Belmont, the Withers (G3) winner took to the Belmont Park training track on Friday, breezing 6 furlongs in 1:13.87.
Mischevious Alex: The Gotham (G3) winner clocked 6 furlongs in 1:13.20 on Wednesday at Palm Meadows. The June 20 Woody Stephens (G1) is next.
Modernist: The Louisiana Derby (G2) third-place finisher, likely for the Belmont, breezed an easy half-mile in :49.40 on Wednesday at Payson Park.
Mr. Big News: Oaklawn S. winner turned in a maintenance half-mile work on Thursday at Churchill Downs, going the distance in :49.20.
Nadal: In his first workout since winning the second division of the Arkansas Derby (G1), Nadal sped 4 furlongs in a bullet :48.00 on Wednesday at Santa Anita.
Rushie: Promising allowance winner blazed 5 furlongs in :59.40 on Saturday at Santa Anita.
Shivaree: Under consideration for a start in the Belmont, the Florida Derby (G1) runner-up breezed 5 furlongs over a sloppy surface at Gulfstream Park on Sunday, negotiating the distance in 1:02.24.
Storm the Court: Reigning 2-year-old champion clocked a half-mile in :48.60 on Saturday at Santa Anita.
Thousand Words: After taking a little time off, the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) champion returned to action with a modest half-mile in :49.20 on Saturday at Santa Anita.
Tiz the Law: Two-time Grade 1 winner picked up his preparations for the Belmont by blazing 5 furlongs in a bullet :59.75 on Sunday at Palm Meadows.
Looking Ahead to the Kentucky Derby
The next Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race on the agenda is the Santa Anita Derby on June 6, which is expected to feature a rematch Authentic and Honor A. P., the top two finishers from the San Felipe.
But two of California’s best 3-year-olds will be absent from Santa Anita’s signature sophomore test—Arkansas Derby winners Charlatan and Nadal have their sights set on the June 20 Belmont instead, where they will endeavor to keep their Triple Crown hopes alive in the first leg of the restructured series.