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
Although no Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races were held last week, the leaderboard nevertheless underwent some significant changes. Wells Bayou, winner of the Louisiana Derby (G2), has been diagnosed with bone bruising and will be forced to skip the Kentucky Derby. The speedy front-runner had previously been ranked third on the leaderboard with 104 points.
Similarly, Matt Winn (G3) winner Maxfield (9th place, 60 points) suffered a condylar fracture while training toward a start in the July 11 Blue Grass (G2), which will unfortunately prevent the promising colt from continuing down the Triple Crown trail.
News and Notes for the Kentucky Derby
Though the Blue Grass has lost its likely favorite in Maxfield, the historic Derby prep is still expected to draw a strong field. Arkansas Derby (G1) third-place finisher Gouverneur Morris and Lecomte (G3) winner Enforceable have been announced as contenders for the 1 1/8-mile race, while recent Churchill Downs allowance winners Art Collector and Man in the Can are also expected to join the fray.
Meanwhile, the European Road to the Kentucky Derby has been expanded to include a new prep race in Ireland. The 1 5/16-mile Ballysax (G3), scheduled to be run on July 12 over the all-weather track at Dundalk Racecourse, will award qualification points to the top four finishers on a 30-12-6-3 basis.
On the Kentucky Derby Work Tab
Attachment Rate: Cruised an easy half-mile in :51.40 on Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Authentic: Just nine days after finishing second in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), Authentic returned to the Santa Anita work tab with 4 furlongs in :48.80 on Monday.
Basin: Took another step toward the Blue Grass when breezing 5 furlongs in 1:00.20 on Tuesday at Churchill Downs, then followed up with 5 furlongs in 1:01.80 on Monday.
Candy Tycoon: Clocked a half-mile in 49.12 on Saturday over the training track at Saratoga.
Dr. Post: Flashed 4 furlongs in :48.76 on Saturday at Belmont Park, his final breeze leading up to the Belmont Stakes (G1).
Eight Rings: Cruised a half-mile in :49.60 on Friday at Los Alamitos.
Enforceable: Took a big step toward the Blue Grass when rocketing 5 furlongs in a bullet :58.80 on Friday at the Casse Training Center.
Farmington Road: Joined Dr. Post on the Saturday work tab at Belmont, clocking a half-mile in :48.87 to wrap up his preparations for the Belmont Stakes.
Major Fed: Worked a half-mile in :49.00 on Monday at Churchill Downs.
Max Player: Concluded his preparations for the Belmont Stakes when breezing 6 furlongs in 1:12.25 on Saturday at Belmont.
Mischevious Alex: Gotham (G3) winner returned to the work tab following a three-week hiatus and promptly blazed 5 furlongs in a bullet :59.85 on Tuesday at Parx Racing.
Modernist: Preparing for a possible start in the Belmont Stakes, Modernist flew through 5 furlongs in a bullet :59.20 on Sunday at Belmont Park.
Mr. Big News: Sped 5 furlongs in a snappy :59.60 on Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Ny Traffic: Worked an easy 3 furlongs in :37.50 on Sunday at Gulfstream Park.
Pneumatic: One week after firing off 5 furlongs in a bullet :59.80 at Churchill Downs, Pneumatic waltzed a half-mile in :51.60 on Monday to finalize his preparations for the Belmont Stakes.
Shoplifted: Casually went 3 furlongs in :38.75 over the Belmont Park training track on Monday.
Storm the Court: Clocked 6 furlongs in 1:12.80 on Saturday at Santa Anita.
Thousand Words: Turned in a stiff workout on Saturday at Santa Anita, firing off 7 furlongs in 1:25.80.
Tiz the Law: Completed his preparations for the Belmont Stakes when cruising an easy half-mile in :50.42 on Sunday at Belmont.
Looking Ahead to the Kentucky Derby
The Road to the Kentucky Derby continues on Saturday with the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park. Traditionally the third leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont will actually kick off the series this year and award a hefty 150 Kentucky Derby qualification points to the winner. Florida Derby (G1) winner and current Road to the Kentucky Derby qualification leader Tiz the Law (122 points) is expected to start as a heavy favorite in the “Test of the Champion,” which has been shortened from 1 1/2 miles to 1 1/8 miles for 2020.
The Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby will also resume this weekend with the Unicorn (G3) on Sunday at Tokyo Racecourse. Held over 1,600 meters, the Unicorn will split 68 qualification points among the top four finishers on a 40-16-8-4 basis, and early entries include previous Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby stars Cafe Pharoah (impressive winner of the Feb. 23 Hyacinth) and Dieu du Vin (victorious in the Cattleya Sho last fall).