Stay up to speed on the past week’s latest Road to the Kentucky Derby with news and developments. Featuring the Peter Pan Stakes, CCA Oaks and Haskell Stakes.
Changes on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard
With his hard-fought victory in Saturday’s Haskell (G1) at Monmouth Park, three-time graded stakes winner Authentic rose to second place on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 200 points, cementing his status as a key Run for the Roses contender.
Haskell runner-up Ny Traffic also made a strong move in the standings, advancing to fourth with 110 points. Meanwhile, the Haskell’s distant third-place finisher Dr Post climbed to seventh place with 80 points, almost certainly sufficient to secure a spot in the Derby starting gate.
Two days earlier, Country Grammer employed ground-saving tactics to secure his first graded stakes victory in Thursday’s Peter Pan (G3) at Saratoga, picking up 50 qualification points to settle in 11th place. Caracaro put up a good fight down the homestretch, but ultimately settled for second place, earning 20 points to rank 26th on the leaderboard.
Points were also redistributed last week following the disqualification of Charlatan from his victory in the first division of the May 2 Arkansas Derby (G1). But since Charlatan, runner-up Basin, and third-place finisher Gouverneur Morris are all expected to skip the Derby for one reason or another, the impact of the disqualification on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard has been minimal. Winning Impression (originally fourth in the Arkansas Derby) has jumped from 10 points to 20 points to rank 25th, while Anneau d’Or (fifth across the finish line) has climbed from 22 points to 32 points to settle in 19th place.
On the Kentucky Derby Work Tab
Anneau d’Or: After scratching from the Los Alamitos Derby (G3) with an illness, Anneau d’Or returned to the work tab with 5 furlongs in 1:00.80 on Sunday at Del Mar.
Azul Coast: Breezed 5 furlongs in 1:01 at Del Mar on Wednesday.
Cezanne: Clocked 5 furlongs in a rapid 1:00 on Saturday at Del Mar, one of the fastest moves of the morning.
Dean Martini: Aiming for a start in the Ellis Park Derby, the Ohio Derby (G3) winner breezed a half-mile in :48.80 on Wednesday at Churchill Downs.
Eight Rings: Worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.40 on Monday at Del Mar.
Honor A. P.: Turned in a maintenance workout on Sunday at Del Mar, cruising 5 furlongs in 1:02.60.
King Guillermo: Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner posted a bullet workout on Sunday at Gulfstream Park, breezing 5 furlongs in 1:00.22 over a muddy track.
Max Player: Cruised 5 furlongs in 1:02.55 over the Belmont Park training track on Tuesday, then followed up with another 5 furlongs in 1:02.21 on Monday.
Storm the Court: Gave turf a try on Sunday morning at Del Mar, clocking 5 furlongs in 1:00.40 over a firm course.
Thousand Words: Sped through 5 furlongs in 1:00.60 on Friday at Del Mar.
Tiz the Law: Shipped to Saratoga and blazed 5 furlongs in a bullet :59.63 on Saturday, a stiff move as he gears up for the Aug. 8 Travers (G1).
Uncle Chuck: Aiming for a showdown with Tiz the Law in the Travers, Uncle Chuck sped 6 furlongs in 1:13.40 on Monday at Del Mar.
News and Notes on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks
The improving Paris Lights brought her record around two turns to a perfect 3-for-3 when battling to victory in Saturday’s Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) at Saratoga, securing 100 qualification points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks.
A stoutly-bred daughter of Curlin out of a Bernardini mare, Paris Lights would normally rank fourth on the leaderboard, but she’s not currently nominated to the Kentucky Oaks and will have to be supplemented in order to compete.
Crystal Ball, gallant runner-up in the Coaching Club American Oaks, picked up 40 points to debut in 14th place on the leaderboard. Meanwhile, Antoinette (40 points, 13th place) and Tonalist’s Shape (70 points, 7th place) climbed a few slots up the leaderboard by finishing third and fourth in the Coaching Club American Oaks.
Looking Ahead to the Kentucky Derby
Following a busy couple of weeks, the Road to the Kentucky Derby will take a one-week hiatus before resuming on Aug. 1 with the Shared Belief S. at Del Mar. A 1 1/16-mile event awarding qualification points on a 50-20-10-5 basis to the top four finishers, the Shared Belief is expected to draw Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Honor A. P. and perhaps the undefeated allowance winner Cezanne.