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
Thousand Words – winner of the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) and Robert B. Lewis (G3) during the winter – entered the Shared Belief S. at Del Mar last Saturday with 33 Road to the Kentucky Derby qualification points to his credit, placing him on the bubble for qualifying.
But thanks to a perfect front-running ride from jockey Abel Cedillo, Thousand Words sprang an upset victory in the 1 1/16-mile Shared Belief, holding off Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Honor A. P. to prevail by three-quarters of a length. Now with 83 points in the bag, Thousand Words is ranked seventh on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, virtually assuring him a spot in the Churchill Downs starting gate.
Honor A. P. ran well in defeat, overcoming a troubled start and a wide trip to finish second, placing him third on the leaderboard with 140 points. Kiss Today Goodbye came home third (good for 10 points) but is not currently Triple Crown nominated, while the previously undefeated Cezanne weakened to finish fourth and is likely out of the Derby picture with just 5 points under his belt.
On the Kentucky Derby Work Tab
Anneau d’Or: Completed his preparations for Sunday’s Ellis Park Derby when breezing 5 furlongs in 1:01.60 at Del Mar on Saturday.
Art Collector: Cruised 4 furlongs in :48.80 over a muddy track at Churchill Downs on Saturday, his final breeze before the Ellis Park Derby.
Attachment Rate: Took to the Churchill Downs main track on Saturday and worked 5 furlongs in 1:01.
Authentic: Haskell (G1) winner returned to the Del Mar work tab with a half-mile in :50.20 on Saturday.
Candy Tycoon: Fired off a half-mile in :49.33 at Saratoga on Sunday.
Caracaro: Peter Pan (G3) runner-up breezed 6 furlongs in 1:15.99 on Saturday at Saratoga, his final breeze leading up to Saturday’s Travers (G1).
Country Grammer: Gallant Peter Pan (G3) winner returned to the work tab with a swift half-mile in :47.66 on Saturday at Saratoga, his one and only breeze leading up to the Travers.
Enforceable: Turned in an easy 5-furlong move on Saturday at Churchill Downs, going the distance in 1:02.60 over a muddy track.
Finnick the Fierce: Threw down a bullet half-mile in :47 on Wednesday at The Thoroughbred Center.
Major Fed: Splashed his way over a muddy track at Churchill Downs on Saturday, recording 4 furlongs in :50.20.
Max Player: With an eye toward starting in the Travers, the Belmont (G1) third-place finisher worked 5 furlongs in 1:01.55 over the Belmont Park training track on Monday.
Pneumatic: Clocked 5 furlongs in 1:00.45 on Sunday at Saratoga.
Rushie: Blazed a bullet half-mile in :47 on Wednesday at Del Mar.
Shared Sense: Traveled an easy half-mile in :50.40 on Sunday at Churchill Downs.
Shivaree: Waltzed through an easy workout on Saturday at Saratoga, breezing 5 furlongs in 1:03.27.
Sole Volante: Took a spin over the Palm Meadows turf course on Friday, clocking 5 furlongs in a bullet 1:02.
South Bend: Ohio Derby (G3) runner-up showed speed over the Saratoga training track on Sunday, going 5 furlongs in a bullet 1:00.70. The Travers is next on the agenda.
Storm the Court: Turned in a fast workout on Sunday at Del Mar, traveling 5 furlongs in :59.80.
Tiz the Law: Wrapped up his preparations for the Travers when rocketing 5 furlongs in :59.95 on Saturday at Saratoga.
Uncle Chuck: Aiming for a showdown with Tiz the Law in the Travers, the Los Alamitos Derby (G3) winner sped 5 furlongs in a bullet 1:00.20 on Saturday at Del Mar.
Looking Ahead to the Kentucky Derby
Two major Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races will take place this weekend, starting with the Travers on Saturday at Saratoga. The historic 1 1/4-mile “Midsummer Derby” will pit Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law against the talented up-and-comers Uncle Chuck and Country Grammer with 170 qualification points (split 100-40-20-10 among the top four finishers) on the line.
The action continues on Sunday with the Ellis Park Derby at Ellis Park, which is expected to attract a large field led by Blue Grass (G2) winner Art Collector and Ohio Derby (G3) victor Dean Martini. The 1 1/8-mile event serves as the penultimate Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race and will award qualification points to the top four finishers on a 50-20-10-5 basis.