The Travers Stakes and Ellis Park Derby led the last major weekend of Kentucky Derby prep-races. Let TwinSpires help you 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 Contenders Leaderboard
Tiz the Law reiterated his status as the Kentucky Derby favorite with a seemingly effortless victory in Saturday’s Travers (G1) at Saratoga, cementing his place atop the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 372 qualification points. The Sackatoga Stable runner will enter the Run for the Roses with a 6-for-7 record and a chance to keep his Triple Crown dreams alive thanks to a victory in the June 20 Belmont Stakes (G1).
Caracaro, runner-up in the July 16 Peter Pan (G3) at Saratoga, took another step forward to finish second again in the Travers, sufficient to settle in 10th place on the leaderboard with 60 points. Third-place finisher Max Player has likewise accumulated 60 points, but ranks one spot ahead of Caracaro by virtue of having earned more purse money in non-restricted stakes races. South Bend rallied mildly to complete the Travers superfecta, but with just 18 points under his belt, he’s sitting 27th in the qualification rankings and will need defections in order to compete on Derby Day.
Sunday’s Ellis Park Derby at Ellis Park had a smaller impact on the leaderboard. An easy triumph by Blue Grass (G2) winner Art Collector carried him from fifth place to third with 150 points, while gallant runner-up Attachment Rate climbed to 18th position with 35 points. Necker Island (14 points, 28th place) and Rowdy Yates (7 points, 31st place) rounded out the top four in the Ellis Park Derby, but currently rank well outside the Top 20.
Among the prominent runners to disappoint over the weekend were Country Grammer (fifth in the Travers), Uncle Chuck (sixth in the Travers), Shared Sense (fifth in the Ellis Park Derby), Dean Martini (sixth in the Ellis Park Derby), and Anneau d’Or (eighth in the Ellis Park Derby). Most of those are no longer under Kentucky Derby consideration, while Daily Racing Form reports that a decision on Shared Sense is pending.
On the Kentucky Derby Work Tab
Authentic: Turned in a very easy workout on Saturday at Del Mar, waltzing through 5 furlongs in 1:03.
Dr Post: Took things easy on Friday at Saratoga, going a half-mile in :50.55.
Enforceable: Worked 5 furlongs in 1:01 on Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Honor A. P.: Wasted no time returning to the Del Mar work tab, clocking 3 furlongs in :37.80 just one week after finishing second in the Shared Belief S.
King Guillermo: On Saturday, the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner turned in his first workout since arriving at Churchill Downs, breezing 4 furlongs in :48.20.
Major Fed: Burned up the Churchill Downs main track on Sunday, blazing 4 furlongs in a bullet :46.80.
Ny Traffic: In his first work since finishing second in the Haskell (G1), Ny Traffic breezed a half-mile in :49.72 on Thursday at Saratoga.
Pneumatic: Wrapped up his preparations for a potential start in the Pegasus S. by breezing an easy half-mile in :50.56 on Sunday at Saratoga.
Rushie: Clocked five-eighths of a mile in 1:00.40 on Thursday at Del Mar.
Sole Volante: Cranked out a long workout over the Palm Meadows turf course on Sunday, traversing a mile in 1:40.
Swiss Skydiver: Accomplished filly breezed 5 furlongs in 1:01.49 on Saturday at Saratoga, her final work prior to competing in the Alabama (G1).
Thousand Words: Worked a straightforward half-mile in :49.60 on Monday at Del Mar.
Looking Ahead to the Kentucky Derby
The Road to the Kentucky Derby will draw to a close on Saturday with the Pegasus S. at Monmouth Park, a 1 1/16-mile event awarding points to the top four finishers on a 20-8-4-2 basis. The race could provide an opportunity for Belmont Stakes (G1) fourth-placer Pneumatic (currently 22nd on the leaderboard with 25 points) to lock up a spot in the Derby starting gate. A top-four finish in the Pegasus will suffice.