Under-the-radar Kentucky Derby contenders, volume 14

May 4th, 2020

A weekly look at under-the-radar 3-year-olds, who could step up and make an impact on the Road to the 2020 Kentucky Derby (G1).

Dr Post

Dr Post has been knocking heads with quality horses since his debut over the summer at Saratoga.

After he finished fourth in a maiden sprint, behind future stakes winners Green Light Go and Another Miracle, Dr Post went to the sideline and didn’t run again until March 29, when he rallied to win a 7-furlong sprint at Gulfstream Park in comfortable fashion. The next-out winner Superfecto was among Dr Post’s beaten rivals.

Dr Post made his two-turn debut in the 1 1/16-mile Unbridled S. on April 25 at Gulfstream, and the result was another eye-catching victory. Reserved in fifth place early in a compact field, Dr Post rallied resolutely through tight quarters to beat Gotham (G3) third-place finisher Attachment Rate by 1 1/4 lengths in the solid time of 1:43.07.

Trained by Todd Pletcher for St. Elias Stable, Dr Post has always been cut out to be a good horse. A son of Quality Road, out of the Madison (G2) winner Mary Delaney, Dr Post was purchased for $400,000 as a yearling and is living up to his potential.


Though Rushie is far from a household name, this gray son of Liam’s Map has quietly compiled a solid record. After he broke his maiden going a mile at Santa Anita, Rushie finished second behind future Arkansas Derby (G1) winner Charlatan in an allowance race over the same track and distance.

Trainer Michael McCarthy subsequently shipped Rushie to Oaklawn Park, where the colt contested a 1 1/16-mile allowance race Saturday. With jockey Joel Rosario in the saddle, Rushie tracked steady fractions of :23.33, :47.27, and 1:11.35, then took command and edged away to beat Fountain of Youth (G2) runner-up Candy Tycoon by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:42.89.

Rushie winning an Oaklawn Park allowance race. (Photo by Coady Photography)

Rushie raced a bit greenly in the stretch and ducked in after he reached the front, but he always had Candy Tycoon measured and finished the final sixteenth in 6.39 seconds. Produced by the unraced Colonel John mare Conquest Angel, Rushie is bred to handle classic distances and looks bound for a Kentucky Derby prep in the future.