Bet Now

Kentucky Derby: Encino Moves into Field with Lexington Win

A gate-to-wire victory in the final Kentucky Derby (G1) prep, plus the defection of No More Time, catapulted Encino into contention for the Run for the Roses.

Encino Will Make the Derby Gate with His Lexington Win

The son of 2016 Derby winner Nyquist made a smooth transition from turf to dirt over the weekend in a three-quarter length win in the Lexington Stakes (G3) — the final chance to earn qualifying points for the

Encino with Florent Geroux up wins the 2024 Stonestreet Lexington for trainer Brad Coc and owners Gaodolphin Stable, 2024 Keeneland Spring Meet

150th Derby in less than three weeks.

With 20 points for the win, Encino moved to 21st on the leaderboard with 40 points. The Derby field is limited to 20 starters based on points; on Sunday, No. 19 No More Time was declared out with an injury, and Encino moved into that slot.

T O Password is No. 20 as the Japan road to the Derby top point-earner, which carries an automatic berth.

To Derby or Not to Derby: Godolphin LLC’s Encino

Godolphin LLC owns Encino, and if the decision is made to run in the Derby, trainer Brad Cox would have a third runner – Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Catching Freedom and Blue Grass (G1) runner-up Just a Touch are the others.

“Ultimately (the decision to run in the Derby) will be up to the Godolphin team – Dan Pride, Michael Banahan, Sheikh Mohammed – and if it’s something they want to do, we’ll prepare him.

“I’ll tell you it will either be the Derby or the Preakness (G1).”

Encino was 2-for-3 at Turfway Park, including a win in the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes on March 2, before his win in the Lexington. He’s 3-for-3 in 2024.

Florent Geroux was aboard and said when runner-up The Wine Steward pressed Encino in the stretch, “it gave him a little extra push. I think that’s what he needed because he was getting a little lost out there on his own. But he had plenty left in the tank, the dirt felt great, and it looks like added distance shouldn’t be a problem for him.”

Hades, who upset likely Derby favorite Fierceness in the Holy Bull (G3) but ran off the board in the Florida Derby (G1), finished seventh in a last-ditch effort to improve on his 30 points, which leaves him at No. 24 on the leaderboard.

As of Sunday (April 14), the top 20 Derby qualifiers, from 1-20 are:

Sierra Leone, Fierceness, Catching Freedom, Stronghold, Resilience, Forever Young, Endlessly, Dornoch, Just a Touch, Track Phantom, West Saratoga, Just Steel, Honor Marie, Domestic Product, Catalytic, Deterministic, Society Man, Mystik Dan, Encino, T O Password.

The Derby draw is April 27, with the possibility of withdrawals over the next two weeks. Grand Mo the First is No. 21, Common Defense No. 22, and Epic Ride No. 23 followed by Hades, and No. 25. Uncle Heavy.


Proudly featured on: