Seems hard to believe, but the 147th Kentucky Derby (G1) is three weeks away.
Since the 146th Derby was run in September instead of its traditional date on the first Saturday in May due to COVID-19, this year’s Derby is just around the corner.
Yes, there’s one more major Derby points qualifier remaining, the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) on Saturday (April 10), plus the lesser-points prep Lexington Stakes (G3).
But let’s take an early peek at the May 1 Derby lineup in what is likely to be a 20-horse maximum field.
The Derby leaderboard has unbeaten Essential Quality (5-for-5) on top with 140 points after victories in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), Southwest Stakes (G3) and the Blue Grass (G2) in his last three starts. Trained by Brad Cox, Essential Quality is your likely Derby favorite.
Six-time Derby winner Bob Baffert has a few Derby probables in Concert Tour (running in the Arkansas Derby) at No. 11 on the leaderboard, Hozier (also running in the Arkansas Derby) at No. 24 with 20 points, and Medina Spirit at No. 7 with 74 points.
Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Hot Rod Charlie with 110 points and No. 2 on the leaderboard. Like the King, Known Agenda, Rock Your World, Bourbonic, Midnight Bourbon, and Mandaloun are also in the top 10.
Others among the top 20 on the leaderboard include Highly Motivated, Helium, Panadol, Soup and Sandwich, Dynamic One, Crowded Trade, Sainthood, Rombauer, and Proxy. Recently off the Derby trail are Rebel’s Romance and Greatest Honour.
Over the years while working at The Associated Press, Rich Rosenblatt became a familiar name to legions of the horse racing fans and industry insiders with his award-winning articles on horse racing and his stories from the backstretch.
In addition to being an astute observer of sports, Rosenblatt is the co-author of The All-American Chili Cookbook. His work has been seen in just about every publication in the world, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Time Magazine.