Kentucky Derby Winning Expert Predictions and Guaranteed Picks
Kentucky Derby Expert Handicapping
The oldest living Kentucky Derby winner is Go For Gin, who romped home in the slop under the Twin Spires in 1994. Now 30, the son of Cormorant is in great shape and living his life at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Hall of Champions after standing at stud for more than two decades. Also at the Horse Park is 2003 hero Funny Cide, who turned 21 this year and is back to greeting fans daily at the Hall of Champions after several months with no visitors allowed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
But where are the rest of the living Derby winners? Following is a list, with foaling date and current location. Many are stallions, others are retired and living the good life of a retiree.
2020 Authentic – May 5, 2017 – Stallion ($75,000) at Spendthrift Farm, Lexington, KY.
2019 Country House – May 8, 2016 – Stallion ($7,500) at Darby Dan Farm, Lexington, KY.
2018 Justify – March 28, 2015 – Stallion ($150,000) at Ashford Stud, Versailles, KY.
2017 Always Dreaming – Feb. 25, 2014 – Stallion ($25,000) at WinStar Farm, Versailles, KY.
2016 Nyquist – March 10, 2013 – Stallion ($40,000) at Darley, Lexington, KY.
2015 American Pharoah – Feb. 2, 2012 – Stallion (Private) at Ashford Stud, Versailles, KY.
2014 California Chrome – Feb. 18, 2011 – Stallion ($36,500) at Arrow Stud, Hokkaido, Japan
2013 Orb – Feb. 24, 2010 – Stallion (n/a) at Haras Cuatro Piedras, Uruguay.
2012 I’ll Have Another – April 1, 2009 – Stallion ($6,000) at Ballena Vista Farm, Ramona, CA. 2011 Animal Kingdom – March 20, 2008 – Stallion (Private) at Jbba Shizunai Stallion Station, Hokkaido, Japan
2010 Super Saver – March 18, 2007 – Stallion (Private) at Turkish Jockey Club Izmit Stallion Complex, Izmit, Turkey
2009 Mine That Bird – May 10, 2006 – Retired at Double Eagle Ranch, Roswell, N.M.
2008 Big Brown – April 10, 2005 – Stallion ($5,000) at Irish Hill & Dutchess Views Stallions, Stillwater, N.Y.
2007 Street Sense – Feb. 23, 2004 – Stallion ($75,000) at Darley, Lexington, KY.
2005 Giacomo – Feb. 16, 2002 – Stallion ($2,500) at Oakhurst Equine Veterinary Services, Newberg, OR.
2004 Smarty Jones – Feb. 28, 2001 – Stallion ($3,500) at Equistar Training and Breeding, Annville, PA.
2003 Funny Cide – April 20, 2000 – Retired, Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY.
2000 Fusaichi Pegasus – April 12, 1997 – Stallion ($7,500) at Ashford Stud, Versailles, KY.
1997 Silver Charm – Feb. 22, 1994 – Retired, Old Friends, Georgetown, KY.
1996 Grindstone – Jan. 23, 1993 – Retired, Oakhurst Equine Veterinary Services, Newberg, OR. 1994 Go for Gin April 18, 1991 29 Retired, Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY.
Kentucky Derby Expert Picks
Since 1940, a lot of talk has been placed on a Derby hopeful’s final start and where they will prep. The interest in this annual right of passage for the owners of each horses, and for fans as well, grew to a fever pitch when Churchill Downs switched to a points-driven series in 2012, which gave each significant prep race a certain amount for each race, the most prominent receiving higher points awards. For eight decades, a handful of prep races have stood out among the others as not only producing the most starters overall, but also the most winners.
Most Derby winners produced per prep:
Blue Grass Stakes: 18 (2007, Street Sense, second)
Wood Memorial Stakes: 14 (2003, Funny Cide, second)
Santa Anita Derby: 9 (2018, Justify, won)
Arkansas Derby: 7 (2019, Country House, third)
Florida Derby: 6 (2016, Always Dreaming, won)
Other preps to have produced Derby winners include the Derby Trial, Illinois Derby, Lexington Stakes, Garden State Stakes, Chesapeake Stakes, and allowance races at Churchill Downs.
Last year, due to the four-month Derby delay from the Covid-19 pandemic, Authentic used the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park as his final prep.
Kentucky Derby Expert Handicapping
The most days between a Kentucky Derby win and their previous start belong to Regret (1915, 259 days) and Sir Barton (1918, 238 days). Last year, Authentic had a 49-day break between his Haskell Invitational (G1) win and his start in the Derby.
This year, some runners haven’t started for just a month and at least one – Helium – hasn’t started in 56 days. How much does time between races affect runners? Animal Kingdom in 2011 had a 42-day break between his win in the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes and the Derby. Needles in 1958 also had a 42-day break between his final Derby prep and the Run for the Roses. Barbaro in 2006 had 35 days between his Florida Derby score and the Kentucky Derby.
Conversely, a number of runners had just four days to prep for the Derby, including legends Ciation, Whirlaway and assault.
The following is a list of Kentucky Derby winners since 1929 and the number of days between their last prep and their Kentucky Derby win. Records prior to the 1929 are incomplete.
Kentucky Derby Winners: Days Between Derby and Last Start
49 days: 1
42 days: 2
35 days: 5
34 days: 1
28 days: 9
27 days: 1
21 days: 16
20 days: 1
18 days: 1
17 days: 1
16 days: 1
15 days: 1
14 days: 14
13 days: 1
10 days: 1
9 days: 12
8 days: 1
7 days: 10
6 days: 1
4 days: 12
Miriam Lee has always been a horse racing fan thanks to trips to the tracks in her home state of Maryland with her father as kid. She owns an OTTB and is an advocate for promoting the sport among her peers. Miriam studies communication arts at Hood College and will receive her master’s degree in 2021, which she plans to use for a career in screenwriting. Her all-time favorite racehorse is Man O War.