Who will win the Run for the Roses?

Mendelssohn romped home in the Group 2 UAE Derby earlier today, which has left the Kentucky Derby very wide open.

He broke the track record, and earned himself a 106 Beyer Score*, which happens to be the highest three year old Beyer this year. This insanely high score happened when Mendelssohn was not being pushed too hard, and was beginning to be pulled up before the finish.

(*the number reflects not only the winning time, but the time of the race and the inherent speed of the track over which it was run)

Bare in mind that Mendelssohn is still only two, having been born on May 17th. Ryan Moore also said after Mendelssohn’s win that he still has space to improve, which could be very interesting to see.

Many have now marked down Mendelssohn as their Derby horse, so who are his main foes?

First would be Mckinzie. He was unbeaten heading into the Group 2 San Felipe stakes, and technically won the race, beating out Derby favourite Bolt D’Oro. However, in a controversial decision, Bolt D’Oro was handed the race, after a stewards enquiry.

His next start was due to be in the Santa Anita Derby, a Kentucky Derby points race giving 100 points to the winner*. However, he has been pulled out due to an undiagnosed issue with his hind leg, and it is now questionable whether he will make it to the starting gates in May.

The next feature horse is Bolt D’Oro. He was to be favourite for the Derby during his two year old season, even following a disappointing run in the Group 1 Breeder’s Cup Juvenile.

He was handed the victory in the San Felipe Stakes, as previously mentioned, and now without the threat from Mckinzie, looks to take a strong grip on the Santa Anita Derby. Unless a disaster happens, he’s likely to win and take the favourite’s spot in the Kentucky Derby.

Noble Indy currently tops the Kentucky Derby points leaderboard with 110 points following his win in the Louisiana Derby. However, this is partly due to the fact that the other main horses have not ran in their large points races, so he will unlikely be staying there for long.

Other horses, like Justify and Audible, also seek to make the field by winning their prep races, and at the moment Justify looks like one of the largest threats to favouritism.

Finally we have Gronkowski. A classy horse from Britain, who also looks to make the field following a win in the Burradon Stakes at Newcastle. He may not even make the field, but he certainly looks to be one to keep an eye on.

(*The Kentucky Derby Prep Season includes 19 races run from September to February, offering 10-5-2-1 points to the top four finishers in these races.

Next, is the Championship Series. Races offering different amounts of points divide the three sections of the Championship Series. The first involves races offering 50-20-10-5 points to the top four finishers of the races. These races are typically used as prep races for the second leg of the Championship Series and include such events as the Risen Star, Fountain of Youth, Gotham, Tampa Bay Derby and San Felipe.

The second leg of the Championship Series offer races worth 100-50-20-10 points to the top four finishers. Major races in this section of the series include the Florida Derby, UAE Derby, Louisiana Derby, Arkansas Derby, Wood Memorial, Santa Anita Derby, and the Blue Grass Stakes.- USRacing.com)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: