Kentucky Derby 2013: Ranking by Points, First Look – February 5, 2013

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Matt Carter

February 5th, 2013

In years past the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby has been filled with 20 three-year-olds determined by the amount of money earned in graded stake races.  This year; however, Churchill Downs has gone to a point system with points given to horses finishing first through fourth in major prep races.  There are two separate categories; those races designated as the prep season and those in the Championship Series.  For the Prep races the points are broken down 10-4-2-1 with eight races in the Championship Series at 50-20-10-5 and the other eight at 100-40-20-10.  With only two Prep races to go, the rankings are starting to take shape.

Headlining the field are Goldencents and Shanghai Bobby, both with 24 points.  Goldencents earned his with wins in the Delta Jackpot and Sham with a second place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.  Shanghai Bobby won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Champagne as a two-year-old then just finished second in the Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park.  While these are the top two now, improvement is needed to compete on the first Saturday in May.

Oxbow is next with 11 after a third in the CashCall Futurity last year and a dominating win in the Lecomte at Fair Grounds last month.  Oxbow, by Awesome Again out of a Cee’s Tizzy-mare, is bred to the get the Derby distance and is trained by the Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas.  Lukas also has Will Take Charge, winner of the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park, who is in a log jam with 12 other horses at 10 points.

Notable horses at 10 points, which means they have won a prep race, are Violence, Power Broker, Uncaptured, Itsmyluckyday, Revolutionary and the flashy grey, Flashback.  Flashback has been described by trainer Bob Baffert as a “monster” and looks like a colt with a bright future.

Of course there are 1,972 point left on the Kentucky Derby trail, so anything can happen.