Barber Road: Kentucky Derby contender profile

Profile Picture: James Scully

May 6th, 2022

Barber Road will bring a late kick to the Kentucky Derby, rallying to finish second in the Arkansas Derby (G1), Southwest (G3), and Smarty Jones, and third in the Rebel (G2), all at Oaklawn Park. The gray Kentucky-bred colt is represented by first-time Kentucky Derby connections.

Barber Road Speed Figures

Top Brisnet Speed: 92, Arkansas Derby

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Top Brisnet Late Pace: 108, Arkansas Derby

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Barber Road Pedigree

Sire: Race Day

Barber Road is from the third crop of Race Day, a gray son of three-time leading sire Tapit, who didn’t make it to the races until the fall of his three-year-old season. After winning his first three starts, Race Day went on to capture the Oaklawn H. (G2), Fayette (G2), and Razorback (G3) at age four. He won 6-of-12 career starts, every win coming at a mile or more, and Race Day is also the sire of Kentucky Derby contender White Abarrio, winner of the Florida Derby (G1) and Holy Bull (G3). Barber Road and White Abarrio will be his first Kentucky Derby runners.

Dam: Encounter

Barber Road is the first stakes-placed runner out of Encounter, who raced only once. She is a daughter of multiple Grade 1 winner Southern Image, who is a grandson of Halo, the sire of Kentucky Derby winners Sunday Silence (1989) and Sunny's Halo (1983).

Read More: Barber Road Pedigree Profile


Barber Road Connections

Owner: William Simon’s WSS Racing

Purchased for $15,000 as a weanling, Barber Road will be the initial Kentucky Derby runner for William Simon’s WSS Racing.

Trainer: John Ortiz

John Ortiz is readying his first Kentucky Derby starter. A former assistant to Bill Mott (won 2019 Kentucky Derby), Graham Motion (won 2011 Kentucky Derby), and Kellyn Gorder, Ortiz went out on his own in 2016, and his barn won 96 races and earned more than $2.6 million in 2021. Ortiz is off to a fast start in 2022, winning 51 races and ranking 15th nationally by earnings ($2.1 million) as of April 25.

Jockey: Reylu Gutierrez

Reylu Gutierrez will make his Kentucky Derby debut.

Learn about all of the Kentucky Derby Contenders and the lead up to the Fastest Two Minutes in Sports here on