Kentucky Derby Alumni Update for Oct. 5

Profile Picture: Rowan Ward

October 5th, 2021

We're deep into the fall racing season. Between Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" races and allowance preps for winter campaigns, many of the horses who raced in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1) over the last few years have been in action over the last week.

Let's check in with the runners, and the ones we can expect to see soon!

  • Medina Spirit (crossed wire 1st, 2021 Kentucky Derby) faced older company for the first time in the Awesome Again (G1) on Oct. 2 at Santa Anita. He soon cleared inside, kept on as Tizamagician tried to give him some pace pressure, and drew off in the lane. He finished the 1 1/8 miles five lengths clear of longshot Stilleto Boy, clinching his berth in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1).
  • Necker Island (9th, 2020 Kentucky Derby), most recently eighth in the TVG S. at Kentucky Downs Sept. 8, got back on track Oct. 3 at Churchill. He dropped to three-other-than allowance company, switched back to dirt, and cut back to seven furlongs. Settled a few lengths off the pace, he made his bid into the turn, vied in upper stretch, and kicked clear in the final furlong to win by 4 1/2 lengths.
  • Major Fed (10th, 2020 Kentucky Derby) returned Oct.1 from a three-month layoff in a second-level allowance going 1 1/16 miles on dirt. He had won his previous start and, bet down to 9-5 favoritism, came back just as sharp. Major Fed chased midfield, made his bid in the lane, led near a sixteenth of a mile out, and ran clear to win by 2 1/4 lengths.
  • South Bend (15th, 2020 Kentucky Derby) got back on dirt for the Ack Ack (G3) Oct. 2 at Churchill Downs. In last most of the race, he began to rally two wide approaching the lane, swung out, and chased on to finish fifth in the field of nine, 4 1/2 lengths behind Plainsman.
  • Code of Honor (2nd, 2019 Kentucky Derby) returned to Grade 1 company Oct. 2, contesting the nine-furlong Woodward. Breaking last in a field of six, he soon made his way to midfield, but did not kick on in the lane. He crossed the wire fourth, five lengths behind frontrunning winner Art Collector.
  • In the Lukas Classic (G3) on October 2, Tacitus (3rd, 2019 Kentucky Derby) made his first start since the Saudi Cup in February. Sent off the distant second betting choice behind 1-9 shot Knicks Go, he was a bit slowly away but soon advanced to track three wide. He never got in range of Knicks Go and was ultimately outkicked for show, finishing fourth beaten 5 1/2 lengths.
  • Firenze Fire (11th, 2018 Kentucky Derby) is expected to defend his title in the Vosburgh (G2) on Oct. 9. He won it last year and finished second two years ago. The son of Poseidon's Warrior often finds his best at Belmont, though he will have to refrain from biting his foes like he did when finishing second in the Forego (G1) Aug. 28.
  • Crazy Beautiful (10th, 2021 Kentucky Oaks) bounced back from a sixth-place finish in the Alabama with a win in the Seneca Overnight S. at Churchill Downs on Oct. 1. Going 1 1/16 miles on the dirt, she stalked just off the pace set by even-money favorite Played Hard. Crazy Beautiful kept finding under a drive in the lane and got up to win by a neck over the pacesetter.