Kentucky Derby and Oaks Roundup: April 18, 2022

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April 18th, 2022

After seven months of action, the Road to the Kentucky Derby and the Road to the Kentucky Oaks are complete. All the prep races have been run, and all the qualifying points have been dispersed.

Let’s catch up on last week’s news and notes from the Kentucky Derby and Oaks trails:

Changes on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard

The Road to the Kentucky Derby came to a close with the running of Saturday’s Lexington S. (G3) at Keeneland, worth 20-8-4-2 points to the top four finishers.

In a battle of bubble horses looking to lock up Kentucky Derby qualification berths, Tawny Port emerged victorious. Previously runner-up in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) on synthetic, Tawny Port handled the switch to dirt at Keeneland just fine, rallying steadily from off the pace to win the 1 1/16-mile heat by one length.

Tawny Port has accumulated 60 Kentucky Derby qualification points, vaulting him to 11th place on the leaderboard. Major General (18 points, 27th place), In Due Time (24 points, 22nd place), and Ethereal Road (22 points, 23rd place) completed the Lexington superfecta, but all currently rank outside the leaderboard Top 20.

One horse removed from Kentucky Derby consideration is Slow Down Andy, winner of the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) and Sunland Derby (G3). The accomplished colt has unfortunately been sidelined by an illness, which means Happy Jack (30 points, 20th place) is safely in the Kentucky Derby field. Pioneer of Medina (25 points, 21st place) is next in line to qualify.

On the work tab

Charge It: Fired off a bullet workout on Friday at Palm Beach Downs, blazing half a mile in :47.77.

Crown Pride: The UAE Derby (G2) winner took his first spin over the Churchill Downs main track on Saturday, clocking an easy six furlongs in 1:18.60.

Cyberknife: Clocked five furlongs in 1:00 on Saturday at Churchill Downs, his first move since winning the Arkansas Derby (G1) and shipping north from Fair Grounds.

Epicenter: The Louisiana Derby (G2) winner took another step toward the first Saturday in May when working five furlongs in 1:00.80 on Sunday at Churchill Downs.

Pioneer of Medina: Continued his training at Palm Beach Downs, breezing five furlongs in 1:00.41 on Saturday.

Simplification: Cruised through five furlongs in 1:01.83 on Friday at Gulfstream Park.

Tiz the Bomb: Breezed four furlongs in :48.40 over a good track at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

Un Ojo: Traveled five furlongs in 1:03.15 on Saturday at The Training Center at Copper Crowne.

Zozos: In his second workout at Churchill Downs, the Louisiana Derby (G2) runner-up clocked five furlongs in 1:00.60 on Friday.

Road to the Kentucky Oaks updates

The Road to the Kentucky Oaks wrapped up on April 10, so there weren’t many changes to the leaderboard last weekend.

However, Churchill Downs notes Sunland Park Oaks winner Cleopatras Charge is no longer under consideration for the Kentucky Oaks, which means undefeated UAE Oaks (G3) winner Shahama (50 points) has entered the Top 14 on the leaderboard.

The bubble horse on the outside looking in is currently Gazelle S. (G3) third-place finisher Shotgun Hottie, ranked in 15th place with 41 points.

Looking ahead

With all the prep races complete, the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks fields are pretty much set. The next 19 days will focus on pre-race training as the qualified contenders sharpen their speed and fitness for the first week in May.