Kentucky Derby Roundup: Feb. 17, 2020

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

February 18th, 2020

Stay up to speed on the Road to the Kentucky Derby with a weekly roundup of all the latest news and developments:

Changes on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard

The two divisions of the Risen Star (G2) on Saturday at Fair Grounds kicked off the Kentucky Derby Championship Series and awarded 50 points to their respective winners. As a result, the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard changed significantly over the weekend. Mr. Monomoy, winner of the Risen Star’s first division, took over the top spot with 52 points, while second division winner Modernist debuted in second place with 50 points.

Enforceable, winner of the Lecomte (G3), continued his positive momentum with a runner-up effort in the first division of the Risen Star, moving up to third place on the leaderboard with 33 points. Second division runner-up Major Fed earned 20 points to debut in eighth place, two slots behind Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) winner Silver Prospector. The latter rebounded from a fourth-place effort in the Smarty Jones S. to win the Southwest (G3) on Monday at Oaklawn Park, in the process boosting his total to 21 points.

Further down the list, Silver State (14 points) ranks 11th following a third-place effort in the first division of the Risen Star, while Azul Coast (14 points) sits 12th thanks to his gritty victory in the El Camino Real Derby. Southwest fourth-place finisher Shoplifted (13 points) held steady in 13th place, while none of the other weekend players managed to squeeze into the top 20.

Kentucky Derby News and Notes

Gouverneur Morris, runner-up in the 2019 Breeders’ Futurity (G1), returned to the races on Friday with a winning effort at Tampa Bay Downs. Favored at 1-2 in a 1-mile and 40-yard allowance race, Gouverneur Morris tracked a solid pace before taking over to win by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:38.88, missing the track record by just 0.02.

Then on Sunday at Santa Anita, five-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert unveiled Charlatan in a 6-furlong maiden sprint. Facing three rivals, the son of Speightstown carved out fast fractions of :21.89 and :44.72 before pulling away easily to win by 5 3/4 lengths. His blazing final time of 1:08.85 translated to a massive 101 Brisnet Speed rating, and his overall performance brought back memories of Baffert’s 2018 Triple Crown champion Justify, who similarly romped in his debut on Feb. 18, 2018.

On the Kentucky Derby Work Tab

American Theorem: The American Pharoah (G1) runner-up went a half-mile in :49.80 on Sunday at Santa Anita.

As Seen On Tv: Took things easy on Thursday at Palm Meadows, cruising 5 furlongs in 1:03.85.

Authentic: The Sham (G3) winner clocked 6 furlongs in a bullet 1:12.20 on Wednesday. Trainer Bob Baffert has suggested he might race next in the San Felipe (G2)

Basin: The Hopeful (G1) winner turned in his third straight 5-furlong workout on Friday at Fair Grounds, clocking the distance in 1:01.60.

Chance It: The Mucho Macho Man S. winner rocketed 5 furlongs in :58.33 on Monday at Gulfstream.

Dennis’ Moment: Fired off another fast 5-furlong workout at Gulfstream, blazing the distance in :58.78 on Saturday.

Eight Rings: The American Pharoah winner turned in his first workout of 2020 on Thursday at Santa Anita, firing off a quick 4 furlongs in :47.20.

High Velocity: Third in the Robert B. Lewis (G3), High Velocity worked a half-mile in :47.20 on Thursday at Santa Anita.

Honor A. P.: Highly regarded maiden winner built his fitness by working 7 furlongs in 1:27 on Saturday at Santa Anita.

Maxfield: The breathtaking Breeders’ Futurity (G1) winner made his much-anticipated return to the work tab on Monday at Palm Meadows, breezing an easy 3 furlongs in :38.20.

Shotski: Remsen (G2) winner turned in his first workout since finishing second in the Withers (G3), going an easy half-mile in :51.60 on Sunday at Laurel.

Structor: Aiming for a start in the Fountain of Youth (G2), the undefeated Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) champion breezed 4 furlongs in a bullet :48.30 on Monday at Palm Meadows.

Thousand Words: The Robert B. Lewis winner worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.60 on Monday at Santa Anita.

Wrecking Crew: Third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), Wrecking Crew turned in his first workout of the year on Sunday, cruising 3 furlongs in :37.80 at the San Luis Rey Training Center.

Looking Ahead

The primary Road to the Kentucky Derby will take a brief hiatus until the Feb. 29 Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream, but there’s no need to fear Derby trail withdrawal. The Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby will pick up the slack with the 1,600-meter Hyacinth on Sunday at Tokyo Racecourse, which offers 30 qualification points to the winner. Cattleya Sho winner Dieu du Vin and the debut winners Cafe Pharoah and Nile River (both sons of Triple Crown champion American Pharoah) are among the early entries.