Kentucky Derby Roundup: Feb. 24, 2020

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

February 24th, 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 Leaderboard

The action shifted to Japan last week with the running of the Hyacinth S., the penultimate leg of the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby. The 1,600-meter race offered qualification points to the top four finishers on a 30-12-6-3 basis, and Triple Crown nominees showed their appreciation by sweeping the superfecta.

The victorious Cafe Pharoah was particularly impressive. A gate-to-wire debut winner going 1,800 meters at Nakayama, Cafe Pharoah broke poorly in the Hyacinth and briefly lost contact with the field, but overcame off this slow start to rally wide and win by 1 1/4 lengths. The son of American Pharoah sprinted the final 600 meters in a snappy :35.20 and recorded a final time of 1:37.70, the fastest running of the Hyacinth since multiple Group 1 winner Gold Dream clocked 1:35.40 in 2016.

Cafe Pharoah now sits atop the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby, with Hyacinth runner-up Tagano Beauty moving into third place. Yaugau and Longonot, who rounded out the top four in the Hyacinth, rank fifth and sixth on the leaderboard.

On the Kentucky Derby Work Tab

Ajaaweed: On the board in three Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races, Ajaaweed worked a half-mile in :49.95 over a wet-fast track on Saturday at Palm Meadows.

American Theorem: Runner-up in the American Pharoah (G1), American Theorem took another step toward his 2020 debut when breezing 5 furlongs in 1:01.40 on Friday at Santa Anita.

As Seen On Tv: Turned in his final workout before the Fountain of Youth (G2), breezing 4 furlongs in :48.55 on Friday at Palm Meadows.

Authentic: The Sham (G3) winner continues to train sharply at Santa Anita, firing off a swift half-mile in :47.60 on Wednesday.

Basin: Unraced since winning the Hopeful (G1) in September, Basin took another step on the comeback trail when breezing 5 furlongs in 1:02.20 on Thursday at Fair Grounds.

Chance It: Blazed 3 furlongs in a bullet :34.68 on Monday at Gulfstream Park, his final move before tackling graded stakes company in the Fountain of Youth.

Dennis’ Moment: The Iroquois (G3) winner will make his much-anticipated return to action in the Fountain of Youth, and to that end, Dennis’ Moment breezed 4 furlongs in :48.05 on Sunday at Gulfstream.

Eight Rings: The star-crossed American Pharoah winner has returned from a winter layoff in fine form. In his second workout of the year, Eight Rings flew through 5 furlongs in 1:00.20 on Friday at Santa Anita.

Green Light Go: Aiming for a start in the Fountain of Youth, last year’s Champagne (G1) runner-up worked 6 furlongs on Friday at Palm Meadows, getting the distance in 1:13.

Honor A. P.: Exciting maiden winner turned in a stamina-building workout on Sunday at Santa Anita, going 7 furlongs in 1:28.20.

High Velocity: The Bob Hope (G3) winner worked three-quarters of a mile in 1:12.40 on Monday at Santa Anita.

Independence Hall: On Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs, Independence Hall turned in his first workout since finishing second in the Sam F. Davis (G3), cruising a half-mile in :50.

Maxfield: The Breeders’ Futurity (G1) winner turned in his second workout of the year on Monday at Palm Meadows, breezing an easy 4 furlongs in :51.20.

Nadal: The undefeated San Vicente (G2) winner returned to the work tab on Sunday at Santa Anita, clocking 6 furlongs in a bullet 1:11.80.

Shotski: In preparation for the Fountain of Youth, Remsen (G2) winner Shotski worked a half-mile on Saturday at Laurel Park, going the distance in :48.40.

Silver State: Placed in the Lecomte (G3) and Risen Star (G2), Silver State worked 4 furlongs on Monday at Fair Grounds, recording a time of :49.20.

Spa City: A fast maiden winner at Gulfstream, Spa City worked a solid half-mile on Saturday at Palm Meadows, traversing the wet fast racing surface in :48.60.

Storm the Court: The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner flashed 5 furlongs in 1:01.20 on Sunday at Santa Anita.

Thousand Words: Aiming for the San Felipe (G2), Thousand Words stretched his legs over 7 furlongs on Monday at Santa Anita, clocking the distance in 1:26.80.

Wrecking Crew: Third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Wrecking Crew went 5 furlongs in 1:02.20 on Friday at San Luis Rey.

Looking Ahead

The Road to the Kentucky Derby heats up again on Saturday with the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream. The historic 1 1/16-mile race is expected to draw one of the strongest Derby prep fields so far this season, with Iroquois winner Dennis’ Moment returning to action against Holy Bull (G3) runner-up Ete Indien and Mucho Macho Man S. 1-2 finishers Chance It and As Seen On Tv. With 85 Kentucky Derby qualification points on the line, including 50 to the winner, the Fountain of Youth is a race you won’t want to miss.