Kentucky Derby Roundup: May 18, 2020

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

May 18th, 2020

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

Kentucky Derby News and Notes

The Road to the Kentucky Derby received a major update last week when Churchill Downs released a tentative slate of qualifying races to be held during the spring and summer. This new development has provided much-needed clarification for the connections of Derby contenders wondering how to best prepare for the first Saturday in September.

Along with postponed editions of the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and Blue Grass (G2), seven new races have been added to the agenda, with additional races on the New York circuit to be included at a later date.

For now, the schedule of upcoming Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races is as follows:

Date, Race, Points Awarded
May 23, Matt Winn (G3) at Churchill Downs, 50-20-10-5
June 6, Santa Anita Derby (G1) at Santa Anita, 100-40-20-10
July 4, Los Alamitos Derby (G3) at Los Alamitos, 20-8-4-2
July 18, Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park, 100-40-20-10
Aug. 15, Pegasus S. at Monmouth Park, 20-8-4-2
TBA, Indiana Derby (G3) at Indiana Grand, 20-8-4-2
TBA, Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland, 100-40-20-10
TBA, Shared Belief S. at Del Mar, 50-20-10-5
TBA, Ellis Park Derby at Ellis Park, 50-20-10-5

Should the Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park be rescheduled for a date prior to the Kentucky Derby, the traditional third leg of the Triple Crown will award Derby qualification points on a 150-60-30-15 basis.

On the Work Tab for the Kentucky Derby

Authentic: Continued his preparations for the Santa Anita Derby by speeding 6 furlongs in a bullet 1:11 on Sunday at Santa Anita.

Azul Coast: Worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.80 on Sunday at Santa Anita.

Cezanne: Fired off a bullet 5 furlongs from the Santa Anita starting gate on Thursday, clocking the distance in :59 as he prepares for his much-anticipated career debut.

Dr Post: Worked a half-mile in :49.37 on Friday at Palm Beach Downs.

Echo Town: Breezed a quick 5 furlongs on Friday at Oaklawn Park, getting the distance in 1:00.60.

Ete Indien: Took to the Palm Meadows turf course on Sunday and clocked a bullet half-mile in :47.

Field Pass: Posted a half-mile in :48.60 over the Churchill training track on Monday.

Finnick the Fierce: On Thursday at Oaklawn, Finnick the Fierce turned in his first workout since finishing third in the second division of the Arkansas Derby (G1), blazing 4 furlongs in a bullet :46.80.

Gold Street: Cruised a modest half-mile in :50 on Monday at Churchill Downs, his first breeze since shipping north from Fair Grounds.

Honor A. P.: Turned in another stiff workout in preparation for the Santa Anita Derby, speeding 7 furlongs in 1:26.60 on Thursday at Santa Anita.

Major Fed: Aiming for a start in Saturday’s Matt Winn, Major Fed cruised through a half-mile in :51.40 over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

Maxfield: Wrapped up his preparations for the Matt Winn by clocking 4 furlongs in a quick :47.20 on Saturday at Keeneland.

Max Player: The Withers (G3) winner will return from a nearly 4-month layoff in the Matt Winn, and with that goal in mind, Max Player breezed 6 furlongs over the Belmont Park training track on Tuesday, getting the distance in 1:14.64.

Modernist: Louisiana Derby (G2) third-place finisher returned to the work tab on Wednesday at Payson Park, breezing 3 furlongs in :38.60.

Mystic Guide: Cruised through 5 furlongs in an easy 1:02.60 on Friday at Fair Hill.

Ny Traffic: On Sunday at Gulfstream Park, the Louisiana Derby runner-up worked 5 furlongs in a sharp 1:00.06.

Shivaree: Stepped up to 5 furlongs in his most recent workout, cruising the distance in 1:01.85 at Gulfstream.

Shoplifted: Clocked 5 furlongs in 1:01 on Tuesday at Oaklawn.

Sole Volante: Joined stablemate Ete Indien with a breeze over the Palm Meadows turf course on Sunday, going a half-mile in :47.60.

Structor: Turned in another easy 3-furlong breeze over the Stonestreet Training track on Friday, posting a time of :37.89.

Tiz the Law: Kept things simple on Monday, strolling through a half-mile in :50.20 at Palm Meadows.

Wells Bayou: Took a spin over the Churchill Downs main track on Sunday, breezing a half-mile in :50.40.

Looking Ahead to the Kentucky Derby

The Road to the Kentucky Derby resumes on Saturday with the Matt Winn at Churchill Downs, which will award a total of 85 qualification points to the top four finishers. A deep field is expected to assemble for the 1 1/16-mile race, led by stakes winners Maxfield, Max Player, and Mr. Big News plus the graded stakes-placed Major Fed. Prevailing in the Matt Winn will all but certainly secure the winner a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.