©2015 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.
This Saturday, with three marquee races on tap, the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” enters the stretch drive taking us to Kentucky, New York and California where winners of those three races will each receive 100 qualifying points and a guaranteed spot in Derby starting gate on the first Saturday in May.
At Santa Anita Park in California, Dortmund been tabbed as the 3-5 morning line favorite in the 78th running of the $1 million Santa Anita Derby (G1). Post Time is 6:30 p.m. ET and the race will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network from 5:00-7:00 p.m. ET.
Dortmund, ranked sixth in Kentucky Derby point standings, comes into this race undefeated in five starts for trainer Bob Baffert and, without question, he is the deserving favorite. His perfect run includes wins in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1), Robert B. Lewis (G3) and the Sand Felipe (G2) stakes. A big win Saturday could make him the Derby favorite.
Like most everyone else, I’ll be watching to see how well he runs in the Santa Anita Derby (G1).
Prospect Park (7-2), currently 20th in point standings, perhaps is the only horse in this herd that can pull the upset over Dortmund. The only time they’ve ran against each other was in the San Felipe (G2) where Dortmund won by 1¼ lengths over a fast closing Prospect Park.
Prospect Park comes into this race with a 2-2-1 record in six starts for trainer Clifford Sise and he has room to improve in his third start of the season. Sise and jockey Kent Desormeaux are optimistic about the chances of Prospect Park in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and you can read more about that here.
I look for Prospect Park to run a good race.
One Lucky Dane (5-1) and Bolo (4-1) both have good speed and if they can carry that speed to nine furlongs they could be a factor in this race.
One Lucky Dane comes into this race for Baffert with a 2-1-1 record in five starts and he’ll need a first or second place finish in order to qualify for the Derby. Bolo, also will need to finish first or second and he comes into this race with a 2-0-1 record in four starts for trainer Carla Gaines.
The Santa Anita Derby (G1) has been won by Baffert a record six times and this race has a rich history of producing quality competitors in the Kentucky Derby. You can read more about the history of this race in the 2015 Media Guide.
The winner of the Santa Anita Derby (G1) will receive 100 points, second-place finisher will receive 40 points, third-place finisher will get 20 points and fourth-place finisher will get 10 points.
Here’s a look at the current top twenty Derby qualifiers
2015 KENTUCKY DERBY LEADERBOARD
Individual Leaders ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1. International Star, 171, Mike Maker, $940,979
2. Mubtaahij (IRE), 100, Mike de Kock, $1,400,000
3. Materiality, 100, Todd Pletcher, $632,028
4. Upstart, 76, Rick Violette Jr., $807,680
5. El Kabeir, 75, John Terranova II, $620,792
6. Dortmund, 70, Bob Baffert, $630,000
7. Carpe Diem, 64, Todd Pletcher, $870,000
8. American Pharoah, 60, Bob Baffert, $810,000
9. Itsaknockout, 60, Todd Pletcher, $288,560
10. Firing Line, 58, Simon Callaghan, $530,000
11. *Dubai Sky, 50, Bill Mott, $371,780
12. War Story, 44, Tom Amoss, $195,000
13. Maftool, 40, Saeed bin Suroor, $$630,595
14. Ami’s Flatter, 40, Josie Carroll, $195,200
15. Stanford, 40, Todd Pletcher, $151,400
16. Conquest Typhoon, 26, Mark Casse, $430,827
17. Far Right, 22, Ron Moquett, $385,906
18. Keen Ice, 22, Dale Romans, $136,520
19. Madefromlucky, 20, Todd Pletcher, $150,000
20. Prospect Park, 20, Cliff Sise, Jr., $80,000
20. *Tiz Shea D, 20, Bill Mott, $80,000
* Late nominations to the Kentucky Derby.