©2016 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.
(Due to the Thanksgiving Holiday, this will be an abbreviated edition of the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) blog.)
The Road to the Kentucky Derby takes us takes us this Saturday to the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs where McCraken will go to the starting gate as the 7-2 morning line favorite in 90th running of the $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2). Post time is 5:56 p.m. ET.
McCraken comes into this race with a 2-0-0 record in two starts for trainer Ian Wilkes. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
MCCRAKEN was unhurried early, fanned into the seven path entering the lane, rallied down the lane, took over command and drew away late under a brisk drive.
McCraken is the worthy favorite in this spot and I look for him to be competitive in the stretch out to 8½ furlongs.
Wild Shot (4-1) comes into this race for trainer George Arnold with a 1-1-1 record four starts. He was one of my picks in the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity Stakes (G1) at Keeneland where he finished third to Classic Empire. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:
WILD SHOT set the pace early from off the rail, stayed on the inside entering the lane and faltered late in the stretch run.
Trappe Shot, the sire of Wild Shot, raced mostly in sprints from the age of two to four, compiling a 6-2-0 record in 12 starts with $703,884 in career earnings. However, he did stretch out to route racing winning the 8 ½ furlong Long Branch Stakes and finishing second in the nine furlong Izod Haskell Invitational (G1).
Trappe Shot’s best runner to date on the Kentucky Derby Trail has been My Man Sam who finished second in the nine furlong 2016 Toyota Blue Grass (G1) stakes.
I look for Wild Shot to be competitive in this race.
Just Move On (5-1) comes into this race with a 2-1-1 record in five starts for trainer Patrick Byrne. Here’s the video and chart call of his last race:
JUST MOVE ON tracked the pace early, shifted into the four path in the far turn, split horses at the top of the lane, took over command in the stretch and drew clear in the final stages.
A repeat of his last race performance will make Just Move On competitive in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2).
This is the fifth consecutive year for Churchill Downs to use a Leaderboard points system to determine eligibility to get into the Kentucky Derby starting gate. A total of 35 races comprise the Road to the Kentucky Derby and a significant change to the schedule is that the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) will replace the Grey Stakes (G3) as a qualifying race.
In addition, Churchill Downs has partnered with the Japan Racing Association to feature the Cattleya Sho Stakes and Hayacinth Stakes as two qualifying races in the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby.
The winner of the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) will receive 10 points while the second-place finisher will receive 4 points, the third-place finisher will receive 2 points and 1 point will be awarded to the fourth-place finisher. Here’s a look at the current leaders:
2016/2017 KENTUCKY DERBY LEADERBOARD
Ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1. Classic Empire, 30, Mark Casse, $1,459,520
2. Not This Time, 18, Dale Romans $430,210
3. Practical Joke, 14, Chad Brown, $690,000
4. Gunnevera, 10, Antonio Sano, $738,600
5. Lookin At Lee, 10, Steve Asmussen, $275,600
6. Gormley, 10, John Sherriffs, $200,000
7. Klimt, 4, Bob Baffert, $380,000
8. Hot Sean, 4, Bob Baffert, $180,000
9. Syndergaard, 4, Todd Pletcher, $160,000
10. Dangerfield, 2, Doug O’Neill, $132,500
11. Straight Fire, 2, Keith Desormeaux, $96,000
12. Favorable Outcome, 2, Chad Brown, $50,345
13. Wild Shot, 2, Rusty Arnold, II, $50,000
14. Recruiting Ready, 2, Horacio DePaz, $43,750
15. Midnight Pleasure, 1, Craig Dollase, $54,000
16. J Boys Echo, 1, Dale Romans, $50,000
17. Big Gray Rocket, 1, Bob Baffert, $25,000
18. No Dozing, 1, Arnaud Delacour, $25,000
19. Honor Thy Father, 1, Kenny McPeek, $16,203