1. Orb (9.25 points)
After his impressive victory in the Grade I Florida Derby last month, Orb has become a bona fide celebrity on the Derby Trail. This week, Joel Rosario picked up the mount on Shug McGaughey's top prospect when John Velasquez (Orb's regular rider) committed to Verrazano. McGaughey is giving his colt a rest before preparing for next month's Run For The Roses, with no published workouts since his last start.
2. Goldencents (8.25 points)
It's been a great week for Goldencents' owner, Rick Pitino. The NCAA men's basketball Championship is great and all, but Goldencents' victory in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby assured him a place in the Kentucky Derby. While outlasting the likes of Baffert trainees Flashback and Super Ninety NIne, Goldencents pushes trainer Doug O'Neill into the Triple Crown spotlight once again.
3. Verrazano (7.50 points)
While many race fans would've liked to see more out of top Pletcher prospect Verrazano in last week's Grade I Wood Memorial, it was a win against top competition and it gave the colt a spot in the Kentucky Derby. Mike Watchmaker at DRF mentioned the odd pace of the Wood, which could show Verrazano to be a very pace-adaptive horse. Verrazano remains undefeated and will make his next start in the Derby.
4. Itsmyluckyday (6.25 points)
Itsmylucky day began preparing for the Kentucky Derby Thursday at Calder, breezing five furlongs in 1:01.00. He's shown the ability to outrun the nation's top competition while taking part in the Grade III Holy Bull Stakes in January and the Grade I Florida Derby last month where he finished second.
5. Revolutionary (5.75 points)
Javier Castellano was aboard for Revolutionary's last two victories in the Grade III Withers Stakes and last week's Grade II Louisiana Derby. Castellano committed to ride Normandy Invasion in the Derby, however, leaving some mystery as to who will handle the Pletcher trainee come May. The only other riders to be aboard Revolutionary are John Velasquez (who has committed to Verrazano) and Ramon Dominguez who is currently recovering from a head injury.
6. Normandy Invasion (5.13 points)
Normandy Invasion might have created more buzz for his performance in the Wood Memorial, than the winner, Verrazano. Closing with lightning-quick speed to overtake Vyjack for second-place, Normandy Invasion grabbed some much-needed qualification points to all-but-secure a place in the Derby starting gate.
7. Will Take Charge (3.00)
The Rebel Stakes winner gave trainer D. Wayne Lukas a one-two punch on the Derby trail. Outlasting fellow Lukas-trainee Oxbow at the wire, Will Take Charge secured a spot in the Kentucky Derby. While not the most constistent of three-year-olds, the son of Unbridled's Song showed an impressive will-to-win in the Rebel, and could be a legitimate under the radar Derby propspect.
8. Vyjack (2.50 points)
Vyjack, while finishing third in the Wood Memorial, certainly disappointed in his most important Derby prep. Putting his undefeated record on the line, not only did he lose out to Verrazano, but fizzled down the stretch only to be overtaken by Normandy Invasion at the wire. Vyjack lost some luster his last time out, but could return to form in time for Derby day.
T9. Overanalyze (1.75 points)
After a clunker in the Grade III Gotham Stakes last month, Overanalyze seeks to regain some form as he starts in Saturday's Grade I Arkansas Derby. The Gotham was his only start this year, after a two year old season that was capped by an impressive win in the Grade II Remsen Stakes. Overanalyze has shown he can compete in quality fields, but will need to get back in the groove with a good showing Saturday.
T9. Oxbow (1.75 points)
Oxbow seeks his first win since the Grade III Lecomte Stakes in January. He's had some impressive showings, most notably being beaten by only a nose in the Rebel Stakes, but needs a quality win to be taken seriously as a contender. He'll get that chance in Saturday's Arkansas Derby where he'll need to deal with upstart War Academy and redemption-seeking Overanalyze.
First Five Out
11. Uncaptured (1.50 points)
12. Mylute (1.25 points)
13. Govenor Charlie (0.75 points)
14. Lines Of Battle (0.50 points)
T15. Palace Malice (0.38 points)
T15. Super Ninety Nine (0.38 points)
Others Receiving Votes: Departing, Code West, Java's War, Tiz A Minister, Black Onyx