The Kentucky Derby Future wager (Pool #2) is available to bet on Friday February 7 – Sunday February 9. The “Run For The Roses” may not be until May 2, but racing fans can bet the action way in advance this weekend at any of the VA-Horseplay OTBs — at Breakers, Ponies & Pints, Buckets and The Windmill — and at any of the Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums in New Kent, Richmond, Hampton and Vinton. Virginia residents can also bet it on line via TVG.com, XpressBet.com, TwinSpires.com and NYRABets.com. Two major stakes for 3-year-olds are on tap — the Grade 3, $250,000 Sam Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday and the Grade 2, $200,000 San Vincente Stakes at Santa Anita on Sunday. The following appeared in John Cherwa’s column in the L.A. Times and provides some insight into this year’s potential Derby stars.
Jon White’s Kentucky Derby Top 10
Time for the good stuff. As always, we’re lucky to have top expert Jon White take a look at what’s happening on the Kentucky Derby trail. Jon makes the morning line at Santa Anita, he’s a licensed steward, and he’s the pre-eminent historian on racing. We’re lucky to have him. So, here’s his Kentucky Derby rankings, brought courtesy of Xpressbet.com.
“Tiz time for a new No. 1.
“In light of Tiz the Law’s dominant three-length victory in last Saturday’s Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park, he takes a giant leap from No. 7 to the top spot on my Kentucky Derby Top 10 this week.
“Tiz the Law proved a punctual 13-10 favorite in the Holy Bull while making his first start as a 3-year-old. He regained his winning ways after finishing a troubled third as a 3-5 favorite on a wet track in Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes in his final start as a 2-year-old. The Constitution colt now has won three of four lifetime starts. Enjoying this newsletter? Consider subscribing to the Los Angeles Times Your support helps us deliver the news that matters most. Become a subscriber.
“Barclay Tagg trains New York-bred Tiz the Law for Sackatoga Stable. Tagg and Sackatoga collaborated to win the 2003 Kentucky Derby with New York-bred Funny Cide.
“Tagg told Daily Racing Form’s Mike Welsch that both the Louisiana Derby and Florida Derby ‘are in play’ for Tiz the Law’s next start, with the trainer adding that he ‘probably is leaning towards the Florida Derby.’
“The Louisiana Derby will be run at 1 3/16 miles on March 21 at Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans on March 21. The Florida Derby will be contested at 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream on March 28.
“Moving up to No. 2 on this week’s Kentucky Derby rankings after being No. 5 last week is Thousand Words. The $1 million yearling is three for three after winning last Saturday’s Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita in his 3-year-old debut. A Pioneerof the Nile colt trained by Bob Baffert, Thousand Words won the Los Alamitos Futurity in his final start as a 2-year-old.
“Baffert has won the Kentucky Derby five times and the Triple Crown twice. He trained Pioneerof the Nile, who won the Lewis 10 years ago. Pioneerof the Nile went on to sire 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, a superstar trained by, yes, Bob Baffert.
“According to Baffert, he might have Thousand Words join two-for-two Authentic in Santa Anita’s San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on March 7.
“Authentic won Santa Anita’s Sham Stakes by nearly eight lengths on Jan. 4 for Baffert. ‘We don’t know how good he is,’ Baffert said Tuesday when discussing Authentic on Steve Byk’s SiriusXM radio program At the Races. Authentic, who zigzagged during the final furlong of the Sham when racing greenly, ran straight as a string down the lane Wednesday at Santa Anita when he worked five furlongs in 1:01.20.
“Storm the Court, who is No. 3 this week after being No. 1 last week, makes his first 2020 start Sunday against five opponents in Santa Anita’s San Vicente Stakes at seven furlongs. The Court Vision colt, trained by Peter Eurton, has not raced since his shocking Breeders’ Cup Juvenile win at odds of 45-1 last Nov. 1 at Santa Anita. Storm the Court was voted a 2019 Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old male.
“There are no races shorter than one mile offering points toward the $3 million Kentucky Derby. Consequently, beginning a 3-year-old campaign in a race at seven furlongs or shorter is not done very often these days due to trainers usually opting instead for races at one mile or longer that do offer Kentucky Derby points.
“Storm the Court is better able to make his first start as a 3-year-old in a seven-furlong race than most horses because he already has accumulated 22 Kentucky Derby points. That puts him in a tie with Tiz the Law for the most points at this time.
“Nyquist, who like Storm the Court was an Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old male, kicked off his 3-year-old campaign in 2016 with a victory in the San Vicente. Exaggerator finished second. Nyquist and Exaggerator went on to finish first and second in the Kentucky Derby.
“Justify, in 2018, won a seven-furlong maiden race on Feb. 18 at Santa Anita when making his first career start. He would go on to win the Kentucky Derby and sweep the Triple Crown for Baffert.
“BloodHorse’s Steve Haskin has pointed out that many Kentucky Derby winners in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s made their first start as a 3-year-old in a race at seven furlongs or shorter. Those to do so were Chateaugay (the 1963 Kentucky Derby winner), Northern Dancer (1964), Majestic Prince (1969), Riva Ridge (1972), Little Current (1974), Secretariat (1973), Foolish Pleasure (1975), Bold Forbes (1976), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978), Spectacular Bid (1979), Swale (1984), Spend a Buck (1985) and Sunday Silence (1989).
“Also entered in the San Vicente is the highly regarded Nadal, an impressive 3 3/4-length winner in a 6 1/2-furlong maiden race when unveiled at Santa Anita on Jan. 19. The Blame colt had a sharp workout Tuesday at Santa Anita, four furlongs in 47.80 seconds.
“Dennis’ Moment is targeting a 1 1/16-mile race on Feb. 29, Gulfstream’s Fountain of Youth Stakes, for his initial 2020 start. The Tiznow colt zipped five furlongs in a 58.47 second workout at Gulfstream last Sunday. In his final start as a 2-year-old, Dennis’ Moment finished eighth after stumbling badly at the start as the 9-10 favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
“Dale Romans trains Dennis’ Moment. Albaugh Family Stables is the owner of Dennis’ Moment in addition to being co-owner with Spendthrift Farm of Thousand Words.
“The lone race this week offering Kentucky Derby points is the Sam F. Davis Stakes. The 1 1/16-mile affair, which will be contested Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs, has 17 Kentucky Derby points up for grabs to the first four finishers on a scale of 10-4-2-1.
“Undefeated Independence Hall is the 6-5 morning-line favorite in the Davis, which has attracted a field of eight. Ranked No. 9 on my Top 10, the Constitution colt is three for three. Trained by Michael Trombetta, Independence Hall won the Nashua Stakes by a little more than 12 lengths at Aqueduct last Nov. 3, then took the Jerome Stakes by four lengths on a wet track at the Big A on New Year’s Day.
“Untitled drops off my Top 10 this week following his loss as a 7-5 favorite in last Saturday’s seven-furlong Swale Stakes at Gulfstream. He got bumped around early and finished fourth, 7 1/4 lengths behind the victorious Mischevious Alex.
“John Servis , who won the 2004 Kentucky Derby with Smarty Jones, trains Mischevious Alex. However, it does not appear the Kentucky Derby is in the cards for Mischevious Alex even though he drew off during the stretch run of the Swale. Servis indicated he intends to keep him racing around one turn rather than head down the Kentucky Derby trail. ‘Is he a mile-and-a-quarter horse? I don’t think so,’ Servis said after the Swale. Mischevious Alex, who now has won two stakes races by nearly 10 and seven lengths since having blinkers added to his equipment, probably will run next in Aqueduct’s one-mile Gotham Stakes on March 7, according to Servis.
“The defection of Untitled from my Top 10 this week opened the door for Anneau d’Or to slide into the No. 10 spot. Trained by Blaine Wright , the Medaglia d’Oro colt is scheduled to make his first 2020 start in the 1 1/8-mile Risen Star Stakes in New Orleans on Feb. 15. That most likely would be followed by the Santa Anita Derby at the same distance on April 4. Anneau d’Or last year finished a close second in both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Los Alamitos Futurity.
“Here are this week’s Kentucky Derby rankings, courtesy of Xpressbet:
1. Tiz the Law (7)
2. Thousand Words (5)
3. Storm the Court (1)
4. Dennis’ Moment (2)
5. Nadal (3)
6. Honor A.P. (4)
7. Authentic (8)
8. Maxfield (6)
9. Independence Hall (9)
10. Anneau d’Or (NR)
NOTE: Last week’s rankings in parentheses”