Four Horses on the Derby Bubble

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The connections of four horses being considered for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) will be watching the season's final two Road to the Kentucky Derby points races closely April 14.

The race with the most potential to upset the apple cart is the Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park, which offers points on a 100-40-20-10 scale to its respective top four finishers. Also in play is the Stonestreet Lexington Stakes (G3) at Keeneland, which rewards points of 20-8-4-2 to its top finishers.

In the listing below of the top 25 points earners, the top 15 horses have nailed down starting spots, from Good Magic in the top spot to Free Drop Billy at 15. Grownkowski, who is listed at 20, is in through his automatic bid in the European Road to the Kentucky Derby.

That leaves Lone Sailor, 42 points; Hofburg, 40; Firenze Fire, 39; and Solomini, 34; as the final four horses currently with spots in the field but not a guaranteed spot at this point.

In the first five years of the Kentucky Derby points system, the final horse to earn a spot had between 10 and 32 points: 10 (2013), 20 (2014), 22 (2015), 32 (2016), and 30 (2017). This year, it is possible that 42 points might not be enough to join the field.

After a look at the standings and information provided by Churchill Downs media, in the Arkansas Derby Magnum Moon and Quip already are in the Kentucky Derby field. Solomini (34 points), Combatant (22), and Dream Baby Dream (20) earn a spot with a top-two finish and can be in the mix with a third-place showing. Machismo (5 qualifying points), Beautiful Shot (0), Plainsman (0) and Tenfold (0) will qualify with a win and join the discussion with a runner-up effort.

Meanwhile, My Boy Jack (32) needs a top-2 finish in the Lexington to vie for a position in the top 19 point earners. A win puts him in; a runner-up finish puts him on the bubble. All other Lexington starters would need defections to join the Kentucky Derby lineup if they win.

Road to the Kentucky Derby Top 25
(Horses entered to run this weekend in bold)
Rank, Horse Points

1. Good Magic   134

2. Audible            110

3. Noble Ind        110

4. Vino Rosso     107

5. Bolt d’Oro       104

6. Enticed            103

7. Mendelssohn 100

8. Justify              100

9. $-Flameaway 70

10. Bravazo         54

11. Promises Fulfilled       52

12. Magnum Moon         50

13. $-Runaway Ghost      50

14. Quip              50

15. Free Drop Billy            44

16. Lone Sailor   42

17. Hofburg        40

18. Firenze Fire   39

19. Solomini       34

20. Gronkowski  Euro bid

21. My Boy Jack               32

22. Snapper Sinclair          22

23. Combatant  22

24. $-Blended Citizen       22

25. Reride            20

$=Late Triple Crown nominee

Notes: Gronkowski is listed at 20 but is in the field through the European Road to the Kentucky Derby bid. Horses not being considered for the Derby are not included in rankings


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