5MTP Staff Picks for Kentucky Derby Day Stakes Races

Humana Distaff (Race 6)

by Joe Santos (@joesantos_33 on Twitter)

Today’s Humana Distaff highlights top filly and mare sprinters from accross the country. Finley’sluckycharm will put her undefeated Churchill Downs record of 6 for 6 against six others, including Grade I winner American Gal

(1) Finley’sluckycharm comes off a monster performance in the GI Madison Stakes at Keeneland, where she earned her first GI victory. Brian Hernandez Jr. will not have the pleasures of having the perfect outside post of all the speed as he did last time, but the Calhoun trainee seems to be the fastest in a race with not much pace. Finley’sluckycharm, now 6 for 6 at Churchill Downs will try to add another GI to her already stellar resume.

(3) Ivy Bell comes off a win in the GII Inside Information at Gulfstream Park, where she made her debut for her new trainer Todd Pletcher. Ridden today by Javier Castellano, Ivy Bell will return to her old him track where she has seen 2 wins and 4 seconds in 8 careers starts at Churchill Downs. She also has proven successful at the distance of seven furlongs with a win and 2 seconds in 3 starts at the distance. Though I do question if she is talented enough to beat a group this deep, I do expect her to still show her patented late kick.

(4) Skye Diamonds has been a dream ride for trainee Bill Spawr since he claimed her in August of 2016. Though she has won 9 of 19 starts, she has yet to find the finish line in front in 3 starts at the seven furlongs distance. I also question if she is beginning to tail off after two dismal efforts against lesser competition in California. She gets the services today of Mike Smith.

The ultra-consistent (5) Lewis Bay has only been off the board one time in her 13 career starts for trainer Chad Brown and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. She is coming out of the Madison as well, but was coming off a very hot pace and missed late. I don’t think she will Get that same pace and even question if seven furlongs is really her best game. I expect a good effort as always, but don’t see her contending for a top spot.

(6) Miner’s Cat will try deep waters for Charlie LoPresti and John Velazquez off a 2nd in a third level allowance at Keeneland opening week. She has yet to show an effort that suggest should could handle this bunch

(7) Torrent comes in off a career best, when she cut back to seven furlongs and tried to push up the rail in the GIII Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct April 6. The Ron Moquett trainee will join once again with Jose Lezcano in her GI debut. She has shown she has talent and seem to have also shown her best distance is today’s seven furlongs, but question if she can beat the likes of the top choices here. I do give her a good shot to round out a trifecta, or superfecta at a big price.

(8) American Gal comes off a monster return effort in the GI Madison at Keeneland where she reluctantly gave in to Finley’sluckycharm in the final strides of her 2018 debut. Today she draws favorably on the outside and I expect another massive step forward out of American Gal. Simon Callaghan has proven very successful 2nd off the layoff, winning at a 50% clip out of 8 starts. Jose Ortiz gets the assignment again today. I expect American Gal to play herself a top the division by the end of this race


(8) American Gal
(1) Finley’sluckycharm
(5) Lewis Bay
(7) Torrent
(3) Ivy Bell
(4) Sky Diamonds
(6)Miner’s Cat

Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (Race 7)

by Brian Leckie (@bleck1022 on Twitter)

(1) Madam Dancealot exits a sharp victory in the 1 1/8 Santa Ana at Santa Anita, but cuts back to a mile here. She’s a dead closer in a race that doesn’t seem to have a lot of pace. Pass.

(2) Thundering Sky has placed in several G2 stakes races at today’s distance, but can never seem to get to the winner’s circle in graded stakes. If you want to use underneath you can, but I’m taking a stand against the west coast horses here. Pass.

(3) Dream Awhile goes out for the Chad Brown/Irad Ortiz combo. She changed her tactics last time to be close to the front in the Suwanee River, and similar tactics will give her a big chance to win cutting back to a mile. Drawing inside sure helps as well, as Irad will be able to save ground around those tight Churchill turns. Contender.

(4) Insta Erma keeps running the same race each time she runs, with 5 being the standard Thorograph figure in her last five starts. Can’t see her taking a step forward today. Pass.

(5) Dream Dancing’s last race is a complete throw-out, as she steadied early on in the race- whether it was because horses were coming over on her or she was jumping one of those tire track ruts on that AWFUL Gulfstream turf course is up to your judgment. But she’s another one that may put herself into contention far too late at this shorter distance. This field is too wide-open for me to take her here. Pass.

(6) Proctor’s Ledge has run two solid ThoroGraph figures in each of her starts this year. I would have preferred a better effort last time, but she was wide throughout in the Jenny Wiley with an outside draw and went about 6-7 wide into the stretch. Her race in the Hillsborough is what I’m hoping from her here, as her post would allow Johnny V. to place her in a good position without losing too much ground, and that would make Proctor’s Ledge a solid contender.

(7) Res Ispa almost always seems to run her race. She has never been out of the money at Churchill in 4 starts, and certainly passed the class test in the Honey Fox entering a graded stakes for the first time (though she did get a great pace setup). She has proved versatile enough to close from dead last or sitting within two lengths of the lead without compromising her chances. Leparoux is also dangerous on the grass at Churchill. But beware: Leparoux and Ian Wilkes are 0-15 this year. I’d limit to underneath.

(8) Madame Stripes is a tricky read. Flavien Prat and Neil Drysdale are 5 of 6 in the money teaming up this year, with three wins. She finished behind perpetual bridesmaid (and fellow entrant) Thundering Sky in her last two races but beat that one three starts back in the Megahertz. Again, I question the quality of this division out west, and this one seems to be moving backward in her form, not forward. Pass.

(9) On Leave paired up her ‘3’ Thorograph figure in her last start off the layoff, and is likely to move forward off that effort. She gets the services of Jose Ortiz after brother Irad jumped ship for Chad Brown here. But with this one, you get 8-1, a horse that always runs her race, and has some of the best speed figures in the field. Contender.

(10) Psycho Sister is much too slow for this very deep field and is also taking a big step up in class. She doesn’t have anywhere near the credentials that almost all of the other contenders in this field have. She’s the clear outsider. Pass.

 (11) La Coronel is the only G1 winner in the field, taking the QEII Challenge Cup at Keeneland last fall. She also ran the fastest ThoroGraph figure in the field last time with a ‘2.’ The issue is, that was her third start off the layoff, which is usually a horse’s peak effort, and La Coronel normally bounces off of similar efforts. She’s also drawn widest of all, and she was not able to overcome a similar trip in the Jenny Wiley. I’m skeptical of leaving her completely off tickets on class alone, but I cannot see her in the exacta given the circumstances she faces at this time. Given the likely trip she gets and the circumstances surrounding this particular race for her, I think La Coronel will be an underlay.

This is one of the most wide-open races on the undercard. Outside of Pyscho Sister, this is about as evenly-matched a group that one could have assembled for this race. As a result, it’s extremely tough to be confident in using only one or two horses. The pick 6 starts in this race, and nobody would fault you from going “ALL” in this leg. But there are a few angles that can help us out. I don’t think it would be wise to take any dead closers with a slow expected pace and the two speeds being drawn to the far outside. The stalkers and mid-pack horses drawn to toward the inside should benefit from the pace scenario and limited ground loss. I think both Dream Awhile and Proctor’s Ledge can be safely used as exacta keys, but I wouldn’t necessarily say those two together make up the exacta.


#6 Proctor’s Ledge

 #3 Dream Awhile

 #9 On Leave

 #7 Res Ispa

 #11 La Coronel

Churchill Downs Stakes (Race 8)

by Jason B. (@JasonNYM on Twitter)

Selections: 10-1-3-7

Awesome Slew (10) makes his second start of the year after finishing 2nd in Aqueduct’s Grade 1 Carter behind the brilliant upcoming sprinter Army Mule. It was Awesome Slew’s first start since the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile where he finished a credible 3rd after winning the G3 Ack Ack over this Churchill Downs strip. With plenty of speed signed on for this event the race should set up nicely for Awesome Slew’s closing kick as he looks to avenge his near defeat in this race a year ago when track loving Limousine Liberal beat him a head. Irad Ortiz Jr. will have the call to ride for trainer Mark Casse.

Whitmore (1) turned in an eye catching performance last time when he rallied sharply in the stretch at Oaklawn Park to win the 6 furlong Count Fleet Stakes to improve his 2018 record to 2 for 2. Whitmore, like our top pick, is another one that should benefit from the speed in this race as he looks to be in career form at the moment for trainer Ron Moquette.

Imperial Hint (3) is the likely favorite of the race coming off a blowout win in his 2018 return at Tampa Bay Downs last time out. Before that he was seen running a good 2nd in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint which ended his then 5 race winning streak. A winner of 9 of 14 lifetime starts, Imperial Hint will be one of the ones on the early lead under jockey Javier Castellano.

Limousine Liberal (7) is the defending champion of this race after holding off a late charge from Awesome Slew to win by a head. He comes into this race off a near miss 2nd to fellow entrant Warrior’s Club in Keeneland’s G3 Commonwealth last time out. Limousine Liberal should be able to rate just off the early pace, ahead of the deep closers in this race under jockey Jose Ortiz, but perhaps his biggest asset is his love for Churchill Downs as he has posted a 7-5-1-0 record over the track. Those wins include the 2017 edition of this race over top choice Awesome Slew, and a 4 length victory over Warrior’s Club 2 back in the Be on Sunshine.

 The Rest: While the aforementioned four are the ones I will key on in this race they certainly aren’t the only contenders in the field. Chief Cicatriz (2) is a winner of 7 of 9 career starts, though the 2 losses have come at the hands of Whitmore. Conquest Windycity (4) was 6th in the Commonwealth last time out behind other race rivals. Outplay (5) hails from the Todd Pletcher barn and posted a nice optional claiming victory at Gulfstream Park when turned back to a sprint for the first time after chasing the likes of West Coast in last years Pennsylvania Derby. Awesome Saturday (6) just missed finishing 3rd last time out in the Commonwealth behind Limousine Liberal and Warrior’s Club and owns a 3-1-2-0 record at Churchill. Warrior’s Club (8) has won 2 of his 4 starts this year including the already mentioned Commonwealth last time out for trainer D Wayne Lukas. Unbridled Outlaw (9) hasn’t found the winners circle since November of 2016 over this track, but steps back into graded company after finishing 5th in the Gulfstream Park Sprint championship last time out for Dale Romans.

Betting Strategy: Unless you are completely sold that Imperial Hint will just run them off their feet I would spread 4 or 5 deep in this field if you are playing multi-race wagers. I would look to bet my top 4 picks in this wagers, and maybe even spread a little deeper to include the in form Warrior’s Club, or improving Outplay. I hope the closers have the advantage though as both my top picks, Awesome Slew and Whitmore, will come from off the pace.

American Turf (Race 9)

by Jeff O’Reilly (@Jeff_Boyardee on Twitter)

(1) Speed Franco lives up to his name as he does show good early foot. He has the ability t work out pretty much any trip he pleases. He has shown the ability to rate or win with the outright lead. Those are the kind of horses I am drawn too mostly. However, I have just not been impressed with either of the last couple starts here. He has had perfect trips last out and was favored in both starts and still could not get the job done. He’s more of a grinding type over a push button horse. I prefer others in here especially if this horse takes money.

(2) Inscom has ran very well over the turf in each try. He will sit mid pack and try to get the jump on the deep closers when the speed backs up. Last out vs River Boyne he did just that. He sat perfectly made the move and led at the top of the lane before getting run down quite easily. He should get a good trip in here but I don’t think he’s nearly good enough to win and would only be used in the third and lower slot for me.

(3) Threeandfourpence is the wild card in the race. Last out he was on the dirt in the UAE Derby and got absolutely buried in there. I can give him an excuse as he’s obviously much better suited for turf. Three back in the Dewhurst, he raced vs US Navy Flag and Mendelsshon on the turf. He more than held his own in that spot. If he can run back to that or even improve he will be very tough in this spot. He’s in great care under trainer Aiden O’Brien and I have all the faith in him having this horse primed for a big effort.

(4) Pont Du Gard looks well overmatched. Toss.

(5) Chanel Cat will most likely be either last or just in front of the last horse away. He displays an okay stretch kick. There isn’t likely to be a complete meltdown which he would need in order to hit the board. Speed figures are also very light compared to the other major players. Toss.

(6) River Boyne was floated 3 wide for basically the entire race last out. Despite losing all that ground the entire race, he won going away and made it look easy. There wasn’t too much speed in that race and he still put in a massive stretch run. If he can come with that effort, that puts him right in the thick of it late. He should be able to save a bit more ground this time around and work out a good stalking trip. He will get the jump on the deep closers and we will see if he’s good enough to hold them off.

(7) Tigers Rule had a pretty rough trip last out but still finished up well and kept running. If you’re trying to find a reason to like this horse, that is about it for me. He is really slow on speed figures and would need to improve greatly to hit the board. Toss

(8) Arawak, much like Tigers Rule, seems a cut below in here. His speed figures are pretty light and I can’t envision a race where he hits the board. Something fluky would have to happen and I can’t bank on that. He is intriguing since he hasn’t raced on turf since he was 2 and maybe this will wake him up. Toss.

(9) Captivating Moon ran into the best 3 year old turf horse in Analyze It last out. He was beaten by 5 lengths and was absolutely no match for him. That is nothing to be ashamed of however. Moon is going to take back to the rear of the field and make one run at it. He is going to be lagging well behind the field. He will come with a massive late run but I fear there isn’t nearly enough pace in the race to get him home. He can hit the board but I don’t see him winning.

(10) Maraud is my top pick in here. He did not care for the yielding turf last out. I am willing to draw a line through that effort. If you cross that out, his form is very impressive. He would most likely be favored in here. Now with that one poor effort, you will get maybe double the odds you should. He will be up close to what should be a moderate or even more likely a slow pace. He should be within a length or two when they turn for home and be able to put away the speed rather easily and hold off the deep closers. Anything over 3/1 is good value here IMO.

(11) Untaimed Domain tried dirt last out in an attempt to hit the Kentucky Derby Trail. He failed but it is clear his preferred surface is turf. He ran a great second to Mendelsshon in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf. He doesn’t have great early speed but always finishes up well with a good closing kick. He will need to improve from a speed figure standpoint. This is the third start off the layoff and he should be primed for a big effort here.

(13) Dragon Drew is only a mere pace presence in here. Has no choice but to gun for the lead from the outside post and I can envision a scenario where he will hang on for a piece.

(14) Admirality Pier is my longshot play in here. I should get good value due to the far outside post here. Last out he made a big move in the Transylvania but finished up evenly in the lane. I am not sure he cared for the yielding turf and still put in a respectable effort. I will be using to win on all vertical and horizontal tickets.

Exacta: 10,14 w 3,6,9,10,11,14

Trifecta: 10,14 w 3,6,9,10,11,14

Superfecta: 10 w 3,6,14 w 3,6,9,11,14

Pat Day Mile (Race 10)

by Joseph Wulffe (@Whtnbourbonguy on Twitter)

Selections: 8-1-5-7-12

(8) Mask: This lightly raced son of Tapit makes his first appearance on the track in over 100 days for the Chad Brown barn on Saturday. Prior to sustaining a setback during training, Mask was a perfect 2 for 2 including a win in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes on January 6th at Gulfstream Park over today’s distance in which he wired the field and earned a career best 100 Bris Speed Rating (which is highest amongst today’s field). Chad Brown (29% winning trainer with runners coming off a 90 day or greater layoff) has been quite impressive thus far this year. Additionally, over the past two years with last out dirt winners coming in off a layoff between 61-180 days and racing eight furlongs or less in graded stakes company, Brown has gone 5 for 9 and boasts a $3.45 R.O.I. Furthermore, Mask will have Javier Castellano (50% winning jockey with positive R.O.I. when hooking up with Brown over the last 60 days) once again in the irons. While Mask broke sharply and quickly went to the lead and stayed there in the Mucho Macho Man, such tactics will not be to his benefit on Saturday. This edition of the Pat Day Mile is filled with similar running style horses (including several with very good early speed) and if Mask were to try to get to the lead early on, he would not be able to do so uncontested. Rather if Castellano can take him back and allow him to rate, he should get a nice stalking trip before trying to take the lead in the final turn and outrun the rest of the field. Mask should be considered a definite threat in this race.


(1) National Flag: Trainer Todd Pletcher sends out this son of Speightstown to race for the first time at a route distance. Although he has never gone beyond seven furlongs, National Flag has been successful thus far in one turn races and furthermore Pletcher boasts a 28% win percentage and a positive R.O.I. with runners trying routes for the first time. The TimeForm Pace Projector suggests that National Flag will be initially sitting in the third flight of horses following behind a fast pace and this should suit him just fine. In his last race on April 7th at Aqueduct in the BayShore (G3), National Flag sat a good stalking trip under jockey Flavien Prat, survived getting squeezed down the stretch, and ended up winning by four lengths as he put away his rivals with a powerful closing kick. That was actually the first time in his career that he had displayed such tactics as previously he had preferred to be up much closer to the pace. National Flag will again be reunited with Prat (17% winning jockey when racing at route distances) and his two most recent workouts indicate that he has been training well. If National Flag can work out another stalking trip and if Prat has him in good position to close well (National Flag’s Brisnet Late Pace figures from his last two races are the highest in the entire field), then this colt should be considered a definite threat to hit the board, if not win.


(5) Mississippi: The barn of Mark Casse (16% winning trainer with horses racing in graded stakes company and 17% with route runners) sends out this son of Pioneer of the Nile to face Grade 3 company on Saturday. In Mississippi’s last start on March 31st in the Florida Derby (G1), he ran into a suicidal early pace set by Promises Fulfilled and was somehow fortunate enough finish a well-beaten third behind Kentucky Derby contenders Audible and Hofburg. Mississippi has finished out of the money only once in five career starts, with his lone win coming at today’s distance back in November of 2017 over the Churchill Downs dirt. While all three of Mississippi’s races this year have been over two turns and at 8.5-9 furlongs, this drop back to a one turn mile should prove to be beneficial. His preferred running style is to sit just off and stalk the early speed; however, he seems to have just one gear and does not possess a very powerful closing kick (this may be due to the fact that his Dosage Profile is loaded with inherited speed and almost no inherited stamina). Mississippi will once again have Julien Leparoux onboard and his recent workouts, both over the Churchill dirt surface, should serve as a good indicator that this colt is ready to go. Mississippi at the very least deserves a close look as he is very capable of hitting the board in this race.


(7) Madison’s Luna: Trainer Philip Bauer sends out this lightly raced son of Tapit to face his most difficult test yet on Saturday. While the sample size is admittedly small for Bauer, the trainer does boast a 17% win percentage and a positive R.O.I. with graded stakes runners and he also is winning at a 20% rate with those trying route races for the first time. In his last race on March 24th at Gulfstream Park in the six furlong Hutcheson Stakes (G3), Madison’s Luna sat a stalking trip early on under the guidance of jockey Julien Leparoux before opening up on the field and kicking clear by the ¼ pole to win by an impressive five lengths. While he has never raced beyond six and a half furlongs, the increased distance should not be an issue for this colt as his pedigree suggests that he will have more than enough inherited speed and stamina to get one mile. The TimeForm Pace Projector indicates that Madison’s Luna will likely be up on the lead and for this colt that is a problem. There are several other early speed horses that will be initially contesting the pace and additionally there a number of horses that can sit good stalking trips and will be trying to close late. Furthermore, this colt has not raced as a two year old and there is the possibility that he could still be somewhat immature. While this colt certainly may be talented and does get a massive upgrade in the jockey department to Florent Geroux (27% winning jockey racing at route distances with a $0.97 R.O.I.), the best hope may be for him to try and hang on late and hit the board.


(12) Restoring Hope: Trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Mike Smith join forces on Saturday to send out this well-regarded son of Giant’s Causeway. Baffert currently possesses a 34% win percentage as a trainer with runners racing in graded stakes and Smith boasts an astounding 46% win percentage as a jockey when riding in route races. Furthermore, over the past four years with three year olds racing with blinkers on, Baffert is 9-23 (39% win percentage) with a $4.09 R.O.I. Back on April 7th in the nine furlong Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct, Restoring Hope broke well and sat back stalking the leaders while going quite fast early on. He went a little wide into the final turn and never was able to challenge the leaders, eventually finishing third to Kentucky Derby contenders Vino Rosso and Enticed. At this point in his career, it is still somewhat unclear as to how exactly Restoring Hope will run in a one turn mile race; although, in his previous three races at two turns, he appeared to be most comfortable sitting just off the leaders and stalking them until the final turn before trying to close. Yet, a closer examination of Restoring Hope’s pedigree and especially his Dosage Profile indicate that perhaps he is actually more of a grinding style runner better suited to running at the 12 furlongs of the Belmont Stakes (G1). His Dosage Profile is absolutely loaded with inherited stamina and has almost no inherited speed present which lends credence to the thought that he wants to race at longer distances. While the combination of Baffert and Smith has been quite formidable recently, it appears likely that Restoring Hope may be in line only for a minor award.

Old Forester Turf Classic (Race 11)

by Aaron Hayes (@AHaze24 on Twitter)

Selections 10-3-1-7

(10) 5/2 Beach Patrol is the obvious class of this race and will be extremely tough to beat. He’s ran in 8 consecutive Grade 1 races, with two wins, four 2nd places, a 3rd and a 4th. Despite being off for 6 months, Chad Brown has been masterful with horses coming off the shelf. He’s winning at 29% with horses away 90+ days. Joel Rosario who has rode him in his last 3 starts has 2 wins and a 2nd by a half a length in the Breeder’s Cup Turf. What I find most intriguing is his Brisnet early pace stats in his last 2 races. I personally cannot recall a higher E1 and E2 for a horse in a race. His E1 in the BC Turf was 139 and E2 was 149. His overall Bris speed figures towers over his foes. He ran in this race last year and almost wired the field only losing by ½ length.  With his front running style and cutting back in distance, he’ll be extremely hard to beat.


(3) 6-1 Kurilov is trying the grass for the 2nd time in the US. He ran 2nd on Feb 10th in a Grade 1 at Gulfstream going 1 1/8 mile. Irad Ortiz sat 2 ½ lengths from the leader but couldn’t close into the wire to wire winner Heart to Heart losing by a neck. This Chad Brown trainee has only finished off the board twice in 14 lifetime starts. He has the early speed to be close to the leader throughout. The only knock that I have is if he’s fastest enough to close coming down the stretch. With his 2nd start of the year, I trust that Chad Brown and Irad Ortiz can only improve from here.


(1) 3-1 Deauville is making his 2nd start of the year for trainer Aiden O’Brien. His last start at Newmarket was a decent race. It was a 1 1/8 mile that was ran straight with no turns. He sat off the leader, closed well and had the lead late down the stretch, but was ultimately out kicked and lost by a ½ length. That was a solid effort for it to be his 1st off of a layoff. His fitness should be back on par for a common foe he lost to in his last race on US soil, Beach Patrol. He was the favorite in the Arlington Million and had the lead in the stretch, only to lose to Beach Patrol by ¾ length. He’s well respected with his 3-1 morning line odds. With one of the best trainer’s in the world in Aiden O’Brien, and the best international jockey, Ryan Moore, Deauville will be a formidable challenge for his competitors.


(7) 6-1 Synchrony has found his stride of late as he’s won his last 2 races in come from behind fashion. With  Joe Bravo aboard in those 2 starts, he’s closed really well and won going away. He has 5 wins in 12 starts and has only been off the board 2 times. Since he’s tried the grass 5 starts ago, he’s finished no worse than 2nd. Look for him to be far off the pace and close with a big late kick.

$5 Tri Key 10/ 1,3,7

$5 Ex 10/1,3,7

$5 Ex 1,3,7/10

144th Kentucky Derby (Race 12)

by Trent Ledbetter (@23ledbetter on Twitter)

Things to Know: Kentucky Derby

The first Saturday in May finally here. After an exciting and eventful derby trail all our questions will be answered, and a champion will be crowned. However, between now and post time we’re here to give you the things to know for the Kentucky Derby as well as picks from the entire 5minutestopost team. We’ll supply you with the tidbits, facts, and most important the picks to impress at your derby party. So thanks again for stopping by and reading, and let’s get to it.


  • Trainer Todd Pletcher has 4 starters in the field with: Audible, Magnum Moon, Vino Rosso, and Noble Indy
  • The late sire Scat Daddy also has 4 starters with Mendelssohn, Justify, Flameaway, and Combatant
  • A horse has not won the derby without racing as a two-year-old since Apollo did it in 1882. Two horses: Justify & Magnum Moon attempt to shatter the “Curse of Apollo”
  • Another interesting “curse” no horse has won out of the 17th post, which Solomini will look to do Saturday.
  • 17 of this year’s contenders were foaled in Kentucky. The odd ones out are Flameaway (Canada) Firenze Fire (Florida) and Audible (New York.)
  • Mendelssohn is the youngest horse in the field born on May 17th, he is technically still a two-year-old!
  • Mendelssohn is also the highest in monetary earnings in this field with $1,961,137.00
  • However, Mendelssohn was purchased for $3,000,000.00 so a derby win could cover his purchase cost!
  • There are five homebred horses in the field, but the cheapest purchase? My Boy Jack at $20,000.00
  • The path to the derby is longer for some, Mendelssohn traveled the farthest to get here coming from Dubai traveled 7,382 miles to Louisville this week.
  • Justify is the least experienced with three races under his belt, while My Boy Jack has the most experience with ten.


Now you have the knowledge to go out and amaze your friends and family with your extensive derby knowledge. Here are the top three picks from our panel of writers:


Ryan Dickey Bolt d’Oro Justify Audible
Joseph Wulffe Bolt d’Oro Justify Good Magic
Brian Leckie Justify Mendelssohn Good Magic
Jason B Audible Good Magic Magnum Moon
Jeff O’Reilly Bolt d’Oro Hofburg Mendelssohn
Kaitlin Free Audible Justify Mendelssohn
Aaron Hayes Justify Mendelssohn Audible
Joe Santos Mendelssohn Justify Vino Rosso
Trent Ledbetter Audible Mendelssohn Hofburg


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