Kentucky Derby 2017: New York’s Contenders II (The Jerome)

Kentucky Derby 2017: New York’s Contenders II (The Jerome)
Photo: NYRA Photo

Coming out of his eleven-length victory in the Jerome, El Areeb appeared as a significant contender for the 2017 Kentucky Derby. Although based at Laurel Park in Maryland, his trainer Cathal Lynch mentioned that this son of Exchange Rate is likely to continue on the Derby Trail in New York.

El Areeb handled the two-turn distance of the Jerome on the wet Aqueduct inner track that had become very deep and thick. The final time of 1:46.17 and the fractions from the race appeared to be slow, but it was not a racing surface that was going to produce impressive times. The winner did earn a BSF of 91, which fit well with his previous figure of 94.

The big margin of victory was partially due to the fact that El Areeb seemed to be the only horse that handled the muddy and sealed track. Thus, it will be important to see him back up his Jerome performance on a fast track in the Withers on Feb. 4.

Since the last Contenders list, there have been a few well-meant horses that have broken their maidens in noteworthy fashion, earning a spot on the new Contenders list. In recent years, trainer Todd Pletcher has been waiting to start promising juveniles just before that end of the calendar year and Battalion Runner, Action Everyday, and Faja fit the bill.

Battalion Runner and Faja both have made it into the latest Top 10 based on their maiden scores with Battalion Runner in the number six spot.

Top 10

1) Classic Empire

2) Practical Joke

3) Mo Town

4) Gunnevera

5) El Areeb

6) Battalion Runner

7) No Dozing

8) Hemsworth

9) Good Samaritan

10) Faja

The Contenders list below is divided into three groups. The first has horses arranged in order based on the total Derby qualifying points earned and all of the Derby point winners are included. The second group is stakes winners that have no Derby points and the final section lists horses based on recent action in maiden special weights.

Derby Point Winners

Classic Empire (Pioneerof the Nile) KY

KEESEP15 $475,000

5: 4-0-0 $1,485,920 

Owner: John Oxley

Trainer: Mark Casse

Jockey: Julien Leparoux

1st Breeders’ Cup Juvenile – BSF 102

1st Breeders’ Futurity (G1) – BSF 88

DNF Hopeful (G1) - DNF

1st Bashford Manor (G3) – BSF 87

1st MSW Churchill Downs – BSF 55

30 Road to Kentucky Derby Points

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1: 6-1

Practical Joke (Into Mischief) KY

KEESEP15 $240,000

4: 3-1-0 $739,800 

Owner: Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence

Trainer: Chad Brown

Jockey: Joel Rosario

3rd Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) – BSF 90

1st Champagne (G1) – BSF 88

1st Hopeful (G1) – BSF 85

1st MSW Saratoga – BSF 83

14 Road to Kentucky Derby Points

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1: 26-1

Gunnevera (Uncle Mo) KY

KEESEP15 $16,000

6: 3-1-0 $771,000 

Owner: Peacock Racing Stables

Trainer: Antonio Sano

Jockey: Javier Castellano

1st Delta Jackpot (G3) – BSF 87

5th Breeders’ Futurity (G1) – BSF 76

1st Saratoga Special (G2) – BSF 84

1st MSW Gulfstream – BSF 56

4th Birdonthewire – BSF 59

2nd MSW Gulfstream Park – BSF 65                                                        

10 Road to Kentucky Derby Points

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1: 22-1

NEXT: Holy Bull (G2) – Feb. 4, 2017

Mo Town (Uncle Mo) KY

KEESEP15 $200,000

3: 2-1-0 $243,600 

Owner: Team D and Magnier, Tabor, Smith

Trainer: Anthony Dutrow

Jockey: John Velazquez

1st Remsen (G2) – BSF 86

1st MSW Belmont Park - BSF84                                                        

2nd MSW Saratoga – BSF 76

10 Road to Kentucky Derby Points

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1: 12-1

NEXT: Gotham (G3) – March 4, 2017

El Areeb (Exchange Rate) KY

OBSAPR16 $340,000

3: 3-1-0 $184,200 

Owner: M G M Stables

Trainer: Cathal Lynch

Jockey: Trevor McCarthy

1st Jerome (G3) – BSF 91

1st JF Lewis – BSF 94

1st MSW – Laurel – BSF 82

2nd MSW – Laurel – BSF 49

4th MSW – Parx – BSF 43

10 Road to Kentucky Derby Points

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1: Mutuel Field 6/5

NEXT: Withers (G3) – Feb. 4, 2017

No Dozing (Union Rags) KY

4: 2-1-0 $129,340 

Owner: Lael Stables

Trainer: Arnaud Delacour

Jockey: Daniel Centeno

2nd Remsen (G2) – BSF 82

4th Breeders’ Futurity (G1) – BSF 81

1st AlwOC50 Laurel – BSF 69

1st MSW Delaware Park – BSF 72

5 Road to Kentucky Derby Points

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1: 40-1

Syndergaard (Majesticperfection) KY

OBSAPR16 $450,000

4: 2-1-0 $323,800 

Owner: Eric Fein and others

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: John Velazquez

5th Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) – BSF 81

2nd Champagne (G1) – BSF 88

1st Funny Cide (NY) – BSF 90

1st MSW (NY) Saratoga – BSF 86

4 Road to Kentucky Derby Points

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1: 43-1

Bonus Points (Majestic Warrior) MD

EASOCT15 $35,000

6: 1-2-2 $116,650 

Owner: Three Diamonds

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Manny Franco

2nd Jerome (G3) – BSF 73

2nd Maryland Juvenile Futurity (MD) – BSF 71

3rd Awad Belmont – BSF 62

1st MSW Belmont – BSF 73

4th MSW Saratoga TURF – BSF 58

4 Road to Kentucky Derby Points

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1: Mutuel Field 6/5

Favorable Outcome (Flatter) KY

OBSAPR16 $300,000

3: 1-0-1 $100,145 

Owner: Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence

Trainer: Chad Brown

Jockey: Irad Ortiz

13th Breeders’ Cup Juvenile TURF – BSF 74

3rd Champagne (G1) – BSF 78

1st MSW Saratoga – BSF 88

2 Road to Kentucky Derby Points

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1: Mutuel Field 6/5

Takaful (Bernardini) KY

3: 1-0-1 $76,500 

Owner: Shadwell Stable

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin

Jockey: Jose Ortiz

7th Jerome (G3) – BSF 29

3rd Remsen (G2) – BSF 77

1st MSW Aqueduct – BSF 92

2 Road to Kentucky Derby Points

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1: 37-1

Win With Pride (Distorted Humor)

KEESEP15 $450,000

4: 1-0-1 $60,000

Owner: Repole and St. Elias

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Irad Ortiz

4th Jerome (G3) – BSF 70

4th Remsen (G2) – BSF 77

1st MSW Parx – BSF 61

3rd MSW Belmont – BSF 54

2 Road to Kentucky Derby Points

True Timber (Mineshaft) KY

KEENOV14 $170,000

3: 1-0-1 $52,800

Owner: Calumet Farm

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin

Jockey: Kendrick Carmouche

3rd Jerome (G3) – BSF 72

1st MSW Aqueduct – BSF 70                              

5th MSW Aqueduct – BSF 61

2 Road to Kentucky Derby Points

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1: Mutuel Field 6/5

Stakes Winners with No Derby Points

Good Samaritan (Harlan’s Holiday) KY

3: 2-0-1 $230,616 

Owner: WinStar, SF Bloodstock, and China Horse Club

Trainer: Bill Mott

Jockey: Joel Rosario

3rd Breeders’ Cup Juvenile TURF – BSF 91

1st Summer Stakes (G2) TURF – BSF 94

1st MSW Saratoga TURF – BSF 79

0 Road to Kentucky Derby Points

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1: Mutuel Field 6/5

Theory (Gemologist) KY

KEESEP15 $120,000

OBSAPR16 $335,000

3: 2-0-0 $170,145 

Owner: WinStar and China Horse Club

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Javier Castellano

10th Breeders’ Cup Juvenile – BSF 69

1st Futurity (G3) – BSF 85

1st MSW Saratoga – BSF 85

0 Road to Kentucky Derby Points

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1: Mutuel Field 6/5

Hemsworth (Bernardini) KY

3: 1-0-0 $127,900 

Owner: Godolphin

Trainer: Tom Albertrani

Jockey: Antonio Gallardo

1st Nashua (G2) – BSF 83

4th MSW Belmont Park – BSF 67

4th MSW Saratoga – BSF 62

0 Road to Kentucky Derby Points

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1: 80-1

Fact Finding (The Factor) KY

KEESEP15 $100,000

3: 3-0-0 $132,570 

Owner: Tabor, Magnier, Smith, Stonestreet

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: John Velazquez

1st Smooth Air Gulfstream – BSF 80

1st Allowance N2L Keeneland – BSF 76

1st MSW Saratoga – BSF 75

0 Road to Kentucky Derby Points

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1: 74-1

Tapwrit (Tapit)

FTSAUG15 $1,200,000

3: 2-0-0 $63,902 

Owner: Bridlewood, Eclipse Thoroughbreds, Robert LaPenta

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Eddie Castro

1st Pulpit Gulfstream Park – BSF 80

1st MSW Gulfstream Park West – BSF 70

10th MSW Saratoga – BSF 36

0 Road to Kentucky Derby Points

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1: Mutuel Field 6/5

Recent Maiden Action

Battalion Runner (Unbridled’s Song) KY

KEESEP15 $700,000

2: 1-1-0 $36,600

Owner: St. Elias Stable

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: John Velazquez

1st MSW Gulfstream Park – BSF 98

2nd MSW Belmont Park – BSF 76

0 Road to Kentucky Derby Points

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1: Mutuel Field 6/5

Faja (Bodemeister) KY

1: 1-0-0 $21,600

Owner: Harrell Ventures LLC

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Javier Castellano

1st MSW Gulfstream (1 mile) – BSF 80

0 Road to Kentucky Derby Points

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1: Mutuel Field 6/5

Action Everyday (The Factor) KY

EASMAY16 $400,000

1: 1-0-0 $11,400

Owner: St. Elias Stable

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Jesus Castanon

1st MSW Tampa Bay (7F) – BSF 82

0 Road to Kentucky Derby Points

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1: Mutuel Field 6/5

Saraab (Tapit) KY

1: 0-1-0 $4,000

Owner: Al Shaqab and WinStar

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: L. Goncalves

2nd MSW Tampa Bay (7F) – BSF 74

0 Road to Kentucky Derby Points

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1: Mutuel Field 6/5

Meet Matt Shifman



Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs, Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.

Since 2012, Matt has been a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.

Recently, Matt helped launch Derby Day Racing, a new 2-year-old racing partnership, that just purchased a promising Lookin At Lucky filly named Sooner Schooner.



You may also know Matt by his Twitter, Facebook, and HRN screen nameAndyScoggin.

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