Who's in, out and on the 2019 Kentucky Derby points bubble?

March 05, 2019 03:33pm

After a busy President's Day weekend that featured three Kentucky Derby prep races, the 2019 Kentucky Derby trail slowed down until racing resumed with last Saturday's Fountain of Youth (G2).

Beginning with the Risen Star and continuing from here, the Kentucky Derby field is continuing to take shape as the winner from each of the remaining prep races will earn enough points to qualify. With that, the biggest takeaways from last weekend's race have fully to do with 
the Kentucky Derby points leaderboad

Using recent history as a benchmark, fewer than 20 points won't be enough, and the cutoff to get in the Top 20 should range from between 21 and 30 points -- potentially a few more if spots 19 and 20 are taken by a contender qualifying from Europe and Japan.

Let's dive in and look at which categories fit our contenders from the Fountain of Youth:

In: Code of Honor, 54 Points

After a rallying victory on Saturday, the son of Noble Mission stamped his ticket to Churchill Downs. In the second start of the 3-year old season, Code of Honor looked more like the horse we expected to see last time out in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes.
Code of Honor is in the Derby and can solidify his status as a top contender in a final prep.

On the Bubble: Bourbon War, 21 points

After a game effort in the Fountain of Youth, it's likely he runs back in the Florida Derby and enjoys the distance enough to move into the Derby field. A Top 3 finish in a final prep will definitely grant 
Bourbon War a trip to Louisville, while a fourth-place finish and 31-point total would keep him on the bubble.

Out: Signalman, 18 points

The son of General Quarters, trained by Kenny McPeek, missed an opportunity to keep the scoring streak alive in the Fountain of Youth. As a 2-year-old, Signalman earned 10 points with a win in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) and scored 4 points in both the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and Breeders' Futurity.

Although Signalman ran seventh in the Fountain of Youth, 18 points remains a healthy number heading into a final prep, for him likely the Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland. Again, he just needs to improve to the Top 3, and McPeek seems confident he'll have his charge better second off the layoff.

Out: Vekoma, 10 points

Though Vekoma won the Nashua Stakes as a 2-year-old, the Fountain of Youth became his first start in an official Kentucky Derby prep race. The son of Candy Ride's now on the leaderboard after a third-place finish worth 10 points.  It was a respectable season debut, but Vekoma will need to at least duplicate that result next time to make the Kentucky Derby.

Out: Hidden Scroll, 5 points

He's down but not out, as there should still one more chance in front of Hidden Scroll to secure a spot in the Derby field. Whether his connections opt to stay for Florida Derby or ship out, the son of Hard Spun will need to win or finish second if he wants to slide into the Top 2 comfortably. A third-place finish would only bring his total to 25, a bubble position that could require defections to qualify.

Out: Everfast, 4 points

The son of Take Charge Indy owned by Calumet Farm received plenty of attention after he finished second in the Holy Bull (G2). That performance was one of a kind in his early career, however, as he wasn't able to crack the board and score any points in his previous three attempts. Everfast returned to his old ways in finishing eighth on Saturday.

Out: Epic Dreamer, 1 point

The short layoff after an encouraging effort in the Holy Bull didn't help Epic Dreamer in the Fountain of Youth either. The class of his competition was stronger this time around, and his Derby hopes likely vanished with a ninth-place finish. 

Off the Trail: Maximus Mischief, 12 Points

Unfortunately, injury has sidelined the son of Into Mischief indefinitely. Though the injury forced him off the Kentucky Derby trail, Maximus Mischief is expected to resume racing after a full recovery.


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About Me

Meet Bryan Brinkmeyer  


Growing up across the river from the Bluegrass State, I was able to spend a lot of summer days at Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky. It was there that my attraction to the Sport of Kings began. In the spring of 2000, I made my inaugural Kentucky Derby appearance, and the tradition continues annually because there is no other city in the racing world like Louisville, Ky., on Derby Day.

Although the story of a Kentucky Derby winner is legendary, a champion's trail is what The Kentucky Derby Post is all about. It begins when 2-year-olds hit the track & continues until the field is set, the picks are in, and the roses are awarded. 

Twitter: @thederbypost

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