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

March 31, 2019 07:20pm

With a total of 340 points paid out this weekend toward qualifying for the 2019 Kentucky Derby a few new names are safely in the field, including the 1-2 finishers of the Florida Derby (G1) who went from off the radar to punching their tickets to Churchill Downs.

For the second week in a row, horses who entered a major prep without any points filled out the exacta, with the Florida Derby's Maximum Security and Bodexpress following By My Standards and Spinoff in the Louisiana Derby (G2).

Meanwhile, the UAE Derby always presents an opportunity for horses stuck on the bubble considering the winner usually goes on to Churchill and the runner-up does not. That appears to be the case this year. 

Using recent history as a benchmark, the cutoff to get in the Top 20 should range from between 21 and 30 points, though that number is trending up given the recent parity. Contenders will potentially need a few more points, too, if horses qualifying in Europe or Japan fills spots 19 and 20.

Before running down changes prompted by the Florida Derby and UAE Derby, let's start by looking at contenders already projected to qualify for the Derby along with their final prep plans.

Already In

By My Standards, 100 points

Code of Honor, 74 points

War of Will, 60 points

Long Range Toddy, 53.5 points, Arkansas Derby

Haikal, 50 points, Wood Memorial

Tacitus, 50 points, Wood Memorial

Cutting Humor, 50 Points

Game Winner, 45 points, Santa Anita Derby

Spinoff, 40 Points

Omaha Beach, 37.5 points, Arkansas Derby

Newly In
Plus Que Parfait, 104 points

By finishing second in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) to go with his UAE Derby victory, he now sits atop the points leaderboard. It's uncommon, by the way, to see a UAE Derby winner who has raced in North America. He'll be on his way back to Churchill Downs.

Maximum Security
, 100 Points

The son of New Year’s Day grabbed the lead immediately in the Florida Derby and took them all the way. Despite debuting as a claimer, then following with two runs in low-class allowance races, he now enters the Derby an unbeaten Grade 1 winner.

, 40 Points

To date, the son of Bodemeister, has yet to win a race. But breaking your maiden isn't a requirement to qualify for the Derby. The Gustavo Delgado trainee chased Maximum Security to a placing in the Florida Derby and earned his shot.

On the bubble

Gray Magician, 40 points

By finishing second in the UAE Derby, Gray Magician has enough points to qualify, but a co-owner told Horse Racing Nation it's "highly unlikely" they'll enter the son of Graydar. For now, we'll consider him on the bubble given Derby fever is easy to contract this time of year.

Bourbon War
, 31 points

Bourbon War got the necessary Top 4 Florida Derby finish needed to keep his hopes alive. But as mentioned earlier, this could be a particularly tough year on the bubble, especially if there's more parity next weekend when three more major preps run.

Others on the bubble

Country House, 30 points

Anothertwistafate, 30 points

Sueno, 28 points

Improbable, 25 points, Arkansas Derby

Mucho Gusto, 24 points, Lexington

Somelikeithotbrown, 20 points, Blue Grass Stakes

Outshine, 20 points, Wood Memorial


Hidden Scroll
, 5 points

The son of Hard Spun gained a lot of attention as a potential Kentucky Derby contender after he won his career debut race at Gulfstream by more than 14 lengths. But a fourth in the Fountain of Youth (G2) and sixth in the Florida Derby left him well short after a change in tactics to take back on Saturday didn't pay off.

Harvey Wallbanger
, 10 points

The Holy Bull (G2) winner received an ideal setup that afternoon at Gulfstream Park. With Maximum Security galloping to soft fractions in the Florida Derby, Harvey Wallbanger didn't stand a chance of rallying.

, 4 points

The same goes for Everfast, a close second in the Holy Bull who didn't deliver a signature effort Saturday.
Others with work left to do

Signalman, 18 points, Blue Grass Stakes

Tax, 12 points, Wood Memorial

Instagrand, 10 points, Santa Anita Derby

Vekoma, 10 points, Blue Grass Stakes

Win Win Win, 10 points, Blue Grass Stakes

Galilean, 7.5 points, Arkansas Derby

Much Better, 7 points, Wood Memorial

Roadster, 0 points, Santa Anita Derby

Also worth mentioning…

Mind Control, 30 points

Mind Control’s connections confirmed that Kentucky Derby and longer distance races are not in the plans for the son of Stay Thirsty, who rather than going in the Wood Memorial (G3) will point for Aqueduct's Bay Shore (G3) around one turn. The Woody Stevens (G1) is the primary target for Mind Control, so seeing him start in any of three Triple Crown races is unlikely. 



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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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