Over Memorial Day weekend, horse racing is finding its groove once again, including an extended 2020 Kentucky Derby trail that continued Saturday with the Matt Winn Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs.
The first non-traditional prep in a unique season influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic awarded points on a 50-20-10-5 scale, on par with races such as the Fountain of Youth (G2), Risen Star (G2) and Rebel Stakes (G2) in an ordinary year.
At its conclusion, the Matt Winn Stakes gave new life to a few horses that would've otherwise missed out on an opportunity to run for the roses. Here's an updated look at the points picture looking ahead to the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby.
Maxfield, 60 points
The son of Street Sense, who was previously off the trail due to injury, overcame one of the toughest trips in this field, making a gutsy rally from as far back as eighth in his first start since last October's Breeders' Futurity (G1) at Keeneland. Now 3-for-3, Maxfield looks bound for the Derby as a legitimate contender.
Ny Traffic, 70 points
It's still a question, given the number of additional preps on this year's calendar, how many points it'll take for a spot in the Derby gate. This should be enough, however, for the son of Cross Traffic thanks to a runner-up Matt Winn finish. Consistency has been key for Ny Traffic, who also hit the board in a division of the Risen Star (G2) and the Louisiana Derby (G2). He's still looking for a graded win, however, so the depth of his talent remains a blemish on the resume.
Ny Traffic joins the following as likely Derby contenders on points with time still to earn more: Nadal (150), Tiz the Law (122), Wells Bayou (104), Charlatan (100), King Guillermo (90), Ete Indien (74), Modernist (70) and Authentic (60).
On the Bubble
Major Fed, 30 points
This total's enough to keep Major Fed inside the top 20 for the moment, but that's not likely to be the case once entries are taken later this year. He ran last of 10 in the Matt Winn after fanned out wide in the first turn and will be looking to bounce back this summer with a better trip.
Attachment Rate, 15 points
He continues to run competitively but hasn't broken through, with a fourth-place finish in the Matt Winn adding to a third in the Gotham (G3) back in March at Aqueduct. The Derby hopes remain alive for this Dale Romans trainee, who has time to continue improving on his 28th-place points standing.
Pneumatic, 10 points
The son of Uncle Mo, trained by Steve Asmussen, has not been nominated for the Triple Crown. But the new deadline remains undetermined, so there's still time. He entered the Matt Winn 2-for-2 and handled two turns given a pressured inside running position, lasting for third in the Winn and a tie for 39th on the points leaderboard.
Off the Trail
Dennis' Moment, 10 points
News arrived this week that the hyped son of Tiznow, last in the Fountain of Youth in his only start this season, is getting a break from training with aims of a fall campaign. Dennis' Moment will run at age 4.
Via Churchill Downs, here's a full look at the leaderboard: