Due to COVID-19, several adjustments were made on the Kentucky Derby trail. Among them are the changes to the qualification race schedule, including additional races being added to the series this summer. On Wednesday, those changes were noticeable again as the trail made its first-ever stop at Indiana Grand for the Indiana Derby.
For the third consecutive points race, the top four finishers in the Indiana Derby were awarded points on a limited scale of 20-8-4-2. But, the leaderboard still had its changes so here is an updated look at the points picture ahead of the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5.
Because the point payouts for finishing first or second were so low, none of the starters in this field were able to scale the leaderboard enough to be guaranteed a spot in the Kentucky Derby. The top two could be regarded as contenders at this stage of the trail, but both will likely need to return to the trail and add more points next time out.
On the Bubble
Major Fed, 38 points
The son of Ghostzapper was in decent shape on the leaderboard after he finished second in the Risen Star and fourth in the Louisiana Derby earlier in the three-year-old season. However, Major Fed was still on the bubble with only 30 points. Like many horses that we’ve seen over the last several weeks, his connections were given new life on the Kentucky Derby trail with the race date getting pushed back, and additional races included in the series schedule.
His first crack at getting back into the Kentucky Derby conversation didn’t turn out too well when he finished tenth in the Matt Winn (G3), but he improved his status on Wednesday with a runner-up finish in the Indiana Derby. He is currently inside the top twenty, but it’s too early to tell if this many points will be enough to keep him there.
Shared Sense, 20 points
For the third Kentucky Derby series race, a horse that had yet to score any qualification points returns to the barn with twenty. With the win in the Indiana Derby, the son of Street Sense is on the Kentucky Derby radar. However, there is still one big decision remaining before we know if his connections will elect to keep him on the Kentucky Derby trail next time out.
As we saw with Dean Martini, winner of the Ohio Derby (G3), Shared Sense is also not Triple Crown nominated so he can only become eligible for the Kentucky Derby for a fee of $45,000 as the time of entry.
Winning Impression, 10 points
After finishing fourth in the Arkansas Derby, the son of Paynter looked like a tested contender for the Indiana Derby that was ready to handle the distance of 1 1/8 miles for the second consecutive race. Unfortunately, a seventh-place finish on Wednesday might have been his last chance to continue a late attempt at qualifying for the Kentucky Derby.
Necker Island, 4 points
The Indiana Derby was his third Kentucky Derby points series race, but because he finished fifth in the Gotham and Matt Winn, he only just made it onto the leaderboard for the first time when he crossed the wire in third-place. His connections will now have to reassess his chances of qualifying for the Kentucky Derby and possibly look at races outside of the Kentucky Derby series when selecting his next start.
Earner, 2 points
The son of Carpe Diem was never really on the Kentucky Derby radar. Although that has not improved with a fourth-place finish on Wednesday, it was still worth taking a shot at it by entering him in his first start in a Kentucky Derby points race.