Who's in, out and on the 2020 Kentucky Derby points bubble?

Who's in, out and on the 2020 Kentucky Derby points bubble?
Photo: Courtesy of Gulfstream Park

The Kentucky Derby trail continued on Sunday as the road traveled to Western Kentucky for the Ellis Park Derby. It's not a race that holds the same prestige as the final Kentucky Derby prep races that we are accustomed to seeing, but points were up for grabs, qualification hopes were on the line, and this race from the “Pea Patch” made an impact on the leaderboard.

As we witnessed in the Travers Stakes on Saturday, the favorite cruised home to an easy win while second place was good enough to see a new contender surge into the top 20. Here is an updated look at the points picture following the Ellis Park Derby.

Newly in

Attachment Rate
, 35 points

The horse that finished runner-up to a commanding performance by the post-time favorite in the Ellis Park Derby walked away with a very rewarding consolation prize. Coming into the Sunday, the son of Hard Spun needed to win or finish second to gain enough points to vault into the top 20. Now that he has coveted points, the Kentucky Derby will be next if his connections choose to send him there.

Already in

Art Collector
, 150 points

The son of Bernardini continued his winning ways on Sunday.  Although he never won a graded stakes before he scored in the Blue Grass Stakes, Art Collector backed up that performance with a dominant effort in the Ellis Park Derby. The win moves him into third place on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard. It also makes him a strong candidate for becoming the second choice on the Kentucky Derby morning line behind the expected favorite Tiz the Law.

Anneau d’Or, 32 points

The son of Medaglia d’Oro has enough points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby, but his contender status continued to fade after a disappointing effort in the Ellis Park Derby. In four career races at a distance of 1 1/8 miles, Anneau d’Or has failed to equal the promise he showed in two runner-up finishes in his juvenile season at a distance of 1 1/16 miles. His connections have earned their spot in the Kentucky Derby, but the added distance will not improve his chances of finding what worked in the juvenile season.

Related: Kentucky Derby Probables– 20 horse field still possible]

On the bubble

Dean Martini
and Shared Sense, 20 points

Both horses landed on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard when they won a Kentucky Derby series race on the extended summer schedule. Since they also couldn’t be found on the radar this spring, it’s not a surprise that they were not Triple Crown nominated. Because the pair didn’t fare very well in the Ellis Park Derby, it is unlikely that their connections will pay the late entry fee if they make it into the top 20.

Winning Impression, 20 points

The son of Paynter is Triple Crown nominated, but his late bid at gaining more points took another hit on Sunday when he missed out on finishing in the top four in his second consecutive points race. After finishing fourth in the Arkansas Derby, Winning Impressions first took a step back with a seventh-place finish in the Indiana Derby before repeating another seventh-place finish in the Ellis Park Derby.

Still out

Necker Island
, 14 points

Even in standard years, we see a lot of 3-year-olds like this son of Hard Spun — modestly consistent in their Kentucky Derby points series races, but not good enough to finish in the top two. It happened again in the Ellis Park Derby, when Necker Island finished third but needed it to be first or second.

Rowdy Yates, 7 points

His return to Ellis Park for the first time since winning the Ellis Park Juvenile didn’t return him any new Kentucky Derby possibilities. It was a reasonable effort by Rowdy Yates, and it was worth it for his connections to try to stretch him out at a longer distance in the Ohio Derby and Ellis Park Derby. But it just didn’t work out, so expect him to shorten back up next time out.

Also worth mentioning …

The long qualification road to the 2020 Kentucky Derby will come to a close next weekend in the Pegasus Stakes from Monmouth Park. Until then, the bubble watch to round out the top 20 may be centered on horses that are ranked in the top 20 but will not be moving forward.

The top candidates that may opt out include:

#13, Swiss Skydiver, 40 points: The filly that finished second in the Blue Grass Stakes likely will start in the Kentucky Oaks.

#15, Rushie, 40 points: Not Triple Crown nominated, will have to pay the late nomination fee.

#17, Storm the Court, 32 points: On Sunday, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner switched over to turf in the La Jolla Handicap (G3) at Del Mar. He turned in a solid performance and runner-up finish, so his connections might keep him on the grass.

Here are the top 25 horses on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard:

 1 Tiz the Law 372 points
 2 Authentic 200 points
 3 Art Collector 150 points
 4 Honor A. P. 140 points
 5 Ny Traffic 110 points
 6 King Guillermo 90 points
 7  Thousand Words 83 points
 8 Dr Post 80 points
 9 Max Player 60 points
 10 Caracaro 60 points
 11 Country Grammer 50 points
 12 Enforceable 43 points
 13 Swiss Skydiver 40 points
 14 Shivaree 40 points
 15 Rushie 40 points
 16 Major Fed 38 points
 17 Storm the Court 36 points
 18 Attachment Rate 35 points
 19 Anneau d'Or 32 points
 20 Sole Volante 30 points
 21 Finnick the Fierce 25 points
 22 Pneumatic 25 points
 23 Dean Martini 20 points
 24 Shared Sense 20 points
 25 Uncle Chuck 20 points

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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