Who's in, out and on the 2021 Kentucky Derby points bubble?

Who's in, out and on the 2021 Kentucky Derby points bubble?
Photo: Coady Photography

No win, or combination of wins, has earned a contender a ticket to the 2021 Kentucky Derby until now. The pursuit of qualifying began in September, but the points payout is never enough to put you over the top until we've reached the Risen Star (G2).

Let's jump in and start analyzing the leaderboard by looking at who's in, out, and on the 2021 Kentucky Derby points bubble. We begin by running down the changes prompted by Saturday's results.

Newly In

, 52 points

After stalking the leaders from third, the son of Into Mischief delivered a decisive stretch run to win the Risen Star. He now sits atop the Kentucky Derby leaderboard. For the second consecutive year, his trainer, Brad Cox, is also on top of the leaderboard following this prep race. Last year, Cox's Mr. Monomoy followed up a third-place finish in the Lecomte Stakes with an impressive victory in the Risen Star.

On the Bubble

Midnight Bourbon
, 26 points

In some years, this would be enough to qualify for the Kentucky Derby. But it took as many as 40 points in 2019, so the son Tiznow will remain on the bubble for now. Though he has fared better in his other Kentucky Derby prep races before his third-place finish in the Risen Star, the Steve Asmussen trainee has never finished outside the top three.

Proxy, 24 points

Back-to-back runner-up finishes in the Lecomte and Risen Star has the son of Tapit on the verge of qualifying for the Kentucky Derby. He will likely need to add one more top-three finish to do it, but this 3-year-old owned by Godolphin appears ready to follow up Saturday's effort with another reliable performance in his next Kentucky Derby points race.

Still Out

, 14 points

Twirling Candy's son scored his first graded stakes win in his first start as a 3-year-old in Saturday's El Camino Real over Golden Gate's synthetic main track. After starting his career on the grass, the Kentucky Derby has now become a real possibility for Rombauer.

O Besos
, 5 points

The son of 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb earned five points in his first graded stakes race. There's plenty of work left to do for O Besos to qualify, but his connections should have at least two more spins remaining if they intend to keep the Kentucky Derby in play.

Not Triple Crown Nominated

, 4 points

Though fillies can race in Kentucky Derby points races and qualify for the big event, they still must be nominated for the Triple Crown. The daughter of Medaglia d'Oro is not, so while she will hold onto the points, she earned with a runner-up finish in the El Camino Real, a legitimate pursuit of qualifying for the Kentucky Derby may not occur.

Govenor's Party, 2 points

The son of Govenor Charlie finished third in the El Camino Real Derby on Saturday. It was his first career start in a graded stakes race.

It's My House, 1 point

After breaking his maiden in January, the son of Anthony's Cross returned to Golden Gate Fields for his first graded stakes race. He earned a blip on the Kentucky Derby radar by finishing fourth in the El Camino Real.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby resumes this weekend with the $750,000 Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn. Click here to look at the remaining races on the points series schedule and the points awarded for each contest.

And finally, below is the complete updated leaderboard following the Risen Star and El Camino Real Derby.

RankHorsePtsTrainerStakes earnings*
1Mandaloun52Brad Cox$260,000
2Essential Quality30Brad Cox$1,280,000
3Midnight Bourbon26Steve Asmussen$230,000
4Proxy24Mike Stidham$120,000
5Keepmeinmind18Robertino Diodoro$379,040
6Rombauer14Michael McCarthy$180,500
7Medina Spirit14Bob Baffert$80,000
8Spielberg13Bob Baffert$212,000
9Jackie's Warrior12Steve Asmussen$457,500
10Capo Kane12Harold Wyner$112,500
11Hot Rod Charlie10Doug O'Neill$352,000
12Get Her Number10Peter Miller$186,000
13Sittin On Go10Dale Romans$141,800
14Risk Taking10Chad Brown$137,500
15Candy Man Rocket10Bill Mott$120,000
16Greatest Honour10Shug McGaughey III$119,040
17Caddo River10Brad Cox$90,000
18Brooklyn Strong10Daniel Velazquez$82,500
19Life Is Good10Bob Baffert$60,000
20Cowan8Steve Asmussen$320,477
21O Besos5Greg Foley$16,000
+Reinvestment Risk4Chad Brown$120,000
22Nova Rags4Bill Mott$76,000
+f-Javanica4Eoin Harty$75,640
23Super Stock4Steve Asmussen$59,000
24Tarantino4Rodolphe Brisset$58,400
25Overtook4Todd Pletcher$50,000
+Ten for Ten4Shug McGaughey III$50,000
26The Great One4Doug O'Neill$40,500
+Eagle Orb4Rudy Rodriguez$40,000
27Smiley Sobotka4Dale Romans$38,400
28Roman Centurian4Simon Callaghan$20,000
29Arabian Prince2Dallas Stewart$28,063
30Waspirant2John Shirreffs$26,000
31Petruchio2Richard Mandella$24,450
32Known Agenda2Todd Pletcher$24,000
33Hidden Stash2Vicki Oliver$20,000
34Prime Factor2Todd Pletcher$19,200
35Hold the Salsa2Richard Lugovich$19,125
+Swill2Brad Cox$18,600
34Big Thorn2Steve Asmussen$16,000
35Parnelli2John Shirreffs$14,000
+Govenor's Party2Daniel Franko$12,000
36Pickin' Time1Kelly Breen$157,925
37Red Flag1John Shirreffs$72,000
38Papetu1Antonio Sano$39,925
+Therideofalifetime1Ignacio Correas IV$39,500
+Boca Boy1Cheryl Winebaugh$24,400
+Upstriker1Ron Moquett$20,000
+Civil War1Tom Albertrani$16,875
+Royal Number1Mike Trombetta$15,000
39Santa Cruiser1Keith Desormeaux$12,000
40Moonlite Strike1Saffie Joseph Jr.$7,500
+It's My House1James Thomas$6,000

Bold = Update from previously published Leaderboard. … + = Not Triple Crown Nominated … $ = Late Triple Crown Nominee … Italics = no recent published workout … Strikethrough = Sidelined, inactive or appears to be no longer under serious Kentucky Derby consideration. 

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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