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: Liz Lamont / Eclipse Sportswire

Following a weekend off, the 2021 Kentucky Derby Points Series resumed with a trio of races worth a total of 119 points to the top four finishers. Two of the three races paid out enough points for the winner to stamp an entry ticket to the Kentucky Derby, but the winner of the other one will have to keep pushing forward to earn his.

Let's jump in and start analyzing the leaderboard by looking at who's in, out and who's on the 2021 Kentucky Derby points bubble after Saturday's Southwest Stakes and Fountain of Youth, along with the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes from Friday.

Newly In

Greatest Honour
, 60 points

Kentucky Derby contenders who follow up a win with another monster score make the Kentucky Derby road even more exciting. From well off the Kentucky Derby radar in his juvenile season, the son of Tapit is now front and center after back-to-back wins in the Holy Bull and Fountain of Youth. Trained by Claude McGaughey, Greatest Honour has now earned enough points to make the Kentucky Derby field, and he is currently holding the No. 1 spot on the leaderboard.

Essential Quality, 40 points

The Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner remained perfect by adding another impressive win in the Southwest Stakes. With this opening act to the 3-year-old season, it shouldn't be too surprising that the son of Tapit, trained by Brad Cox, kept his No. 1 ranking on HRN's Kentucky Derby 2021 Contenders list. Despite holding fewer points than Greatest Honour, Essential Quality has more graded stakes wins.

On the Bubble

, 17 points

Although he has started in four Kentucky Derby points races, the son of Union Rags doesn't have enough points to be considered safe for qualification. But the Bob Baffert trainee still has a solid resume after his runner-up performance in the Southwest Stakes. To date, Spielberg has never finished worse than fourth in eight career starts, so at this pace, his quest for an adequate point total could be settled next time out.

Jackie's Warrior, 14 points

His juvenile season started with a bang with three consecutive graded stakes wins, but Jackie's Warrior hasn't recorded a win in his last two starts. Because his previous wins didn't pay out enough points, his third-place finish in the Southwest Stakes keeps him on the bubble and learning more toward falling off for now. His early success came at a distance of less than one mile, so the son of Maclean's Music still must prove he's capable of scoring over a longer distance.

Still Out

, 11 points

He is making progress, but can he continue to score enough points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby? After completing his juvenile season without finishing inside the top four in a grades stakes race, Papetu started his sophomore campaign with three consecutive top-four performances. Two of those came in Kentucky Derby points races, including Saturday's third-place finish in the Fountain of Youth, but he's got work left to do since he's well below the number of points it's going to take.

Hush Of A Storm, 10 points

The pursuit to qualify for the Kentucky Derby took a big step forward for the son of Creative Cause in his first points race. Following a mediocre performance in his first career race on the dirt at Churchill Downs, Hush Of A Storm has reached the winners' circle every time since switching to a different surface. The win in the John Battaglia marks his third consecutive win on Turfway's All-Weather Track, so look for him to stay put and possibly return for the Jeff Ruby Stakes next time out.   

Tarantino, 9 points

Though he finished second in the Holy Bull, the son of Pioneerof The Nile didn't take a step forward in the Fountain of Youth. His fourth-place effort on Saturday leaves him with enough points to stay in the conversation, but Tarantino will need to improve next time out should his connections still like to see him qualify for the Kentucky Derby.

Like The King, 4 points

Gretzky the Great, 2 points

Both horses jumped onto the Kentucky Derby point's leaderboard by finishing third and fourth in the John Battaglia, but they will need a few more performances like this, or even better if they're going to make it to the Kentucky Derby.

Not Triple Crown Nominated

Drain the Clock
, 20 points

The son of Maclean's Music is guaranteed the 20 points he earned with a runner-up finish in the Fountain of Youth, but we can't consider him a potential qualifier until his connections decide to fork over the late nomination fee if they want to pursue a chance at claiming the roses.

Hard Rye Guy, 1 point

Woodhouse, 1 point

They've made the leaderboard by finishing fourth in their respective races, but starting in a Triple Crown race is not very likely.

Looking Ahead

The Road to the Kentucky Derby resumes this weekend with another trio of races: the Gotham at Aqueduct, the Tampa Bay Derby and the San Felipe at Santa Anita Park. 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 results from this past weekend. 

RankHorsePtsTrainerStakes earnings*
1Greatest Honour60Shug McGaughey III$295,740
2Mandaloun52Brad Cox$260,000
3Essential Quality40Brad Cox$1,730,000
4Midnight Bourbon26Steve Asmussen$230,000
5Proxy24Mike Stidham$120,000
+Drain the Clock20Saffie Joseph Jr.$163,950
6Keepmeinmind18Robertino Diodoro$379,040
7Spielberg17Bob Baffert$362,000
8Jackie's Warrior14Steve Asmussen$532,500
9Rombauer14Michael McCarthy$180,500
10Medina Spirit14Bob Baffert$80,000
11Capo Kane12Harold Wyner$112,500
12Papetu11Antonio Sano$68,425
13Hot Rod Charlie10Doug O'Neill$352,000
14Get Her Number10Peter Miller$186,000
15Sittin On Go10Dale Romans$141,800
16Risk Taking10Chad Brown$137,500
17Candy Man Rocket10Bill Mott$120,000
18Caddo River10Brad Cox$90,000
19Brooklyn Strong10Daniel Velazquez$82,500
20Life Is Good10Bob Baffert$60,000
21Hush of a Storm10Bill Morey$43,710
22Tarantino9Rodolphe Brisset$72,650
23Cowan8Steve Asmussen$320,477
24O Besos5Greg Foley$16,000
+Reinvestment Risk4Chad Brown$120,000
25Nova Rags4Bill Mott$76,000
+f-Javanica4Eoin Harty$75,640
26Super Stock4Steve Asmussen$59,000
27Overtook4Todd Pletcher$50,000
+Ten for Ten4Shug McGaughey III$50,000
28The Great One4Doug O'Neill$40,500
+Eagle Orb4Rudy Rodriguez$40,000
29Smiley Sobotka4Dale Romans$38,400
30Roman Centurian4Simon Callaghan$20,000
31Like the King4Wesley Ward$18,800
32Gretzky the Great2Mark Casse$218,021
33Arabian Prince2Dallas Stewart$28,063
34Waspirant2John Shirreffs$26,000
35Petruchio2Richard Mandella$24,450
36Known Agenda2Todd Pletcher$24,000
37Prime Factor2Todd Pletcher$22,200
38Hidden Stash2Vicki Oliver$20,000
39Hold the Salsa2Richard Lugovich$19,125
+Swill2Brad Cox$18,600
40Big Thorn2Steve Asmussen$16,000
41Parnelli2John Shirreffs$14,000
+Govenor's Party2Daniel Franko$12,000
42Pickin' Time1Kelly Breen$157,925
43Red Flag1John Shirreffs$72,000
+Therideofalifetime1Ignacio Correas IV$39,500
+Woodhouse1C.R. Trout$37,500
+Boca Boy1Cheryl Winebaugh$24,400
+Upstriker1Ron Moquett$20,000
44Santa Cruiser1Keith Desormeaux$19,500
+Civil War1Tom Albertrani$16,875
+Royal Number1Mike Trombetta$15,000
45Moonlite Strike1Saffie Joseph Jr.$7,500
+It's My House1James Thomas$6,000
+Hard Rye Guy1Ian Wilkes$4,700

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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