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

Kentucky Derby 2021: Who's in, out and on the points bubble?
Photo: Ted McClenning/Eclipse Sportswire

That's a wrap. The 2021 Kentucky Derby prep season came to an end on Saturday with the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby from Oaklawn and the Lexington Stakes (G3) at Keeneland.

After these last two qualification races, a pair of horses from outside the top 20 earned their way into the Kentucky Derby field, while another 3-year-old just missed out and is currently ranked at number 21.

[RELATED – What we learned: Concert Tour's loss narrows Ky. Derby picture]

Let's jump in and analyze who's in, out or on the bubble by running down the changes prompted by this weekend's results before turning to the official points standings.

Newly in

Super Stock
, 109 points

The Kentucky Derby journey has been unique for Super Stock because it started with the Iroquois Stakes (G3), the first qualification race on the 2020-21 Kentucky Derby Prep race calendar, and concluded with the Arkansas Derby (G1), the last qualification race. Though he didn't finish worse than third in three Kentucky Derby prep races leading into Saturday, his points total was so low that he couldn't finish worse than second. By winning, the son of Dialed In now is headed to Churchill Downs with a chance to bring trainer Steve Asmussen his first win in the Kentucky Derby.

Caddo River, 50 points

By finishing fifth in the Rebel Stakes (G2) after winning the Smarty Jones, Caddo River was also up against it in the Arkansas Derby (G1). He had only 10 points going in, so he had to finish first or second. As soon as it began to look like his Kentucky Dreams were fading, the son of Hard Spun fought back in the final furlong to finish as the runner-up. The effort earned him a spot in the top 20 and guaranteed him a place in the Kentucky Derby's starting gate.

Already in

Concert Tour
, 70 points

Winning the final prep race has become a common trend for the eventual Kentucky Derby winner, so Concert Tour will have to overcome a poor performance in the Arkansas Derby as he pushes on to Churchill Downs. In nine of the last 11 years, the Kentucky Derby champion won their final prep race. The two outliers came from the Arkansas Derby: Super Saver (second in 2010) and Country House (third in 2019). If Concert Tour is in position to have a legitimate chance at winning the roses at the top of the stretch, he will have to prove he can handle the added distance in the Kentucky Derby. He performed worse at 1 1/8 miles on Saturday than in the Rebel at 1 1/16 miles.

Last 5 in

Panadol, 40 points

He was a late Triple Crown nominee after coming in second in the UAE Derby (G2), his first loss after two Meydan wins to start his career.

Soup and Sandwich, 40 points

After winning his first two, the Mark Casse trainee finished second in the Florida Derby (G1) to Known Agenda, who is No. 5 on the leaderboard.

Dynamic One, 40 points

After breaking his maiden on fourth try, his runner-up effort in the Wood Memorial (G2) gave him the 40 points he needs to start in the Kentucky Derby for Todd Pletcher.

Crowded Trade, 40 points

He earned his way to the Derby with a second-place finish in the Gotham (G3) and a third-place finish in the Wood Memorial for Chad Brown. Those starts followed a debut win in January.

Sainthood, 40 points

The Todd Pletcher trainee punched his Derby ticket with a second-place finish in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3). His only win came when he broke his maiden at 1 1/16 miles on second try in February.

On the bubble

, 36 points

Cracking the top 20 required a top-three finish in the Lexington Stakes, but Proxy finished fourth. After finishing second in the Lecomte (G3) and Risen Star (G2) and fourth in the Louisiana Derby (G2), Proxy had a solid chance of breaking through, but he came up one place shy of moving into the Kentucky Derby field. He could advance into the field because of defection, but trainer Michael Stidham said before the Lexington that he was unlikely to pursue the Kentucky Derby.

Rombauer, 34 points

His loss to Essential Quality (No. 1 on the leaderboard) and Highly Motivated (No. 14) in the Blue Grass (G2) put him out of Kentucky Derby contention – for now.

Hidden Stash, 32 points

After two wins last year, he has made the board in three starts as a 3-year-old but failed to score. Finished fourth in the Blue Grass.

Dream Shake, 30 points

He earned his points with third-place finishes in the San Felipe (G2) and the Santa Anita Derby (G1) after breaking his maiden on debut in February.

O Besos, 25 points

Started the year with an allowance win, but his fourth-place finish in the Risen Start (G2) and third in the Louisiana Derby (G2) weren't enough to get him in the Kentucky Derby.



Get Her Number, 20 points

King Fury, 20 points

Hozier, 20 points

Hockey Dad, 20 points

These hopefuls are unlikely to make it to the Kentucky Derby starting gate as 20 points leaves them too far outside the top 20. They all are nominated for the Triple Crown, however, so some of these 3-year-olds likely will be considered for the Preakness Stakes by their connections.

Keepmeinmind, 18 points

His sole win came in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2), followed by a sixth-place finish in the Rebel and a fifth in the Blue Grass.

Also worth mentioning

The European Road to the Kentucky Derby came up empty because none of the 3-year-olds from that leaderboard were nominated for the Triple Crown. The Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby also will not contribute a horse because all of the invitations were declined So, that leaves the UAE Derby as the only international factor in this year's Kentucky Derby. But, the UAE Derby winner will not be starting in the Kentucky Derby. Godolphin announced that Rebel's Romance will bypass the first two legs of the Triple Crown and aim for the Belmont Stakes.

Updated Leaderboard

RankHorsePtsTrainerStakes earnings*
1Essential Quality140Brad Cox$2,210,000
2Hot Rod Charlie110Doug O'Neill$962,000
3Super Stock109Steve Asmussen$709,000
4Like the King104Wesley Ward$161,300
5Known Agenda102Todd Pletcher$461,100
xg-Rebel's Romance (IRE)100Charlie Appleby$510,000
6Rock Your World100John Sadler$510,000
7Bourbonic100Todd Pletcher$400,000
x-Greatest Honour80Shug McGaughey III$366,240
8Medina Spirit74Bob Baffert$290,000
9Concert Tour70Bob Baffert$820,000
10Midnight Bourbon66Steve Asmussen$430,000
x-Life Is Good60Bob Baffert$240,000
11$-Weyburn (Ont-C)60Jimmy Jerkens$215,000
12Mandaloun52Brad Cox$270,000
13Caddo River50Brad Cox$320,000
14Highly Motivated50Chad Brown$271,000
15$-Helium50Mark Casse$255,492
16$-Panadol40Salem bin Ghadayer$240,000
17Soup and Sandwich40Mark Casse$161,000
18Dynamic One40Todd Pletcher$140,000
19Crowded Trade40Chad Brown$135,000
20Sainthood40Todd Pletcher$47,500
21Proxy36Mike Stidham$170,000
22Rombauer34Michael McCarthy$260,500
23Hidden Stash32Vicki Oliver$130,000
24Dream Shake30Peter Eurton$126,000
25O Besos25Greg Foley$116,000
x+Drain the Clock20Saffie Joseph Jr.$273,950
x+g-New Treasure (IRE)20John Gosden$271,245
26Get Her Number20Peter Miller$242,667
27Hozier20Bob Baffert$220,000
28King Fury20Kenny McPeek$207,595
29$-Hockey Dad20Doug O'Neill$20,000
30Keepmeinmind18Robertino Diodoro$409,707
x-Spielberg17Bob Baffert$369,500
x-Jackie's Warrior14Steve Asmussen$532,500
Nova Rags14Bill Mott$111,250
x-Unbridled Honor13Todd Pletcher$57,500
x-Capo Kane12Harold Wyner$115,500
Papetu11Antonio Sano$75,925
x-Moonlite Strike11Saffie Joseph Jr.$45,000
x+-Hard Rye Guy11Ian Wilkes$14,100
x-Risk Taking10Chad Brown$155,000
x-Sittin On Go10Dale Romans$145,800
x+-Takeru Pegasus (JPN)10Yukihiro Kato$127,121
x-Candy Man Rocket10Bill Mott$120,000
xg-Brooklyn Strong10Daniel Velazquez$112,500
x-Big Lake10Steve Asmussen$100,000
x-Hush of a Storm10Bill Morey$47,710
x-Defunded10Bob Baffert$45,000
x-Tarantino9Rodolphe Brisset$74,650
x-Roman Centurian9Simon Callaghan$38,000
x-Cowan8Steve Asmussen$620,477
x-Freedom Fighter5Bob Baffert$58,000
x+-Reinvestment Risk4Chad Brown$120,000
x+f-Javanica4Eoin Harty$99,640
x-Overtook4Todd Pletcher$50,000
x+-Ten for Ten4Shug McGaughey III$50,000
x-The Great One4Doug O'Neill$46,500
x-Starrininmydreams4Dallas Stewart$44,000
x-Smiley Sobotka4Dale Romans$40,400
x+-Eagle Orb4Rudy Rodriguez$40,000
x-Gretzky the Great2Mark Casse$223,661
x-Arabian Prince2Dallas Stewart$28,063
g-Waspirant2John Shirreffs$26,000
xg-Petruchio2Richard Mandella$24,450
x-Prime Factor2Todd Pletcher$22,200
x-Hold the Salsa2Richard Lugovich$19,125
x+g-Swill2Brad Cox$18,600
x-Big Thorn2Steve Asmussen$16,000
x-Parnelli2John Shirreffs$14,000
x+-Govenor's Party2Daniel Franko$12,500
x-Pickin' Time1Kelly Breen$157,925
x-Red Flag1John Shirreffs$84,000
x+-Therideofalifetime1Ignacio Correas IV$39,500
=+Woodhouse1C.R. Trout$37,500
$-It's My House1Bob Hess Jr.$36,760
=+Boca Boy1Cheryl Winebaugh$24,400
=+Upstriker1Ron Moquett$20,000
Santa Cruiser1Keith Desormeaux$19,500
=+Civil War1Tom Albertrani$16,875
=+Royal Number1Mike Trombetta$16,000

Bold = Update from previously published Leaderboard.

+ = Not Triple Crown nominated

$ = The connections have paid the $6,000 late Triple Crown nomination fee (due by March 29)

X = Sidelined, inactive or appears to be no longer under serious Kentucky Derby consideration

G = Gelding

F = Filly

Italics = No recent published workout

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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