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.
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.
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.
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
Proxy, 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.
|1||Essential Quality||140||Brad Cox||$2,210,000|
|2||Hot Rod Charlie||110||Doug O'Neill||$962,000|
|3||Super Stock||109||Steve Asmussen||$709,000|
|4||Like the King||104||Wesley Ward||$161,300|
|5||Known Agenda||102||Todd Pletcher||$461,100|
|—||xg-Rebel's Romance (IRE)||100||Charlie Appleby||$510,000|
|6||Rock Your World||100||John Sadler||$510,000|
|—||x-Greatest Honour||80||Shug McGaughey III||$366,240|
|8||Medina Spirit||74||Bob Baffert||$290,000|
|9||Concert Tour||70||Bob Baffert||$820,000|
|10||Midnight Bourbon||66||Steve Asmussen||$430,000|
|—||x-Life Is Good||60||Bob Baffert||$240,000|
|11||$-Weyburn (Ont-C)||60||Jimmy Jerkens||$215,000|
|13||Caddo River||50||Brad Cox||$320,000|
|14||Highly Motivated||50||Chad Brown||$271,000|
|16||$-Panadol||40||Salem bin Ghadayer||$240,000|
|17||Soup and Sandwich||40||Mark Casse||$161,000|
|18||Dynamic One||40||Todd Pletcher||$140,000|
|19||Crowded Trade||40||Chad Brown||$135,000|
|23||Hidden Stash||32||Vicki Oliver||$130,000|
|24||Dream Shake||30||Peter Eurton||$126,000|
|25||O Besos||25||Greg Foley||$116,000|
|—||x+Drain the Clock||20||Saffie Joseph Jr.||$273,950|
|—||x+g-New Treasure (IRE)||20||John Gosden||$271,245|
|26||Get Her Number||20||Peter Miller||$242,667|
|28||King Fury||20||Kenny McPeek||$207,595|
|29||$-Hockey Dad||20||Doug O'Neill||$20,000|
|—||x-Jackie's Warrior||14||Steve Asmussen||$532,500|
|—||Nova Rags||14||Bill Mott||$111,250|
|—||x-Unbridled Honor||13||Todd Pletcher||$57,500|
|—||x-Capo Kane||12||Harold Wyner||$115,500|
|—||x-Moonlite Strike||11||Saffie Joseph Jr.||$45,000|
|—||x+-Hard Rye Guy||11||Ian Wilkes||$14,100|
|—||x-Risk Taking||10||Chad Brown||$155,000|
|—||x-Sittin On Go||10||Dale Romans||$145,800|
|—||x+-Takeru Pegasus (JPN)||10||Yukihiro Kato||$127,121|
|—||x-Candy Man Rocket||10||Bill Mott||$120,000|
|—||xg-Brooklyn Strong||10||Daniel Velazquez||$112,500|
|—||x-Big Lake||10||Steve Asmussen||$100,000|
|—||x-Hush of a Storm||10||Bill Morey||$47,710|
|—||x-Roman Centurian||9||Simon Callaghan||$38,000|
|—||x-Freedom Fighter||5||Bob Baffert||$58,000|
|—||x+-Reinvestment Risk||4||Chad Brown||$120,000|
|—||x+-Ten for Ten||4||Shug McGaughey III||$50,000|
|—||x-The Great One||4||Doug O'Neill||$46,500|
|—||x-Smiley Sobotka||4||Dale Romans||$40,400|
|—||x+-Eagle Orb||4||Rudy Rodriguez||$40,000|
|—||x-Gretzky the Great||2||Mark Casse||$223,661|
|—||x-Arabian Prince||2||Dallas Stewart||$28,063|
|—||x-Prime Factor||2||Todd Pletcher||$22,200|
|—||x-Hold the Salsa||2||Richard Lugovich||$19,125|
|—||x-Big Thorn||2||Steve Asmussen||$16,000|
|—||x+-Govenor's Party||2||Daniel Franko||$12,500|
|—||x-Pickin' Time||1||Kelly Breen||$157,925|
|—||x-Red Flag||1||John Shirreffs||$84,000|
|—||x+-Therideofalifetime||1||Ignacio Correas IV||$39,500|
|—||$-It's My House||1||Bob Hess Jr.||$36,760|
|—||=+Boca Boy||1||Cheryl Winebaugh||$24,400|
|—||Santa Cruiser||1||Keith Desormeaux||$19,500|
|—||=+Civil War||1||Tom Albertrani||$16,875|
|—||=+Royal Number||1||Mike 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