HRN unveils Kentucky Derby 2020 contender rankings

June 26, 2019 09:59am

With top summer racing just around the corner, at Saratoga, Del Mar and Ellis Park, talented 2-year-olds will take their first steps toward races such as the Breeders’ Cup, and ultimately next year’s Triple Crown series.

The precocious types already have a start or two down, but more talented juveniles will be on their way, and sure to hit Horse Racing Nation’s newly launched list of
2020 Kentucky Derby contenders.

Horse Racing Nation offers the ever-expanding wiki of Thoroughbred racehorses, with the Derby list a product of user ratings for various 2-year-old male horses. If the list is missing a prospect you’re watching, you can add that horse, rate him and watch him climb the ladder. It’s up to the community to determine whether he stays. Click here for more on HRN’s
Power Rankings and voting.

At launch, the Derby rankings include more than 30 maiden winners and stakes-placed 2-year-olds from major circuits such as Keeneland and Belmont Park. Will these turn out to be sprinters or something more as colts are asked to stretch out?

RELATED: The top 2-year-olds to watch

Tremont Stakes winner Fore Left leads the list as of Wednesday. He’s owned by Paul Reddam, trained by Doug O’Neill and had Mario Gutierrez in the irons earlier this month at Belmont Park. The same combination won the 2012 (I’ll Have Another) and 2016 (Nyquist) Kentucky Derbys.

“We had Nyquist, who broke his maiden going five [furlongs], and everyone said that horse can't go two turns or he can't go a mile and an eighth,” Reddam said after the Tremont. “[Fore Left] has the pedigree to go a mile and a quarter. Usually, with earlier speed you don't see that, but we hope he's the exception.”

Michael Yates trains three maiden winners on the list, including Turn on the Magic (Khozan), Cajun Casanova (Cajun Breeze) and Smash Factor (Khozan). Each broke their maidens at Gulfstream Park. 

Speaking of Khozan, the first crop sire who made two spectacular starts in his racing days, he’s also represented by Scott Becker-trained Khozan's Valentine and Liam's Lucky Charm from the Ralph Nicks barn.

Of course, we can expect to see a slew of Bob Baffert runners emerging at Del Mar, while newly minted Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bill Mott will unveil his colts at Saratoga. Perhaps a horse or two will be worth watching out of the crop’s first graded race for 2-year-olds, Saturday’s Bashford Manor (G3) at Churchill Downs.

All of that will be up to the Horse Racing Nation community as these popular rankings take shape ahead of the May 2, 2020, race at Churchill Downs. A counterpart list of Top 2-Year-Old Fillies is also available for users to read and rate.


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