The Road to Kentucky Derby 2021 — after 13 prep races

The Road to Kentucky Derby 2021 — after 13 prep races
Photo: Cady Coulardot

After 13 2021 Kentucky Derby prep races, Brad Cox has a new contender on the board.

Saturday's Smarty Jones put four new horses on the board, with Cox's Caddo River earning 10 points for his victory. Cowan and Big Thorn finished second and third for Steve Asmussen, earning four and two points respectively.

Cowan's four points moved him to eight total, as he earned another four in the Springboard Mile. He sits 13th on the leaderboard.

Moonlite Strike finished fourth, earning a single point.

Next Saturday will feature the Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita and the Holy Bull at Gulfstream, both 10-4-2-1 points payout races.

Over one third of the way through the 36-race calendar, here's a look at the races so far and the next several on the calendar, with this past weekend's race in bold type. 

Road to the Kentucky Derby - After 13 races

DateRaceTrackDistance1st-4th (points)
9/5IroquoisCD1 mileSittin On Go (10), Midnight Bourbon (4), Super Stock (2), Therideofalifetime (1)
9/26American PharoahSA1 1/16 milesGet Her Number (10), Rombauer (4), Spielberg (2), Waspirant (1)
10/3Breeders' FuturityKee1 1/16 milesEssential Quality (10), Keepmeinmind (4), Super Stock (2), Upstriker (1)
10/10ChampagneBel1 mileJackie's Warrior (10), Reinvestment Risk (4), Midnight Bourbon (2), Civil War (1)
11/6Breeders' Cup JuvenileKee1 1/16 milesEssential Quality (20), Hot Rod Charlie (8), Keepmeinmind (4), Jackie's Warrior (2)
11/28Kentucky Jockey ClubCD1 1/16 milesKeepmeinmind (10), Smiley Sobotka (4), Arabian Prince (2), Swill (1)
12/5RemsenAQU1 1/8 milesBrooklyn Strong (10), Ten for Ten (4), Known Agenda (2), Pickin' Time (1)
12/18Springboard MileRP1 mileSenor Buscador (0), Cowan (4), Red N Wild (0), Saffa's Day (0)
12/19Los Alamitos FuturityLRC1 1/16 milesSpielberg (10), The Great One (4), Petruchio (2), Red Flag (1)
1/1JeromeAQU1 mileCapo Kane (10), Eagle Orb (4), Hold the Salsa (2)
1/2ShamSA1 mileLife Is Good (10), Medina Spirit (4), Parnelli (2)
1/16LecomteFG1 1/16 milesMidnight Bourbon (10), Proxy (4), Mandaloun (2), Santa Cruiser (1)
1/22Smarty JonesOP1 mileCaddo River (10), Cowan (8), Big Thorn (2), Moonlite Strike (1) 
1/30Holy BullGP1 1/16 miles 
1/30Robert B. LewisSA1 1/16 miles 
1/30WithersAQU1 1/16 miles 
2/6Sam F. DavisTam1 1/16 miles

Note: Senor Buscador (1st), Red N Wild (3rd) and Saffa’s Day (4th) did not accrue points in the Dec. 18 Springboard Mile because they competed with Lasix on race day. 

Essential Quality retains the top spot on the leaderboard. We could see him next in the Feb. 13 Risen Star (G2), which offers 50-20-10-5 points, or the (G2) or the Feb. 15 Southwest (G3), at 10-4-2-1.

Here are the points totals, with horses who earned points this past weekend in bold.

Road to the Kentucky Derby - Points leaders

RankHorsePtsTrainerStakes earnings*
1Essential Quality30Brad Cox$1,280,000
2Keepmeinmind18Robertino Diodoro$379,040
3Midnight Bourbon16Steve Asmussen$190,000
4Jackie's Warrior12Steve Asmussen$457,500
5Spielberg12Bob Baffert$206,000
6Get Her Number10Peter Miller$186,000
7Sittin On Go10Dale Romans$139,800
8Caddo River10Brad Cox$90,000
9Brooklyn Strong10Daniel Velazquez$82,500
10Capo Kane10Harold Wyner$82,500
11Life Is Good10Bob Baffert$60,000
12Hot Rod Charlie8Doug O'Neill$340,000
13Cowan8Steve Asmussen$320,477
14Rombauer4Michael McCarthy$120,500
15Reinvestment Risk4Chad Brown$120,000
16Super Stock4Steve Asmussen$59,000
17Ten for Ten4Shug McGaughey III$50,000
18The Great One4Doug O'Neill$40,500
19Proxy4Mike Stidham$40,000
20Smiley Sobotka4Dale Romans$38,400
21Eagle Orb4Rudy Rodriguez$30,000
22Medina Spirit4Bob Baffert$20,000
23Arabian Prince2Dallas Stewart$28,063
24Petruchio2Richard Mandella$24,000
25Waspirant2John Shirreffs$24,000
26Mandaloun2Brad Cox$20,000
27Hold the Salsa2Richard Lugovich$19,125
28Swill2Brad Cox$18,600
29Known Agenda2Todd Pletcher$18,000
30Big Thorn2Steve Asmussen$16,000
31Parnelli2John Shirreffs$12,000
32Pickin' Time1Kelly Breen$157,925
33Red Flag1John Shirreffs$72,000
34Therideofalifetime1Ignacio Correas IV$39,500
35Upstriker1Ron Moquett$20,000
36Civil War1Tom Albertrani$15,000
37Santa Cruiser1Keith Desormeaux$8,000
38Moonlite Strike1Saffie Joseph Jr.$7,500

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