March 24, 2023

Get to know the 2018 Kentucky Derby contenders

May 1 update: The field for the 144th Kentucky Derby (G1) is now set, with post positions drawn and morning-line odds assigned.

Here’s your quick guide to the cast of 20, arranged in order of their point totals amassed through the scoring races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. If horses have the same number of points, the tiebreak is non-restricted stakes earnings.

In addition to connections and basic pedigree, note the link to news on each contender. You can also click here to find all the Kentucky Derby-related news and features.

For more details, including Brisnet Speed figures and stats, check out the free Kentucky Derby past performances (now the final version). If you would like to learn more about the kinds of information contained in the past performances, we have an in-depth explanation.

Now, on to the contenders for Derby 144:

Magnum Moon topped the leaderboard by winning the Arkansas Derby (c) Coady Photography

MAGNUM MOON (150 points), Post 16, 6-1

Undefeated winner of the Arkansas Derby (G1) and Rebel (G2) must overcome the stat that no unraced juvenile has gone on to win the Kentucky Derby since Apollo (1882).

Owner: Robert & Lawana Low; Trainer: Todd Pletcher; Jockey: Luis Saez

Pedigree: by Malibu Moon–Dazzling Song, by Unbridled’s Song

Magnum Moon news

Champion Good Magic is one of three sons of Curlin in the Derby field (c) Coady Photography

GOOD MAGIC (134 points), Post 6, 12-1

Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1)-winning champion regained the winning attitude in the Blue Grass (G2).

Owner: e Five Racing Thoroughbreds & Stonestreet Stables; Trainer: Chad Brown; Jockey: Jose Ortiz

Pedigree: by Curlin–Glinda the Good, by Hard Spun

Good Magic news

AUDIBLE (110 points), Post 5, 8-1

Audible burst onto the scene at Gulfstream Park (c) Coglianese Photography

Florida Derby (G1) and Holy Bull (G2) victor aims to become only the second New York-bred Kentucky Derby winner after Funny Cide (2003).

Owner: China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing & WinStar Farm; Trainer: Todd Pletcher; Jockey: Javier Castellano

Pedigree: by Into Mischief–Blue Devil Bel, by Gilded Time

Audible news


Noble Indy re-rallied to win the Louisiana Derby (c) Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir

NOBLE INDY (110 points), Post 19, 30-1

Louisiana Derby (G2) winner came again gamely after being headed to prevail in first-time blinkers.

Owner: WinStar Farm & Repole Stable; Trainer: Todd Pletcher; Jockey: Florent Geroux

Pedigree: by Take Charge Indy–Noble Maz, by Storm Boot

Noble Indy news


Vino Rosso jumped up in the Wood to give trainer Todd Pletcher four in the Derby (c) Coglianese Photography

VINO ROSSO (107 points), Post 18, 12-1

Wood Memorial (G2) hero finally put it all together but had to survive an inquiry and objection to keep his victory.

Owner: Repole Stable & St. Elias Stable; Trainer: Todd Pletcher; Jockey: John Velazquez

Pedigree: by Curlin–Mythical Bride, by Street Cry

Vino Rosso news


Bolt d’Oro has been among the division’s best at both two and three © Benoit Photo

BOLT D’ORO (104 points), Post 11, 8-1

Dual Grade 1-winning juvenile was awarded victory via disqualification in the San Felipe (G2) and placed second in the Santa Anita Derby (G1).

Owner: Ruis Racing; Trainer: Mick Ruis; Jockey: Victor Espinoza

Pedigree: by Medaglia d’Oro–Globe Trot, by A.P. Indy

Bolt d’Oro news

ENTICED (103 points), Post 12, 30-1

Enticed is by the same sire as Bolt d’Oro (c) NYRA/ Coglianese Photography

Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) and Gotham (G3) victor was bumped by Vino Rosso when runner-up in the Wood Memorial.

Owner: Godolphin Racing; Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin; Jockey: Junior Alvarado

Pedigree: by Medaglia d’Oro–It’s Tricky, by Mineshaft

Enticed news


MENDELSSOHN (100 points), Post 14, 5-1

Mendelssohn bids to make history for Aidan O’Brien (c) Dubai Racing Club/Neville Hopwood

Beholder’s half-brother and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) hero made a jaw-dropping dirt debut in a track-record UAE Derby (G2), threatening to become the first European shipper to wear the roses.

Owner: Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier & Michael Tabor; Trainer: Aidan O’Brien; Jockey: Ryan Moore

Pedigree: by Scat Daddy–Leslie’s Lady, by Tricky Creek

Mendelssohn news

JUSTIFY (100 points), Post 7, 3-1

Justify became the Kentucky Derby favorite at Santa Anita ©Benoit Photo

Unbeaten Santa Anita Derby winner rocketed to early Kentucky Derby favoritism, but like Magnum Moon, has to stare down the “Apollo curse.”

Owner: China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing & WinStar Farm; Trainer: Bob Baffert; Jockey: Mike Smith

Pedigree: by Scat Daddy–Stage Magic, by Ghostzapper

Justify news



Flameaway hopes to become the third Canadian-bred Derby winner (c) SV Photography

FLAMEAWAY (70 points), Post 4, 30-1

Sam F. Davis (G3) winner has subsequently taken the runner-up spot in both the Tampa Bay Derby and Blue Grass.

Owner: John C. Oxley; Trainer: Mark Casse; Jockey: Jose Lezcano

Pedigree: by Scat Daddy–Vulcan Rose, by Fusaichi Pegasus

Flameaway news


Solomini (outside) is Bob Baffert’s secondary hope after Justify ©Benoit Photo

SOLOMINI (54 points), Post 17, 30-1

First-past-the-post (but disqualified) in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) has collected a fistful of placings, most recently in the Arkansas Derby.

Owner: Zayat Stables, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael B. Tabor & Derrick Smith; Trainer: Bob Baffert; Jockey: Flavien Prat

Pedigree: by Curlin–Surf Song, by Storm Cat

Solomini news

BRAVAZO (54 points), Post 13, 50-1

Bravazo (left) races for historic Calumet Farm (c) Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir

Risen Star (G2) victor comes off a strange-trip eighth in the Louisiana Derby where he lugged out and was virtually wrapped up on by the rider.

Owner: Calumet Farm; Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas; Jockey: Luis Contreras

Pedigree: by Awesome Again–Tiz o’ Gold, by Cee’s Tizzy

Bravazo news


MY BOY JACK (52 points), Post 10, 30-1

My Boy Jack (outside) earned his ticket in the penultimate scoring race (c) Wendy Wooley/EquiSport Photos

Southwest (G3) romper just clinched his spot with a score in the Lexington S. (G3).

Owner: Don’t Tell My Wife Stables, Monomoy Stables & West Point Thoroughbreds; Trainer: Keith Desormeaux: Jockey: Kent Desormeaux

Pedigree: by Creative Cause–Gold N Shaft, by Mineshaft

My Boy Jack news


PROMISES FULFILLED (52 points), Post 3, 30-1

Promises Fulfilled is trained by Dale Romans like sire Shackleford (c) Coglianese Photography

Fountain of Youth (G2) upsetter got torched in a speed duel last time in the Florida Derby and wound up last.

Owner: Robert Baron; Trainer: Dale Romans; Jockey: Corey Lanerie

Pedigree: by Shackleford–Marquee Delivery, by Marquetry

Promises Fulfilled news


FREE DROP BILLY (44 points), Post 2, 30-1

Free Drop Billy is another Dale Romans runner (c) Coady Photography

Breeders’ Futurity (G1) hero has placed in his last three preps after being elevated to third (via disqualification of a rival) in the Blue Grass.

Owner: Albaugh Family Stables; Trainer: Dale Romans; Jockey: Robby Albarado

Pedigree: by Union Rags–Trensa, by Giant’s Causeway

Free Drop Billy news


LONE SAILOR (42 points), Post 8, 50-1

Lone Sailor (no. 8) almost snared the prize for hometown connections (c) Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.

Louisiana Derby runner-up appeared to have victory in his grasp before just getting outdueled late.

Owner: G M B Racing; Trainer: Tom Amoss; Jockey: James Graham

Pedigree: by Majestic Warrior–Ambitious, by Mr. Greeley

Lone Sailor news

HOFBURG (40 points), Post 9, 20-1

Hofburg (left) is a fast learner for usually conservative connections (c) Coglianese Photography/ Andie Biancone


Late developer punched his Derby ticket with an outstanding second in his Florida Derby stakes debut.

Owner: Juddmonte Farms; Trainer: Bill Mott; Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

Pedigree: by Tapit–Soothing Touch, by Touch Gold

Hofburg news


FIRENZE FIRE (39 points), Post 1, 50-1

Firenze Fire’s 39-point total sufficed to make the Derby field (c) NYRA/Coglianese/Durand

Hero of the Champagne (G1) and Jerome faces a big distance question after checking in a distant fourth in the Wood Memorial.

Owner: Mr Amore Stable; Trainer: Jason Servis; Jockey: Paco Lopez

Pedigree: by Poseidon’s Warrior–My Every Wish, by Langfuhr

Firenze Fire news


COMBATANT (32 points), Post 20, 50-1

Combatant joins Justify, Mendelssohn, and Flameaway as a Scat Daddy colt in Derby 144 (Coady Photography)

Frequent stakes-placer just missed the cut when fourth in a blanket finish for the minor awards in the Arkansas Derby.

Owner: Winchell Thoroughbreds & Willis Horton Racing; Trainer: Steve Asmussen; Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.

Pedigree: by Scat Daddy–Border Dispute, by Boundary

Combatant news


INSTILLED REGARD (29 points), Post 15, 50-1

Instilled Regard went from being out of Derby consideration into the field (c) Hodges Photography / Jamie Hernandez

The Lecomte (G3) winner was thought to be off the trail after a fourth in the Santa Anita Derby, but Daily Racing Form reports connections had a re-think.

Owner: Oxo Equine; Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer; Jockey: Drayden Van Dyke

Pedigree: by Arch–Enhancing, by Forestry

Instilled Regard news


If a horse scratches by Friday morning, the also-eligible entrant would draw in to Derby 144.

BLENDED CITIZEN (22 points), 50-1

Jeff Ruby Steaks (sic) (G3) winner, originally removed from consideration after a fifth in the Blue Grass, is now back in the picture.

Owner: Greg Hall & SAYJAY Racing; Trainer: Doug O’Neill; Jockey: Kyle Frey

Pedigree: by Proud Citizen–Langara Lass, by Langfuhr

Blended Citizen news

1 Comment on Get to know the 2018 Kentucky Derby contenders

  1. I see a few common ownership contenders for the Derby and wonder whatever happened to the rules about coupled entries. How does a trainer decide which of his potential runners will be forwardly placed to ensure a legitimate pace and which owner will benefit from the sacrifice of the rabbit’s connections?

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