May 25, 2020

Get to know the 2019 Kentucky Derby contenders

UPDATED after Tuesday’s draw with post positions, morning-line odds, and final PPs.

Now that all the Kentucky Derby (G1) scoring races are in the books, and the points allocated, the field is set for the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs.

Here are the top 19 ranked in order of points on the leaderboard, plus the colt who earned the invitation by way of the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby, Master Fencer. For those horses who have scored the same number of points, non-restricted stakes earnings serve as the tiebreak.

Along with synopsis, connections, and basic pedigree, you can find a hyperlink to news and features regarding each contender. Detailed contender information, including BRIS Speed ratings, is available in the free Brisnet past performances for the Derby. (Click here for an explanation of how to read the past performances.)

Also be sure to check out the Kentucky Derby Study Materials compiled by Ed DeRosa and our entire Derby news category.

Now let’s meet the field for Derby 145:

Tacitus winning the Wood Memorial (c) NYRA/Coglianese/Chelsea Durand

TACITUS (150 points), Post 8, 10-1

Blueblood vaulted to the top of the leaderboard by capturing both starts this year, the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and Wood Memorial (G2).

Owner: Juddmonte Farms; Trainer: Bill Mott; Jockey: Jose Ortiz

Pedigree: by Tapit-Close Hatches, by First Defence

Tacitus news

 

OMAHA BEACH (137.5 points), Post 12, 4-1 morning line favorite – SCRATCHED

Omaha Beach captures the Arkansas Derby (c) Coady Photography /Oaklawn

Tactical speed proved a lethal weapon in the Arkansas Derby (G1) and second division of the Rebel (G2).

Owner: Fox Hill Farm; Trainer: Richard Mandella

Pedigree: by War Front-Charming, by Seeking the Gold

Omaha Beach news

 

VEKOMA (110 points), Post 6, 20-1

Vekoma wins the Blue Grass (c) Keeneland/Coady Photography

Blue Grass (G2) winner was rebounding from his only career loss, a third in the Fountain of Youth (G2).

Owner: R.A. Hill Stable & Gatsas Stables; Trainer: George Weaver; Jockey: Javier Castellano

Pedigree: by Candy Ride-Mona de Momma, by Speightstown

Vekoma news

 

PLUS QUE PARFAIT (104 points), Post 9, 30-1

Plus Que Parfait wins the UAE Derby (c) Dubai Racing Club/Neville Hopwood

First U.S.-based horse to win the UAE Derby (G2) now hopes to buck stats against those who took the Dubai road to Louisville.

Owner: Imperial Racing; Trainer: Brendan Walsh; Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.

Pedigree: by Point of Entry-Belvedera, by Awesome Again

Plus Que Parfait news

 

ROADSTER (100 points), Post 17, 6-1

Roadster takes the Santa Anita Derby © BENOIT PHOTO

Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner, and initially buzzworthy juvenile, is two-for-two since minor surgery to correct a breathing issue.

Owner: Speedway Stable; Trainer: Bob Baffert; Jockey: Florent Geroux

Pedigree: by Quality Road-Ghost Dancing, by Silver Ghost

Roadster news

 

BY MY STANDARDS (100 points), Post 3, 20-1

By My Standards wins the Louisiana Derby (c) Hodges Photography /Amanda Hodges Weir

 

Louisiana Derby (G2) upsetter was overlooked at 22-1 off his maiden score.

Owner: Allied Racing Stable; Trainer: Bret Calhoun; Jockey: Gabriel Saez

Pedigree: by Goldencents-A Jealous Woman, by Muqtarib

By My Standards news

 

MAXIMUM SECURITY (100 points), Post 7, 10-1

Maximum Security scores in the Florida Derby (c) Coglianese Photography/Leslie Martin

Unbeaten Florida Derby (G1) hero has come a long way from his $16,000 maiden claiming score to emerge as a surprise second contender for owners of Game Winner.

Owner: Gary & Mary West; Trainer: Jason Servis; Jockey: Luis Saez

Pedigree: by New Year’s Day-Lil Indy, by Anasheed

Maximum Security news

 

GAME WINNER (85 points), Post 16, 5-1

Game Winner clinched a championship in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (c) Coady Photography

Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) champion didn’t miss by much to stablemate Roadster in the Santa Anita Derby and to Omaha Beach in the second division of the Rebel.

Owner: Gary & Mary West; Trainer: Bob Baffert; Jockey: Joel Rosario

Pedigree: by Candy Ride-Indyan Giving, by A.P. Indy

Game Winner news

 

Code of Honor captures the Fountain of Youth (c) Coglianese Photography/Leslie Martin

 

CODE OF HONOR (74 points), Post 13, 15-1

Fountain of Youth winner fared best of the closers when third in a “merry-go-round” Florida Derby.

Owner: William S. Farish; Trainer: Shug McGaughey; Jockey: John Velazquez

Pedigree: by Noble Mission-Reunited, by Dixie Union

Code of Honor news

 

Haikal wins the Gotham (c) Coglianese Photography/Joe Labozzetta

HAIKAL (70 points), Post 11, 30-1 – SCRATCHED

Closing kick got him up in time in the Gotham (G3) but had to settle for third in the Wood.

Owner: Shadwell Stable; Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin; Jockey: Rajiv Maragh

Pedigree: by Daaher-Sablah, by Distorted Humor

Haikal news

 

Improbable wins the Los Alamitos Futurity © BENOIT PHOTO

IMPROBABLE (65 points), Post 5, 6-1

Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) romper still looks like a work in progress after runner-up finishes in the Arkansas Derby and first Rebel division.

Owner: WinStar Farm, China Horse Club & Starlight Racing; Trainer: Bob Baffert; Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

Pedigree: by City Zip-Rare Event, by A.P. Indy

Improbable news

WAR OF WILL (60 points), Post 1, 20-1

War of Will wins the Risen Star at Fair Grounds (c) Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges Jr.

Risen Star (G2) and Lecomte (G3) winner suffered his first dirt loss in the Louisiana Derby, where he was ninth after tweaking something in an awkward start, but back on worktab since.

Owner: Gary Barber; Trainer: Mark Casse; Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione

Pedigree: by War Front-Visions of Clarity, by Sadler’s Wells

War of Will news

 

Long Range Toddy (outside) takes the first Rebel division (c) Coady Photography/Oaklawn Park

LONG RANGE TODDY (53.5 points), Post 18, 30-1

Upset winner of first Rebel division over Improbable regressed to sixth in the Arkansas Derby, his first race on a sloppy track.

Owner: Willis Horton Racing; Trainer: Steve Asmussen; Jockey: Jon Court

Pedigree: by Take Charge Indy-Pleasant Song, by Unbridled’s Song

Long Range Toddy news

 

Tax guts out the Withers (c) NYRA/ Coglianese/Viola Jasko

TAX (52 points), Post 2, 20-1

Withers (G3) winner backed up that effort with a clear second in the Wood.

Owner: R.A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Hugh Lynch & Corms Racing Stable; Trainer: Danny Gargan; Jockey: Junior Alvarado

Pedigree: by Arch-Toll, by Giant’s Causeway

Tax news

 

Cutting Humor takes the Sunland Park Derby (c) Coady Photography/Sunland Park

CUTTING HUMOR (50 points), Post 10, 30-1

Sunland Park Derby (G3) hero booked his spot in track-record time.

Owner: Starlight Racing; Trainer: Todd Pletcher; Jockey: Mike Smith

Pedigree: by First Samurai-Pun, by Pulpit

Cutting Humor news

 

Win Win Win set a track record in the Pasco at Tampa (c) SV Photography

 

WIN WIN WIN (50 points), Post 14, 15-1

Troubled Blue Grass runner-up was previously third in the Tampa Bay Derby.

Owner: Live Oak Plantation; Trainer: Mike Trombetta; Jockey: Julian Pimentel

Pedigree: by Hat Trick-Miss Smarty Pants, by Smarty Jones

Win Win Win news

 

Country House (c) Coady Photography/Oaklawn

COUNTRY HOUSE (50 points), Post 20, 30-1

Risen Star runner-up, only fourth in the Louisiana Derby, got back in the game with a third in the Arkansas Derby.

Owner: Mrs. J.V. Shields, E.J.M. McFadden Jr. & LNJ Foxwoods; Trainer: Bill Mott; Jockey: Flavien Prat

Pedigree: by Lookin at Lucky-Quake Lake, by War Chant

Country House news

 

Gray Magician (c) Dubai Racing Club/Neville Hopwood

GRAY MAGICIAN (41 points), Post 4, 50-1

UAE Derby runner-up had looked an unlikely Derby candidate before stepping up on Dubai World Cup night.

Owner: Wachtel Stable, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners & Gary Barber; Trainer: Peter Miller; Jockey: Drayden Van Dyke

Pedigree: by Graydar-Burg Berg, by Johannesburg

Gray Magician news

 

Spinoff (left) places in the Louisiana Derby Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges Jr.

SPINOFF (40 points), Post 19, 30-1

Louisiana Derby runner-up appeared on the way to victory but flattened out late after a wide trip.

Owner: Wertheimer et Frere; Trainer: Todd Pletcher; Jockey: Manny Franco

Pedigree: by Hard Spun-Zaftig, by Gone West

Spinoff news

 

Master Fencer was fourth on the Japan Road points list but the top scorer among Triple Crown nominees (c) Akio Takahashi

 

MASTER FENCER (Japan Road invitee), Post 15, 50-1

Runner-up in the last scoring race at Nakayama becomes the first Japanese-bred Derby contestant.

Owner: Katsumi & Yasuyo Yoshizawa; Trainer: Koichi Tsunoda; Jockey: Julien Leparoux

Pedigree: by Just a Way-Sexy Zamurai, by Deputy Minister

Master Fencer news

BODEXPRESS (40 points), 30-1, drew in as also-eligible

Maiden finished second in the Florida Derby at odds of 71-1.

Owner: Top Racing, Global Thoroughbred & GDS Racing Stable; Trainer: Gustavo Delgado; Jockey: Chris Landeros

Pedigree: by Bodemeister-Pied a Terre, by City Zip

Bodexpress news

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