Top Five Kentucky Derby Contenders 2.0

Posted by James Foster on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 @ 09:02 AM

With only two races left, the Kentucky Derby Prep Season is winding down. February 23rd we will have our first races in the Kentucky Derby Championship Series. The Championship Series consists of seventeen races for 3-year-olds including two Wild Card races:

  • Each race is run at distances of a mile or more.
  • Tracks are dirt or synthetic surfaces only.
  • First Leg of Series race finishers earn:
    • 1st 50 points
    • 2nd 20 points
    • 3rd 10 points
    • 4th 5 points
  • Second Leg of Series race finishers earn:
    • 1st 100 points
    • 2nd 40 points
    • 3rd 20 points
    • 4th 10 points
  • Wild Card race finishers earn:
    • 1st 20 points
    • 2nd 8 points
    • 3rd 4 points
    • 4th 2 points

The Championship Series is where the contenders separate themselves from the pretenders. If you have been keeping up with our standings updates, you will notice some interesting storylines. Topping the list is world renowned trainer Todd Pletcher and his five horses in the Top 20 of the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings His top horse, Shanghai Bobby, is currently tied for the points lead with Goldcents at 24.If we were under last year’s format, Shanghai Bobby would have a commanding lead with nearly $1 million more in graded stakes earnings.

Last month we broke down the top five contenders for the Kentucky Derby. This post will update the latest top five contenders, how they have performed, and when they are set to make their next race.

The Contenders

Shanghai Bobby

As many experts predicted,Shanghai Bobby is leading the way into the Kentucky Derby
Championship Series. After an unbeaten 2-year-old championship season, his first loss came last month at Holy Bull to Itsmyluckyday. Despite the loss, Shanghai Bobby is still the top contender for the 2013 Kentucky Derby. Shanghai Bobby’s next start will be the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on March 30th.



Tied with Shanghai Bobby atop the Road to the Derby Standings is trainer Doug O'Neill’s Goldencents. O’Neill knows what it takes to win at Churchill Downs having trained last year’s Derby and Preakness winner, I'll Have Another. That will be tough to ignore going into the first weekend in May. Goldencents’ next start will be the San Felipe in Santa Anita on March 9th.


Currently in a distant third from the two front-runners, Oxbow has 11 points in the standings. Being 13 points back of the leaders may make Oxbow a little bit of an after thought, but his trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, is not. Lukas is looking at potentially winning his fifth Kentucky Derby. Oxbow has a dominating win under his belt, winning at LeComte on January 19th by 11 1/2 lengths. That is never easy! Oxbow’s next start is the Risen Star at the Fair Grounds on February 23rd.


Another Todd Pletcher trained thoroughbred, Violence, has proved his worth going three for three as a 2-year-old. A win at December’s CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park should springboard Violence into a great 2013 season. Violence may go under the radar this year due to Shanghai Bobby’s dominance, but he is currently fourth in the standings and could be worth a look when you’re making your bets this May. Violence’s next start will be the Fountain of Youth, at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 23rd.


Finally, Itsmyluckyday rounds out my list of the top contenders of this year’s Kentucky Derby.
He gained instant recognition by defeating Shanghai Bobby in Holy Bull in track record time and with the win, Itsmyluckyday is two for two this year. This horse may be may be in fifth in the standings and the last horse on this list, but do not be surprised to see Itsmyluckyday get more attention as Derby Day gets closer and closer. Itsmyluckyday’s next start will be the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on March 30th in a head to head rematch with Shanghai Bobby.

Are you a horse racing enthusiast? Have you ever wanted to walk the grounds of Churchill Downs? Want to feel the ground shake as the horses stretch to reach the finish and win the 139th Kentucky Derby? QuintEvents’ Derby Experiences is the Official Experience Package Provider to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby® and the Kentucky Oaks®, and has been in partnership with Churchill Downs since 2007. Experience the excitement LIVE and make a memory that will last a lifetime.


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We also have our Kentucky Derby Insider, Loren Hebel-Osborne, top-10 contenders for both the Kentucky Derby® and the Kentucky Oaks®. For more on Loren, visit our insiders page.

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