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HomeHorse RacingChurchill DownsLouie's Derby 150 Rankings for 12/17/2023

Louie’s Derby 150 Rankings for 12/17/2023

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The Road to the KY Derby: December Updates

By Louie Rabaut, Horse Racing Happy Hour

We’ve had three more Derby preps since I last put one of these together – the Remsen at Aqueduct; the Springboard Mile at Remington; and the Los Al Futurity.

I talked at length this past week about the provenance and impressive history of the Los Alamitos Futurity: the list of past winners is as good (if not better) than any two year-old race in the US: Best Pal (‘90), A.P. Indy (‘91), Real Quiet (‘97), Point Given (‘00), Into Mischief (‘07), Pioneerof The Nile (‘08), Lookin At Lucky (‘09), Violence (‘12), Dortmund (‘14), McKinzie (‘17), Improbable (‘18); that’s a heluva list.

In 2021, Slow Down Andy won this race with a Beyer Speed Figure of 85; Wynstock, a Baffert trainee ridden by Kyle Frey, earned an 86 this weekend. It was the lowest winning Equibase figure in this race since Lookin at Lucky; that’s not terrible company to be in. The fractions, pace of the race, and style of race were all better than the Springboard Mile, run at Remington Park the same weekend. Otto The Conqueror won that race, and received a Beyer of 71, which my eyeballs and experience tell me is about right.

When we did our show this past week, I leaned toward the Phil D’Amato-trained Stronghold; I still think he can be a contender on the SoCal route to the Derby come spring. We also discussed how Wynstock was our favorite of the Bafferts; I hope other followed along, as the $2 exacta paid $96.

The Remsen was run on December 2nd at Aqueduct, and everyone raved about the way Dornoch re-broke in the stretch to eventually overcome second-time starter Sierra Leone. I think that while both were impressive, I’ll lean toward Sierra Leone being more interesting in the coming months, if either is. Chad Brown’s Derby trail giveaways aren’t easy to read, as he tends to keep his horses in New York, regardless of their dirt quality. Sierra Leone will be staying in New York, whose major prep – the Wood Memorial – last produced a KY Derby winner in 2000 with Fusaichi Pegasus.

Louie’s Kentucky Derby 150 Top 5 for 11/25/2023:

Contender Jockey Trainer Sire

Fierceness: J Velazquez / Pletcher / City of Light
Nash: F Geroux / Cox / Medaglia D’Oro
Knightbridge: J Graham / Mott / Nyquist
Muth: JJ Hernandez / Baffert / Good Magic
Locked: J Ortiz / Pletcher / Gun Runner

Honorable Mention:
Timberlake (Geroux/Cox/Into Mischief)
Liberal Arts (Torres/Medina/Arrogate)
Moonlight (Saez/Pletcher/Audible)
Dornoch (Saez/ Gargan/ Good Magic)
Wynstock (Frey/Baffert/Solomini)

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