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Submitted by National Race Masters on Monday, May 1, 2017 at 12:48 PM

The 2017 Kentucky Derby Contenders

As the build-up to the May 6 Kentucky Derby (G1) reaches fever pitch, it’s time to cram on the contenders for America’s iconic race. Now, let’s help find your Derby horse!

Derby points in parenthesis.

GIRVIN (150 points)

Louisiana Derby (G2) and Risen Star (G2) winner tops the leaderboard.

Owner: Brad Grady, Trainer: Joe Sharp, Jockey: Mike Smith

Pedigree: by Tale of Ekati—Catch the Moon, by Malibu Moon

CLASSIC EMPIRE (132 points)

Last year’s juvenile champion may be favored after rebounding in the Arkansas Derby (G1).

Owner: John Oxley, Trainer: Mark Casse, Jockey: Julien Leparoux

Pedigree: by Pioneerof the Mile—Sambuca Classica, by Cat Thief

GORMLEY (125 points)

Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner previously captured the FrontRunner (G1) and Sham (G3).

Owner: Jerry and Ann Moss, Trainer: John Shirreffs, Jockey: Victor Espinoza

Pedigree: by Malibu Moon—Race to Urga, by Bernstein

IRAP (113 points)

Stakes veteran finally broke his maiden in the Blue Grass (G2).

Owner: Reddam Racing, Trainer: Doug O’Neill, Jockey: Mario Gutierrez

Pedigree: by Tiznow—Silken Cat, by Storm Cat

IRISH WAR CRY (110 points)

Holy Bull (G2) winner bounced back to dominate the Wood Memorial (G2).

Owner: Isabelle de Tomaso, Trainer: Graham Motion, Jockey: Rajiv Maragh

Pedigree: by Curlin—Irish Sovereign, by Polish Numbers

THUNDER SNOW (100 points)

UAE Derby (G2) hero seeks to give global power Godolphin a first Kentucky Derby.

Owner: Godolphin, Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor, Jockey: Christophe Soumillon

Pedigree: by Helmet—Eastern Joy, by Dubai Destination

ALWAYS DREAMING (100 points)

Resounding Florida Derby (G1) winner will likely vie for favoritism with Classic Empire.

Owner: Brooklyn Boyz Stables & Viola et al, Trainer: Todd Pletcher, Jockey: John Velazquez

Pedigree: by Bodemeister—Above Perfection, by In Excess

GUNNEVERA (84 points)

Fountain of Youth (G2) and Delta Jackpot (G3) winner exits a third in the Florida Derby.

Owner: Peacock Stables, Trainer: Antonio Sano, Jockey: Javier Castellano

Pedigree: by Dialed In—Unbridled Rage, by Unbridled

PRACTICAL JOKE (74 points)

Dual Grade 1-winning juvenile was second in both the Fountain of Youth and Blue Grass.

Owner: Klaravich Stables & William Lawrence, Trainer: Chad Brown, Jockey: Joel Rosario

Pedigree: by Into Mischief—Halo Humor, by Distorted Humor

J BOYS ECHO (63 points)

Gotham (G3) victor came back to finish fourth in the Blue Grass.

Owner: Albaugh Family Stable, Trainer: Dale Romans, Jockey: Luis Saez

Pedigree: by Mineshaft—Letgomyecho, by Menifee

STATE OF HONOR (62 points)

Florida Derby runner-up had previously placed in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and Sam F. Davis

Owner: Conrad Farms, Trainer: Mark Casse, Jockey: Jose Lezcano

Pedigree: by To Honor and Serve—State Cup, by Elusive Quality

TAPWRIT (54 points)

Tampa Bay Derby hero aims to improve off a fifth in the Blue Grass.

Owner: Bridlewood/Eclipse TB/La Penta, Trainer: Todd Pletcher, Jockey: Jose Ortiz

Pedigree: by Tapit—Appealing Zophie, by Successful Appeal

HENCE (50 points)

Sunland Derby (G3) winner has been flattered by how his beaten rivals have performed since.

Owner: Calumet Farm, Trainer: Steve Asmussen, Jockey: Florent Geroux

Pedigree: by Street Boss—Floating Island, by A.P. Indy


The winner of the Spiral (G3) over Turfway’s Polytrack must prove himself on dirt.

Owner: Kendall Hansen & Skychai et al, Trainer: Mike Maker, Jockey: Channing Hill

Pedigree: by Hansen—It’s Heidi’s Dance, by Green Dancer

MCCRAKEN (40 points)

Unbeaten through Sam F. Davis but minor setback shuffled plans and led to third in Blue Grass.

Owner: Whitham Thoroughbreds, Trainer: Ian Wilkes, Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.

Pedigree: by Ghostzapper—Ivory Empress, by Seeking the Gold

BATTLE OF MIDWAY (40 points)

Late developer earned his way in with hard-fought second in Santa Anita Derby.

Owner: Don Alberto Stable & WinStar Farm, Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer, Jockey: Flavien Prat

Pedigree: by Smart Strike—Rigoletta, by Concerto

PATCH (40 points)

Missed juvenile season after losing an eye but making up for lost time with second in La Derby.

Owner: Calumet Farm, Trainer: Todd Pletcher, Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione

Pedigree: by Union Rags—Windyindy, by A.P. Indy

UNTRAPPED (34 points)

Rebel, Risen Star, and Lecomte placegetter must do better than his sixth in the Ark. Derby.

Owner: Michael Langford, Trainer: Steve Asmussen, Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.

Pedigree: by Trappe Shot—Exit Three, by Giant’s Causeway

LOOKIN AT LEE (32 points)

Deep closer has racked up several minor awards, most recently a tough-trip third in the Arkansas Derby.

Owner: L & N Racing, Trainer: Steve Asmussen, Jockey: Corey Lanerie

Pedigree: by Lookin at Lucky—Langara Lass, by Langfuhr

SONNETEER (30 points)

Still a maiden but a rallying second in the Rebel and fourth in the Arkansas Derby.

Owner: Calumet Farm, Trainer: Keith Desormeaux, Jockey: Kent Desormeaux

Pedigree: by Midnight Lute—Ours, by Half Ours


Here are the next three on the points list awaiting defections.

ROYAL MO (30 points)

Robert B. Lewis (G3) winner comes off a valiant third in the Santa Anita Derby.

Owner: Jerry and Ann Moss, Trainer: John Shirreffs, Jockey: Gary Stevens

Pedigree: Uncle Mo—Royal Irish Lass, by Saint Ballado

LOCAL HERO (30 points)

Speedy colt was third in both the Risen Star and Louisiana Derby.

Owner: E Five Racing Thoroughbreds, Trainer: Steve Asmussen, Jockey: TBA

Pedigree: Hard Spun—Liam’s Dream, by Saint Liam

MASTER PLAN (20 points)

OBS Championship scorer shipped to Dubai and finished third in the UAE Derby

Owner: Al Shaqab/WinStar/China Horse Club, Trainer: Todd Pletcher, Jockey: TBA

Pedigree: Twirling Candy–Sage Mist, by Henny Hughes


ways Dreaming, Classic Empire, Irish War Cry top the odds board, but history warns: Take a deeper look or you’ll miss a life-changing payoff! THAT’s what RaceMasters will do for you!

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