Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Triple Crown Tracker – Top 20 Rankings With Theoretical Weight Assignments

Jeff Siegel’s Top 20 Triple Crown Rankings

Theoretical Weight Assignments (high weight 126 lbs.)

(Updated Monday, April 16, 2018)

 

1 – Justify (B. Baffert) 126 lbs.

Record: 3-3-0-0 ($666,000) – Derby points: 100

Pedigree: Scat Daddy – Stage Magic, by Ghostzapper

Most recent race: April 7, Santa Anita, Santa Anita Derby-G1, finished first.

Latest workout: none since raced

Likely next start: May 5, 2018, Churchill Downs, 10f Kentucky Derby-G1

The skinny: Extended his perfect record to 3-for-3 with a front-running win (by 3 lengths from Bolt d’Oro) in 9f Santa Anita Derby in early April, quickly establishing the pace without being asked and then dominating throughout to register a career top 107 Beyer speed figure (equal to California Chrome’s number when winning the same race in 2014); began his career as an open secret in 7f debut at Santa Anita in mid-February (cruised to a 9 ½ length victory) and then verified that initial impression by dismantling an outclassed first-level allowance field in mid-March by 6 ½ lengths over a mile on a muddy/sealed surface; pedigree suggests classics distances shouldn’t be a problem; very late to the party (see Apollo rule) but appears blessed with unlimited ability; based on pure numbers he’s the fastest colt in the crop and the likely post-time favorite in the Kentucky Derby.

 

 

2 – Mendelssohn (A. O’Brien) 125 lbs.

Record: 7-4-1-0 ($1,961,137) – Derby points: 100

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

Most recent race: March 31, Meydan, USA Derby-G2, finished first.

Latest workout: none since raced.

Likely next start: May 5, 2018, Churchill Downs, Kentucky Derby-G1

The skinny: Half-brother to multi-champion Beholder and to the superb miler and outstanding sire Into Mischief; 2017 BC Juvenile Turf-G1 winner made his first start on dirt in the 9.5f UAE Derby-G2 and annihilated his opposition by 18 ¼ lengths, quickly establishing the pace after being sent from the gate; relaxing beautifully midway while always in control, and then accelerating without being asked to open up at will at the head of the straight (5/16 of a mile from the wire) to win in breathtaking fashion with an assigned 106 Beyer speed figure; always has had the Kentucky Derby on his agenda according to trainer Aidan O’Brien and was previously impressive in his sophomore debut winning the 8f Patton Stakes over an all-weather surface at Dundalk in early March; though his victory in Dubai was accomplished on the lead he appears equally comfortable settling in a stalking position; will be trained up to the Derby at O’Brien’s yard in Ireland with plans for shipment as close to the race as possible; the most talented and accomplished European-based colt ever to contend for the American classics.

 

 

3 – Magnum Moon (T. Pletcher) 124 lbs.

Record: 4-4-0-0 ($1,177,800) – Derby points: 150

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

Most recent race: April 14, 2018, Oaklawn Park, 9f Arkansas Derby-G1, finished first.

Latest workout:  none since raced.

Likely next start: May 5, 2018, Churchill Downs, 10f Kentucky Derby-G1

The skinny: Bucking the “Apollo Rule” (never raced at two) but is unbeaten in four starts, a facile 6f maiden victory at Gulfstream Park (by 4 ½ lengths); a comfortable two-length allowance victory at Tampa Bay Downs (never asked, visually very impressive); an authoritative 3 ½ length score in 8.5f Rebel S.-G2 at Oaklawn Park (always stalking pace in hand before kicking clear entering the lane), and then most recently a dominant victory (by 4 lengths from Quip) in 9f Arkansas Derby-G1 (made all with easy splits and then drew clear in the final furlong despite drifting out);  unraced dam traces to high quality family that leans toward speed/middle distance; clearly belongs with the best in his division but antics through the stretch in his most recent victory are somewhat disconcerting; powerful colt likely has further improvement in him but still has yet to earn a triple-digit Beyer figure; clearly needs to maintain a straight course in Kentucky to have his best chance.

 

 

4 – Audible (T. Pletcher) 123 lbs.

Record: 5-4-0-1 ($287,700) – Derby points: 110

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

Most recent race: March 31, 2018, Gulfstream Park, Florida Derby-G1, finished first.

Latest workout: April 13, 2018, Palm Beach Downs, 4f-:48.3b

Likely next start: May 5, 2018, Churchill Downs, 10f Kentucky Derby-G1

The skinny: Rallied from more than 11 lengths back to capture the 9f Florida Derby-G1 in late March (by 3  lengths from Hofburg) to stamp himself as a major contender for the American spring classics; a suicidal early pace produced a race-shape that promoted his late-running style and the runner-up was exiting a maiden win so a case can be made that the raw result somewhat flatters his performance; previously confirmed his promising New York winter form with a stunning 5 ½ length romp in the Holy Bull S.-G2 in his first try around two-turns; has a miler’s pedigree but has proven to be capable of handling further and should have no trouble with the Kentucky Derby’s mile and one-quarter trip; was lazy and unimpressive in his workouts leading up to his most recent victory but clearly is a “gamer” and shows up with his best effort when called upon; despite his two recent visually impressive victories he has yet to achieve a triple-digit Beyer speed figure but still must be considered among the elite in the 2018 sophomore division at this time.

 

 

5 – Good Magic (C. Brown) 123 lbs.

Record: 5-2-2-1 ($1,255,600) – Derby points: 134

Pedigree: Curlin – Glinda the Good, by Hard Spun

Most recent race: April 7, Keeneland, Blue Grass S.-G2, finished second.

Latest workout: none since raced.

Likely next start: May 5, 2018, Churchill Downs, Kentucky Derby-G1

The skinny: Was well below his Breeders’ Cup Juvenile-G1 winning form in his 2018 bow when third without mishap to Promises Fulfilled in 8.5f Fountain of Youth S.-G2 in early March (was noticeably short on condition) but then, as expected, produced a significant forward move the following month to win the 9f Blue Grass S.-G2 (by 1 ½ lengths from Flameaway) in a race that earned a moderate speed figure that was still short of his top juvenile mark; seems certain to step forward again in the Kentucky Derby but will need to; pedigree and running style suggests he’ll handle the Derby distance and beyond.

 

 

6 – Vino Rosso (T. Pletcher) – 122 lbs.

Record: 5-3-0-1 ($620,500) – Derby points: 107

Pedigree: Curlin – Mythical Bride, by Street Cry

Most recent race: April 7, 2018, Aqueduct, Wood Memorial-G2, finished second.

Latest workout: none since raced

Likely next start: May 5, 2018, Churchill Downs, 10f Kentucky Derby-G1

The skinny:  Returned to Aqueduct (where he easily won his 7f debut maiden in November) and improved significantly with an impressive victory (by 3 lengths from Enticed) in 9f Wood Memorial-G2 while earning a career top speed figure; had been disappointing when fourth (beaten 6 lengths to Quip) in 9f Tampa Bay Derby the previous month after flashing promise when a closing third in the 8.5f Sam F. Davis S.-G3 (by 1 ¼ lengths to front-running Flameaway) in February; pedigree suggests he’ll handle the Derby distance and beyond and certainly is bred to improve with age and experience; not one to be taken lightly in Kentucky.

 

 

7 – Bolt d’Oro (M. Ruis) 122 lbs.

Record: 6-4-1-1 ($1,016,000) – Derby points: 104

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

Most recent race: April 7, Santa Anita, Santa Anita Derby-G1, finished second.

Latest workout: none since raced

Likely next start: May 5, Churchill Downs, Kentucky Derby-G1

The skinny: Had every chance but was simply second best when runner-up (by 3 lengths to Justify) in 9f Santa Anita Derby-G1 in April; previously had crossed the wire second (by a head to McKinzie) but was moved up to first (floated out final 1/16) in 2018 bow in San Felipe S.-G2 in March (pair 6 ½ lengths clear); completed his highly-productive juvenile campaign with a  troubled third in the BC Juvenile-G1 (extremely wide trip from poor draw) and before that had displayed superior form winning both the 8.5f FrontRunner S.-G1 and 7f Del Mar Futurity-G1; bred to excel at classic distances but form has yet to guarantee he’ll improve with distance; clearly a high class colt and speed figures remain strong but he didn’t produce the forward move that was anticipated in his most recent outing.

 

 

8 – Hofburg (W. Mott) – 120 lbs.

Record: 3-1-10 ($227,950) – Derby points: 40

Pedigree: Tapit – Soothing Touch, by Touch Gold

Most recent race: March 31, 2018, Gulfstream Park, Florida Derby-G1, finished second.

Latest workout: none since raced.

Likely next start: May 5, 2018, Churchill Downs, Kentucky Derby-G1

The skinny: Juddmonte homebred is a half-brother to multiple Grade-1 winner Emollient; lightly raced (just three starts) and improving with each outing, most recently a closing second (by 3 lengths to Audible) in 9f Florida Derby-G1 while nearly 8 lengths clear of the rest though pace meltdown may have flattered his performance; previously had won a 8.5f maiden (by ½ length) at Gulfstream Park earlier in the month in his first outing since a non-threatening fourth in his 7f debut at Saratoga last September; has earned enough points to be assured of a starting position in the Kentucky Derby if his connections so choose and will appreciate the added distance; clearly lacking in experience but has plenty of upside based on pedigree and performance. 

 

 

9 – Enticed (K. McLaughlin) 119 lbs.

Record: 5-3-0-1 ($410,680) – Derby points: 50

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

Most recent race: April 7, Aqueduct, Wood Memorial S.-G2, finished second.

Latest workout: none since raced

Likely next start: May 5, 2018, Churchill Downs, Kentucky Derby-G1

The skinny: Solid performance without mishap when second (by 3 lengths to Vino Rosso) in 9f Wood Memorial-G2 at Aqueduct in early April, pressing the pace but then proving no match after being solidly bumped in the final sixteenth; previously captured the one-turn mile Gotham S.-G3 (by 2 ¾ lengths from Old Time Revival) in early March; already a two-turn stakes winner at Churchill Downs and has the pedigree to handle the Derby trip but is not the best of movers and remains at least a couple of cuts below the elite horses in the division.

 

 

10 – Ax Man (B. Baffert) 119 lbs.

Record: 3-2-0-0 ($78,000) Derby points: 0

Pedigree: Misremembered – Shameful, by Flying Chevron

Most recent race: April 8, 2018, Santa Anita, allowance, finished first.

Latest workout: none since raced

Likely next start: to be determined

The skinny: Half-brother to multiple champion filly Indian Blessing; promising winner of two of three career starts, most recently in early April in 8f allowance by 8 ½ lengths in first try around two turns and first without blinkers, relaxing just off the pace to the turn and then taking complete control without being asked to register a spectacular 101 Beyer speed figure; previously was highly disappointing when odds-on in 7f San Vicente S.-G2 (off slowly, rushed up under pressure for a half before faltering badly while racing along deep rail); won 6f debut by 9 ½ lengths on New Year’s Day in eye-catching fashion; clearly a colt with immense talent and notwithstanding his failure in only stakes appearance appears destined for major success in graded stakes  company; has sprinter’s speed but likely will prove most effective over a middle distance; currently ranks second only to Justify among 3-year-olds in the Baffert barn.

 

 

11 – Solomini (B. Baffert) 119 lbs.

Record: 6-1-3-2 ($752,000) – Derby points: 54

Pedigree: Curlin – Surf Song, by Storm Cat

Most recent race: April 14, 2018, Oaklawn Park, 9f Arkansas Derby-G1, finished third.

Latest workout: none since raced

Likely next start: May 5, 2018, Churchill Downs, 10f Kentucky Derby-G1

The skinny: Made his 2018 bow in 8.5f Rebel S.-G2 and wound up second (by 3 ½ lengths to Magnum Moon) while finishing on wrong lead but then failed to produced a significant forward move when third (beaten 4 ¼ lengths by Magnum Moon) in subsequent 9f Arkansas Derby (very wide throughout, kept to task but made little impact late while once again failing to change leads); crossed the wire first in Los Alamitos Futurity-G1 in December but was disqualified for causing interference in mid-stretch though was clearly best; before that had finished second in both the 8.5f Breeders’ Cup Juvenile-G1 and the 7f Del Mar Futurity-G1; runs with head held a bit high; always tries hard in the afternoon but often is sluggish from the gate and lacks handiness and athleticism that usually results in less-than-ideal trips.

 

 

12 – Quip (R. Rudolphe) 118 lbs.

Record: 5-3-1-0 ($482,200) – Derby points: 90

Pedigree: Distorted Humor – Princess Ash, by Indian Charlie

Most recent race: April 14, 2018, Oaklawn Park, Arkansas Derby-G1, finished second.

Latest workout: none since raced

Likely next start: May 5, 2018, Churchill Downs, 10f Kentucky Derby-G1

The skinny: Second without mishap when beaten four lengths by Magnum Moon in 9f Arkansas Derby-G1 in mid-April (pressed slow pace to head of the lane and then was no match though gamely saving second money); had made his first start since November in the 8.5f Tampa Bay Derby-G2 in early March and registered a 19-1 surprise (by one length from Flameaway) with an ideal pace-stalking trip in a race that has since proven productive; flashed promise as a 2-year-old, winning his first two starts before finishing unplaced in the Kentucky Jockey Club S.-G2 at Churchill Downs; not likely to improve as distances increase and may be best suited as a miler.

 

 

13 – Flameaway (M. Casse) – 118 lbs.

Record: 9-5-2-0 ($704,834) – Derby points: 70

Pedigree: Scat Daddy – Vulcan Rose, by Fusaichi Pegasus

Most recent race: April 7, 2018, Keeneland, Blue Grass S.-G2, finished second.

Latest workout: none since raced.

Likely next start: May 5, 2018, Churchill Downs, Kentucky Derby-G1

The skinny: Genuine and consistent; forced the pace and then held on gamely when second (by 1 ½ lengths to Good Magic) in 9f Blue Grass S.-G2 in early April; previously had run well in two outings at Tampa Bay Downs when second (by 1 length to Quip) in Tampa Bay Derby-G2 and before that when winning the Sam F. Davis S.-G3 (gate-to-wire by half-length from Catholic Boy); can be dangerous on the lead or from a stalking position; added distance might not be in his favor and still needs improvement in the speed figure department to be a major factor in Kentucky.

 

 

14 – Mask (C. Brown) 117 lbs.

Record: 2-2-0-0 ($105.760) – Derby points: 0

Pedigree: Tapit – Hidden Expression, by Yonaguska

Most recent race: Jan.6, Gulfstream Park, Mucho Macho Man S., finished first.

Latest workout: April 14, Palm Meadows, 5f-1:01b

Likely next start: May 5, 2018, Churchill Downs, Pat Day Mile-G3

The skinny:  Verified a sharp maiden win with eased-up gate-to-wire score in 8f listed Mucho Macho Man Stakes but subsequently suffered an undisclosed setback at the beginning of February and missed several weeks; has returned to a normal training schedule; the Derby has been ruled out but a start on Derby day in the 8f Pat Day Mile-G3 seems like a logical spot for his return; if successful in that race a start in the Preakness-G2 might be considered.

 

 

15 – My Boy Jack (K. Desormeaux) 117 lbs.

Record: 10-3-3-2 ($645,155) Derby points: 52

Pedigree: Creative Cause – Golden Shaft, by Mineshaft

Most recent race: March 24, 2018, Louisiana Derby-G2, finished third.

Latest workout: April 7, Santa Anita, 5f-1:01.2h

Likely next start: April 14, Keeneland, Lexington S.-G3

The skinny: Overcame a poor outside draw to win 9f Lexington S.-G3 in mid-April (lagged, rallied wide and was fully extended to wear down Telekinesis by a head) while earning a modest speed figure; displayed a liking for an off track when winning the 8f Southwest S.-G3 in February by 4 ½ lengths from Combatant and then finished an unlucky third (by ¾ length to Noble Indy) in subsequent Louisiana Derby-G2 after being fanned extremely wide  into the stretch; had decent juvenile grass campaign  (listed stakes winner and stakes-placed last fall); deep closer should be effective at the Derby trip; little evidence that he’s capable of acting with the best in his division though his Derby chances clearly would improve over a wet track.

 

 

16 – Noble Indy (T. Pletcher) 117 lbs.

Record: 4-3-0-1 ($691,600) – Derby points: 110

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

Most recent race: March 24, 2018, Fair Grounds, 9f Louisiana Derby-G2, finished first.

Latest workout: April 13, 2018, Palm Beach Downs, 5f-1:01b

Likely next start: May 5, 2018, 10f Churchill Downs, Kentucky Derby-G1

The skinny: Stamped his ticket to the Kentucky Derby with a neck victory over Lone Sailor in 9f Louisiana Derby-G2 in late March, stalking the pace, taking a clear lead midway on the far turn, and then, after being collared entering the lane, finding enough under pressure in final furlong to prevail gamely; suffered his first defeat when a willing third (beaten two lengths) in moderately-rated Risen Star S.-G2 at Fair Grounds the previous month and before that had won a decent two-turn allowance race at Gulfstream Park; genuine colt has a good stalking style but his speed figures are unspectacular and will need considerable improvement to compete at the highest level in his division.

 

 

17 – Combatant (S. Asmussen) – 116 lbs.

Record: 7-1-3-1 ($388,550) – Derby points: 32

Pedigree: Scat Daddy – Border Dispute, by Boundary

Most recent race: April 14, 2018, Oaklawn Park, 9f Arkansas Derby-G1, finished fourth

Latest workout: none since raced

Likely next start: May 5, 2018, Churchill Downs, 10f Kentucky Derby-G1

The skinny: Remains eligible to the first-level allowance condition but continues to perform  well in graded stakes events, most recently finishing a respectable fourth (beaten 4 ¼ lengths to Magnum Moon) in 9f Arkansas Derby-G1; previously had finished in the frame in the 8.5f Rebel S.-G2; 8f Southwest S.-G3, 8f Smarty Jones S., and Remington Springboard Mile S.; deep-closing style suggests he’ll enjoy added distance; has accumulated enough Derby points to guarantee a start in the Kentucky Derby; always tries but could use a confidence building win somewhere along the way.

 

 

18 – Free Drop Billy (D. Romans) 115 lbs.

Record: 8-2-3-2 ($625,220) – Derby points: 44

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

Most recent race: April 7, 2018, Keeneland, Blue Grass S.-G2, finished third.

Latest workout: none since raced

Likely next start: May 5, 2018, Churchill Downs, Kentucky Dertby-G1

The skinny: One of the more seasoned members in the 3-year-olds Classics division with eight career starts; did as well as he could when third (moved up to second via DQ) in 9f Blue Grass S.-G2 (by 4 lengths to Good Magic) after being badly impeded in deep stretch);  previously had been a non-threatening third (by nearly 7 lengths to Enticed) as the favorite in the one-turn mile Gotham S.-G2 in March and second (by 5 ½ lengths to Audible) the 8.5f Holy Bull S.-G2 the previous month; pedigree says he’ll run all day and he has a Grade-1 win on his resume (Breeders’ Futurity) but remains well-below the major contenders on performance and speed figures.

 

 

19 – Gronkowski (J. Noseda) – 114 lbs.

Record: 6-4-1-0 ($135.644) – Derby points: not applicable

Pedigree: Lonhro – Four Sugars, by Lookin At Lucky

Most recent race: March 30, 2018, Newcastle, 8f Burradon Stakes (listed), finished first.

Latest workout: none since raced

Likely next start: May 5, 2018, Churchill Downs, Kentucky Derby-G1

The skinny: Kentucky-bred, British-based colt is a winner of four races (all on synthetic)  from 6 career starts, most recently the listed Burradon Stakes over the straightaway mile all-weather track at Newcastle; qualifies for automatic inclusion in the Kentucky Derby field due to being the leading point earner in the European Road to the Kentucky Derby series; a genuine and consistent type but has yet to face anything close to top class competition and has yet to race on dirt; will be facing an enormous task should his connections bring him over.

 

 

20 – Lone Sailor (T. Amoss) 114 lbs.

Record: 8-1-3-1 ($334,237) – Derby points: 42

Pedigree: Majestic Warrior – Ambitious, by Mr. Greeley

Most recent race: March 24, 2018, Fair Grounds, Louisiana Derby-G2, finished second.

Latest workout: April 11, 2018, Churchill Downs, 4f-:47.4b

Likely next start: May 5, 2018, Churchill Downs, 10f Kentucky Derby-H1

The skinny: Earned enough points to guarantee a starting berth in the Kentucky Derby-G1 when finishing second (by a neck to Noble Indy) in 9f Louisiana Derby-G2 in March in career-top effort (had every chance from the quarter pole home but couldn’t close the deal); fair form before that with best effort when second in 8f Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs in late October (by a head to Gotta Go); an improving type but likely would need a massive forward move to be competitive in the Kentucky Derby.

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff Siegel’s Blog: Triple Crown Tracker – Top 20 Rankings With Theoretical Weight Assignments

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