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 30, 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: April 27, 2018, Santa Anita, 7f-1:25.1h

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 classic 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 officially reported 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; has been trained up to the Derby at O’Brien’s yard in Ireland; was flown to Kentucky April 30 and was scheduled to spend two days (Tuesday and Wednesday of Derby week) in quarantine; the most talented and accomplished European-based colt ever to contest the American classics and a genuine threat to win if he duplicates his Meydan form at Churchill Downs.

 

 

3 – Magnum Moon (T. Pletcher) 123 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:  April 27, Churchill Downs, 4f-:47.2b

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

The skinny: Like Justify, he’s bucking the “Apollo Rule” in the Kentucky Derby (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 – Good Magic (C. Brown) 122 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: April 28, 2018, Churchill Downs, 5f-1:01.2b

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.

 

 

5 – Audible (T. Pletcher) 122 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 27, 2018, Churchill Downs, 4f-:49.2b

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.

 

 

6 – Vino Rosso (T. Pletcher) – 121 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: April 27, Churchill Downs, 4f-:47.1b

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

The skinny:  Returned to Aqueduct where he easily captured 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 and has upset potential with a faster-than-par early pace to compliment his late-running, grinding style.

 

 

7 – Bolt d’Oro (M. Ruis) 121 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: April 28, 2018, Santa Anita, 4f-:48.1h

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 – Mask (C. Brown) 120 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 28, Palm Meadows, 5f-1:02.2b

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; continues to be very impressive in recent morning workouts, and while the Kentucky Derby isn’t an option he will make an appearance on the undercard in the 8f Pat Day Mile-G3; if successful in that race a start in the Preakness-G2 very likely will be considered.

 

 

9 – Ax Man (B. Baffert) 120 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: April 29, 2018, Santa Anita, 6f-1:15h

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 an early April 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 company; has sprinter’s speed but likely will prove most effective over a middle distance and perhaps beyond; currently ranks second only to Justify among 3-year-olds in the Baffert barn; most likely to contest Preakness S.-G1 or the Peter Pan S.-G2 in his next outing.

 

 

10 – 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: April 29, 2018, Churchill Downs, 4f-:48.1b

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; earned enough points to be assured of a starting position in the Kentucky Derby and will appreciate the added distance; clearly lacking in experience but has plenty of upside based on pedigree and performance. 

 

 

11 – Flameaway (M. Casse) – 119 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: April 28, 2018, Churchill Downs, 4f, :47.4b

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.

 

 

12 – Solomini (B. Baffert) 118 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: April 29, 2018, Santa Anita, 6f-1:14.3h

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; workouts leading up to the Derby have been unimpressive; 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.

 

 

13 – My Boy Jack (K. Desormeaux) 118 lbs.

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

Pedigree: Creative Cause – Golden Shaft, by Mineshaft

Most recent race: April 14, 2018, Keeneland, Lexington S.-G3, finished first.

Latest workout: April 28, Churchill Downs, 4f-:48.1b

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

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 should a wet track exist.

 

 

14 – 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 27, 2018, Palm Beach Downs, 5f-1:01.3b

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.

 

 

15 – Enticed (K. McLaughlin) 117 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: April 26, 2018, Palm Beach Downs, 5f, 1:00.1b

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 likely is most effective at a middle distance; not the best of movers and remains at least a couple of cuts below the elite horses in the division.

 

 

16 – Quip (R. Rudolphe) 117 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: May19, 2018, Pimlico, 9.5f Preakness S.-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; will bypass the Kentucky Derby and be pointed for the Preakness S.-G1 May 19.

 

 

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: April 30, Churchill Downs, 4f-:49.3b

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: April 28, 2018, Churchill Downs, 4f-:49.2b

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 – 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 27, 2018, Churchill Downs, 4f-:48b

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 would need a massive forward move to be competitive in the Kentucky Derby.

 

 

20 – Bravazo (D. W. Lukas) 113 lbs.

Record: 8-3-1-1 ($436,528) – Derby points: 54

Pedigree: Awesome Again – Tiz o’ Gold, by Cee’s Tizzy

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

Latest workout: April 28, 2018, Churchill Downs, 5f, 1:01.2b

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

The skinny: Lugged out much of the way and was never a factor when eighth of 10  (beaten 21 lengths to Noble Indy) in 9f Louisiana Derby-G2 in late March in what was a sharp regression from his nose victory over Snappy Sinclair in 8.5F Risen Star S.-G2 in mid-February; was Group-1 placed as a 2-year-old (second, Breeders’ Futurity to Free Drop Billy); most effective with pressing or stalking a moderate pace; difficult to defend his dull performance in his most recent start but has qualified for a start in the Kentucky Derby based on points earned.

 

 

 

 

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

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