Shackleford, Twinspired Move Into Top 20
The Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) is starting to become a little bit clearer; at least, as far as which horses will be in the starting gate on May 7 at Churchill Downs.
With The Factor and J P's Gusto being ruled out by their respective connections on April 26, Shackleford and Twinspired have both catapulted into the top 20 on the graded earnings list. Both horses are believed to be pointing toward the Derby.
Silver Medallion, who was a disappointing fourth in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. III) last weekend at Keeneland, inherits the role as the new No. 21—the first horse on the outside looking in for the Derby. It is unclear whether the connections of Silver Medallion would run in the Derby, even if there was another defection. It would be the third race in six weeks for the son of Badge of Silver .
Anthony's Cross , who was fifth in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) in his most recent start, sits at No. 22 on the graded earnings list, which is used to determine the qualifiers for the first leg of the Triple Crown. The Kentucky Derby is limited to 20 starters.
Michael Lauffer and Bill Cubbedge’s Shackleford was runner-up by a head in the April 3 Florida Derby (gr. I). He worked five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 on April 23 over a sloppy Churchill track.
Alpha Stables, Skychai Racing, and Sand Dollar Stable’s Twinspired lost by a nose in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) on April 16. He is No. 20 on the graded earnings list with $197,500.
The Factor, who displaced a palate as the beaten favorite in the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) on April 9, was ruled out of the Derby by co-owner George Bolton Tuesday morning. The May 21 Preakness Stakes (gr. II) is still a possibility.
A grade I winner as a 2-year-old, J P’s Gusto has lost all three starts this season including an eighth-place effort in the Arkansas Derby. According to Daily Racing Form, he will now be trained in New York by Mike Hushion. He was previously in the barn of Joe Petalino at Oaklawn Park.
Kentucky Derby graded earnings:
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