by Jon White
March 25, 2021
I grew up in Spokane, Wash. Known as the Lilac City, Spokane once was the home of Playfair Race Course, where Thoroughbreds raced for decades until it closed for good in 2000.
On Monday, Spokane’s Gonzaga University basketball team reached the Sweet 16 in March Madness when defeating Oklahoma by 16 points (87-71). It was the Zags’ 32nd consecutive win. It was also Gonzaga’s NCAA-record 25th straight victory by double digits.
Gonzaga now has made it into the Sweet 16 in six straight NCAA Tournaments, extending the longest such streak in college basketball.
Do you remember how excruciatingly long the 37-year Triple Crown drought between Affirmed and America Pharoah seemed?
Well, Gonzaga is seeking to end an even longer drought. In its quest for college basketball immortality, Gonzaga is attempting to become the first undefeated NCAA men’s basketball champion since Indiana 45 years ago.
Rebounding is, of course, very important in basketball. I will be trying to rebound myself this week when it comes to my selections for races in this country offering Kentucky Derby points.
In late January, I began making picks for Xpressbet.com in terms of races in the U.S. offering points toward the Kentucky Derby.
Of the 14 such races, I have picked the winner in eight of them, as noted below:
Date Race (Selection) Finish, $2 win payoff if applicable
01-30-21 Holy Bull (Greatest Honour) WON, $7.60
01-30-21 Robert B. Lewis (Medina Spirit), WON, $4.00
02-06-21 Sam F. Davis (Candy Man Rocket), WON, $8.20
02-06-21 Withers (Donegal Bay), finished 7th
02-13-21 Risen Star (Senor Buscador), finished 5th
02-13-21 El Camino Real Derby (Rombauer), WON, $4.40
02-26-21 Battaglia Memorial (Gretzky the Great), finished 3rd
02-27-21 Southwest (Essential Quality), WON, $3.80
02-27-21 Fountain of Youth (Greatest Honor), WON, $4.00
03-06-21 Gotham (Freedom Fighter), finished 4th
03-06-21 Tampa Bay Derby (Hidden Stash), finished 2nd
03-06-21 San Felipe Stakes, Life Is Good, WON, $3.00
03-13-21 Rebel Stakes, Concert Tour, WON, $5.40
03-20-21 Louisiana Derby, Proxy, finished 4th
Proxy was my top pick in last Saturday’s Grade II Louisiana Derby. He raced with blinkers for the first time. I thought that might put him in the winner’s circle. It didn’t.
Now I’m hoping to bounce back.
Gulfstream Park’s Grade I Florida Derby and Turfway Park’s Grade III Jeff Ruby Steaks are the two U.S. races this week in which 100-40-20-10 points are up for grabs toward a starting berth in the 147th running of the Grade I Kentucky Derby. The 1 1/4-mile Run for the Roses, which has a purse of $3 million, will be run at its traditional 1 1/4-mile distance on May 1.
My selections for the Florida Derby are below:
2. Known Agenda
3. Greatest Honour
I admit that I probably should be put in one of those jackets with the sleeves in the back by not making Greatest Honour my top pick. It seems like just about everybody thinks he’s going to win. He no doubt will be a heavy favorite. Will I be surprised if he wins? No. Do I think he is vulnerable and worth trying to beat at a short price in the betting? Yes, I do.
As noted earlier, Greatest Honour was my top pick in the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull and 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth. He won both times.
But then why in the heck isn’t Greatest Honour my top pick again this time, especially since the stretch-runner figures to appreciate the longer 1 1/8-mile trip when facing 10 opponents in the Florida Derby?
Greatest Honour won the Fountain of Youth going away by 1 1/4 lengths. But I did not like the way jockey Jose Ortiz was getting after Greatest Honour so much coming into the stretch in the Fountain of Youth. Granted, the Kentucky-bred Tapit colt did finally get going and overtook Drain the Clock in the final sixteenth.
But to me, Drain the Clock was going backward toward the end of the race more than Greatest Honour was going forward. I think Drain the Clock is a very nice colt, but he was racing farther than seven furlongs for the first time in the Fountain of Youth. Drain the Clock is scheduled to run in a shorter race around one turn next time in Aqueduct’s Grade III Bay Shore Stakes at seven furlongs on April 3. That makes perfect sense.
The way I see it, while the 1 1/8 miles should help Greatest Honour this Saturday, he also must face tougher competition this time.
Another reason I’m not going with Greatest Honour in the Florida Derby is his top Beyer so far is an 89, the figure he recorded in both the Holy Bull and Fountain of Youth.
Furthermore, Greatest Honour’s Beyer Speed Figure for the Fountain of Youth was “originally posted as an anemic 83,” Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman wrote. It was “upgraded on overnight review to 89, equal to the career-best Greatest Honour earned in the Holy Bull.”
In other words, regarding his Beyer Speed Figures, Greatest Honour is not exactly setting the bar real high for those trying to knock him off this Saturday.
Like a surfer riding a wave, I’m going to ride a recent trend by making Spielberg my top selection in the Florida Derby.
Two weeks ago, Southern California-based Concert Tour invaded Oaklawn Park and won the Grade II Rebel Stakes by 4 1/4 lengths for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.
Last Saturday, SoCal-based Hot Rod Charlie ventured to New Orleans and won Fair Grounds’ Grade II Louisiana Derby by two lengths.
Will SoCal-based Spielberg travel across the country and capture the Florida Derby? Maybe. Or maybe not. I am saying maybe not because, quite frankly, Spielberg is far from trustworthy. He has had an up-and-down career up to this point.
Despite Spielberg’s unreliability, I’m going to stick with him as my top pick. I do believe that his runner-up performance in Oaklawn’s 1 1/16-mile Southwest Stakes on a sloppy track Feb. 27 gives him a license to defeat Greatest Honour this Saturday.
To be perfectly candid, after Spielberg drew post 10 in the Florida Derby, I was tempted to go elsewhere for my top pick. Post 10 is not good in a 1 1/8-mile race at Gulfstream. It’s likely to be especially problematic if Spielberg does not get off to a good start.
But I am going to stick with Spielberg as my Florida Derby pick despite the unenviable post position.
In the Southwest, Spielberg was off poorly and raced wide. Nevertheless, he ran well in defeat to finish second, 4 1/4 lengths behind Essential Quality, the undefeated Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old male of 2020.
While Greatest Honour’s Beyer Speed Figures have left something to be desired, he did receive an excellent Thoro-Graph number of 1 in both the Holy Bull and Fountain of Youth. In terms of a Thoro-Graph number, the lower it is the better. This, of course, is the opposite of Beyer Speed Figures.
Thoro-Graph takes many more factors into account than the Beyers. According to Thoro-Graph, “each number on a sheet represents a performance rating arrived at by using time of the race, beaten lengths, ground lost or saved on the turns, weight carried, and any effects wind conditions had on the time of the race.”
But Thoro-Graph numbers also suggest that Spielberg is capable of defeating Greatest Honour this Saturday. Spielberg’s Thoro-Graph number in the Southwest was a 1, which matches Greatest Honour’s career-best Thoro-Graph number to date.
It also helps Spielberg this Saturday that Baffert trains the Kentucky-bred Union Rags colt. Whenever Baffert ships a horse out of Southern California, you had better beware. Baffert’s record when doing this is nothing less than stellar.
Spielberg will be the first horse Baffert has ever run in the Florida Derby.
My feeling is, why not take a shot this Saturday with Spielberg (despite post 10) when he unquestionably will be a much better price in the wagering than Greatest Honour? Greatest Honour is the 6-5 morning-line favorite. Spielberg is 4-1.
As for Known Agenda, who is 5-1 on the Florida Derby morning line, do I think he also can possibly beat Greatest Honour this Saturday? I do. After all, Known Agenda has already defeated him.
Known Agenda and Greatest Honour clashed in a 1 1/8-mile maiden race at Aqueduct last Nov. 8. Known Agenda won by a head. Greatest Honour finished second, a whopping 21 lengths in front of third-place Overtook.
Overtook is no bum, either. Overtook finished second in the Grade III Withers Stakes at the Big A on Feb. 6. Risk Taking won the Withers. The next scheduled start for both Risk Taking and Overtook is Aqueduct’s Grade II Wood Memorial on April 3.
Todd Pletcher, whose induction into the Hall of Fame this year appears to be a slam-dunk, trains both Known Agenda and Overtook.
I might be making a mistake by not making Collaborate my top pick in the Florida Derby. He is coming off a dazzling 12 1/2-length win in a one-mile Gulfstream maiden race on Feb. 21 after finishing fifth in the slop when unveiled in a maiden sprint there on Feb. 6. Joseph Saffie Jr. trains the Kentucky-bred Into Mischief colt.
There are three main reasons that ultimately kept me from not picking Collaborate higher than fourth in the Florida Derby. First, he must run against tougher foes this time. Second, he has just two races under his belt. And third, he is being asked to go farther than a mile for the first time. But there is no question that his maiden victory makes him very, very scary Saturday.
By the way, yet another reason I am not making Greatest Honour my top pick in the Florida Derby is he will be trying to achieve something that has never been done before. No horse has ever swept the Holy Bull, Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby.
But I will say that a huge plus for Greatest Honour in his bid to sweep these three Gulfstream races is Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey. Don’t forget, if not for Sunday Silence, the McGaughey-trained Easy Goer undoubtedly would have swept the Triple Crown in 1989.
JEFF RUBY STEAKS
In Saturday’s Jeff Ruby Steaks, like the Florida Derby, I am going with a Southern California shipper. My top pick is the O’Neill-trained Hockey Dad.
After finishing fifth when unveiled Dec. 27 in a Santa Anita maiden contest on the dirt, Hockey Dad has reeled off three consecutive wins. The California-bred Nyquist colt is two for two on the turf. The Jeff Ruby Steaks, which has 12 entrants, will be contested on a synthetic surface. Runners who do well on the turf often also do well when running on synthetic footing.
My selections for the Jeff Ruby Steaks are below:
1. Hockey Dad
2. Gretzky the Great
3. Hush of a Storm
Doesn’t an exacta box of Hockey Dad and Gretzky the Great seem like an obvious hunch bet?
Hush of a Storm and Gretzky the Great finished first and third, respectively, in Turfway’s John Battaglia Memorial on Feb. 26. It’s to their benefit that they have experience racing on Turfway’s synthetic surface.
Tarantino finished second in the Holy Bull and fourth in the Fountain of Youth on the dirt at Gulfstream. He will be competing on synthetic footing for the first time this Saturday.
This race’s name, the Jeff Ruby Steaks, certainly is a cute play on words. (Technically, it’s the Jeff Ruby Steaks Stakes, but who is going to say or write that?)
Probably no race in the world has had more different names than this one. The following is what I once found in terms of various names for what began in 1972 as the Spiral Stakes at Latonia (before the track changed its name to Turfway Park in 1986):
1972-1981 Spiral Stakes
1982-1983 Jim Beam Spiral Stakes
1984-1998 Jim Beam Stakes
1999 Galleryfurniture.com Stakes
2000-2001 Turfway Spiral Stakes
2002 Lane’s End Spiral Stakes
2003-2010 Lane’s End Stakes
2011-2012 Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes
2013-2016 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Racing Spiral Stakes
2017-2021 Jeff Ruby Steaks
LIFE IS GOOD INJURED, OFF KENTUCKY DERBY TOP 10
News spreads faster these days than ever before. It was not long after Life Is Good’s excellent six-furlong workout in a bullet 1:11.40 at Santa Anita last Saturday morning that word spread that he had not come out of the drill in good order.
While cooling out, Life Is Good took a couple of funny steps, according to Baffert. That’s when it was realized something was bothering the colt in a hind leg. Diagnostics disclosed that Life Is Good has a very small chip in his left-hind ankle. The highly respected Dr. Larry Bramlage is scheduled to perform surgery on the Kentucky-bred Into Mischief colt Friday at the Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Kentucky.
Life Is Good is expected to be out of commission for 60 days or so following the surgery. On Mike Willman’s ESPN 830 radio show Sunday morning, he asked Baffert if the Breeders’ Cup in November at Del Mar is an unrealistic objective at this point for Life Is Good.
“He’ll be ready for that,” Baffert said.
The significance that Life Is Good now is sidelined is reflected by the fact that he had closed as a strong 2-1 favorite in the most recent Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool that closed on March 7.
Life Is Good, undefeated in three career starts, was going to be an overwhelming favorite in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on April 3. He won Santa Anita’s Grade III Sham Stakes by three-quarters of a length on Jan. 3 in his 2021 debut. Life Is Good then trounced his opponents on March 6 in Santa Anita’s Grade II San Felipe Stakes, which he won by eight lengths despite drifting out badly in the lane.
According to Baffert, the Santa Anita Derby is next for Medina Spirit, a Florida-bred Protonicus colt. If not for Life Is Good, Medina Spirit would be undefeated in four lifetime starts.
In between runner-up efforts to Life Is Good in the Sham and San Felipe, Medina Spirit won Santa Anita’s Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Jan. 30.
Hot Rod Charlie, who resides at Doug O’Neill’s Santa Anita barn, finished a close third in the Lewis, losing by just a head. The Kentucky-bred Oxbow colt subsequently won last Saturday’s Louisiana Derby.
In Hot Rod Charlie’s final 2020 start, he finished second, three-quarters of a length behind Essential Quality, in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland.
Essential Quality had a splendid workout last Saturday at New Orleans’ Fair Grounds. The Kentucky-bred Tapit colt, trained by Brad Cox, drilled five furlongs in a bullet :59.00. It was the best of 25 works at the distance.
Next for Essential Quality is Keeneland’s Grade II Blue Grass Stakes on April 3.
Now that Life is Good is sidelined, Essential Quality retakes the top spot in my Kentucky Derby Top 10 this week after being No. 2 last week.
In the wake of Hot Rod Charlie’s Louisiana Derby triumph at odds of 5-2, he vaults all the way up to No. 3 on my Top 10 this week after being No. 7 last week.
Hot Rod Charlie’s trainer has two Kentucky Derby wins to his credit. O’Neill won it with I’ll Have Another in 2012 and with Nyquist in 2016.
I am not crazy that Hot Rod Charlie will have six weeks between the Louisiana Derby and the Kentucky Derby. But at least that gap is shorter than the seven weeks he had between the Lewis and Louisiana Derby. The Louisiana Derby shows that he can run a big race with at least six weeks between races.
I do like it that Hot Rod Charlie goes into the Kentucky Derby having won a race farther than 1 1/8 miles.
My Kentucky Derby Top 10 for this week is below:
1. Essential Quality
2. Concert Tour
3. Hot Rod Charlie
4. Greatest Honour
5. Medina Spirt
7. Midnight Bourbon
9. Risk Taking
10. Dream Shake
Also exiting my Top 10 this week are Mandaloun and Proxy. Mandaloun was No. 5 last week, while Proxy was No. 10.
Mandaloun ran a clunker in the Louisiana Derby. Sent away as the 13-10 favorite, he finished sixth without an apparent excuse. Proxy ran fourth in that race at odds of 3-1.
Dream Shake is a newcomer to my Top 10 this week.
Many seem to be in love with Prevalence in Florida. Trained by Brendan Walsh, the Kentucky-bred colt is two for two while racing at Gulfstream. Prevalence has recorded Beyer Speed Figures of 87, then 83.
Dream Shake has started twice. His Beyers have been 96, then 91. The Kentucky-bred Twirling Candy colt, conditioned by Peter Eurton, registered a sparkling 4 1/4-length win in a 6 1/2-furlong maiden race at Santa Anita on Feb. 7. And then, with just that one sprint under his belt, he finished third in the 1 1/16-mile San Felipe. He runs next in the Santa Anita Derby.
Look out for Rock Your World in the Santa Anita Derby. The $650,000 auction purchase is two for two. The Kentucky-bred Candy Ride colt will be switching to the dirt following back-to-back victories on the grass. Most recently, he generated a powerful stretch kick to win Santa Anita’s one-mile Pasadena Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths on Feb. 27.
Candy Ride in 2003 broke the track record when he won Del Mar’s 1 1/4-mile Pacific Classic on the dirt in 1:59.11. The mark still stands all these years later. In the Pacific Classic, Candy Ride drilled Prevalence’s sire, Medaglia d’Oro, who had to settle for second.
Empire Maker, who is the sire of Rock Your World’s dam, won the Belmont Stakes on the dirt the same year that Candy Ride was victorious in the Pacific Classic.
It will not surprise me if it turns out that Rock Your World is effective on the dirt.
CHECKING IN WITH ODDSCHECKER
Oddschecker.com lists average prices with British bookmakers for Kentucky Derby candidates. Listed at 25-1 and lower are:
4-1 Concert Tour
7-1 Essential Quality
10-1 Greatest Honour
12-1 Hot Rod Charlie
16-1 Medina Spirit
20-1 Risk Taking
25-1 Caddo River
25-1 Crowded Trade
25-1 Midnight Bourbon
25-1 Rock Your World
CURRENT STRIKES SITUATION
My Derby Strikes System (DSS) consists of eight categories developed to try and ascertain a horse’s chances to win the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May from both tactical and historical perspectives. When a horse does not qualify in the one of the categories, the horse gets a strike. The eight categories are listed at the end of this column/blog/article.
A number of the categories in the DSS are tied to the Kentucky Derby being run in May. Consequently, when the race was switched from May 2 to Sept. 5 last year due to the pandemic, it rendered the DSS unworkable.
Now that the Kentucky Derby is returning to its traditional spot on the calendar this year, the DSS is back.
According to the DSS, going back to 1973 and excluding the Kentucky Derby of 2020 when the race was run in September, the vast majority of Kentucky Derby winners have had zero strikes or one strike.
Since 1973 (again excluding 2020), 39 out of the Kentucky Derby winners (81%) have had zero strikes or one strike, while just seven have had two strikes.
The seven Kentucky Derby winners with two strikes were:
Cannonade (1974) Categories 3 and 4
Ferdinand (1986) Categories 2 and 4
Sea Hero (1993) Categories 3 and 5
Funny Cide (2003) Categories 2 and 8
Giacomo (2015) Categories 2 and 5
Justify (2018) Categories 1 and 8
Country House (2019) Categories 2 and 3
The only Kentucky Derby winner with more than two strikes was:
Mine That Bird (2009) Categories 1, 4, 5 and 8
In the 2019 Kentucky Derby, Maximum Security had zero strikes and finished first by 1 1/4 lengths. However, the stewards disqualified Maximum Security and placed him 17th when ruling that he had committed a foul by veering out sharply nearing the five-sixteenths marker to cause interference to War of Will, Bodexpress and Long Range Toddy.
It is not until a horse’s next race will be the Kentucky Derby that a horse’s number of strikes can be determined.
These are the strikes for six current candidates for this year’s Kentucky Derby who are scheduled to make their next start in that race:
ZERO STRIKES OR ONE STRIKE
Helium (Category 5)
Hot Rod Charlie (Category 4)
Mandaloun (Category 4)
Midnight Bourbon (Category 4)
O Besos (Categories 2 and 3)
Proxy (Categories (2, 3, 4 and 6)
THIS WEEK’S NTRA POLLS
After Colonel Liam proved a punctual 7-10 favorite in Fair Grounds’ Grade III Muniz Memorial Classic on the grass last Saturday, he climbs a couple of notches to No. 5 in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll.
The Top 10 in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll:
Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes)
1. 364 Charlatan (24)
2. 337 Monomoy Girl (12)
3. 274 Swiss Skydiver (2)
4. 271 Knicks Go (1)
5. 211 Colonel Liam
6. 161 Mystic Guide (1)
7. 147 Idol
8. 81 Maxfield
9. 53 Shedaresthedevil
10. 48 Gamine
Louisiana Derby winner Hot Rod Charlie leaps to No. 4 in this week’s NTRA Top Three-Year-Old Poll after being No. 10 last week. The sidelined Life Is Good drops from No. 2 to No. 6.
The Top 10 in this week’s NTRA Top 3-Year-Old Poll:
Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes)
1. 381 Essential Quality (30)
2. 328 Concert Tour (7)
3. 313 Greatest Honour (2)
4. 261 Hot Rod Charlie
5. 177 Medina Spirit
6. 138 Life Is Good
7. 97 Risk Taking
8. 85 Midnight Bourbon
9. 71 Helium
10. 49 Spielberg
MY DERBY STRIKES SYSTEM’S CATEGORIES
What are the eight categories in my Derby Strikes System? They are listed below:
1. THE GRADED STAKES CATEGORY. (The horse ran in a graded stakes race before March 31.) This points out horses who have competed against tough competition prior to March 31 rather than at the last minute in April, enabling the horse to be properly battle-tested. (Exceptions: Since the introduction of graded stakes races in the U.S. in 1973, only Genuine Risk in 1980, Sunny’s Halo in 1983, Mine That Bird in 2009 and Always Dreaming in 2017 have won the Kentucky Derby without running in a graded stakes race at 2 or early at 3 before March 31.)
2. THE WIN IN A GRADED STAKES CATEGORY. (The horse has won a graded stakes race.) This points out horses who have shown they have the class to win a graded stakes race. (Exceptions: Ferdinand in 1986, Alysheba in 1987, Funny Cide in 2003 and Giacomo in 2005 are the only exceptions since the introduction of U.S. graded stakes races in 1973; Alysheba in 1987 did finish first in the Blue Grass, only to be disqualified and placed third.)
3. THE EIGHTH POLE CATEGORY. (In either of his or her last two starts before the Kentucky Derby, the horse was either first or second with a furlong to go.) This points out horses who were running strongly at the eighth pole, usually in races at 1 1/16 or 1 1/8 miles. By running strongly at the same point in the Kentucky Derby, a horse would be in a prime position to win the roses. Keep in mind that 52 of the last 55 Kentucky Derby winners have been first or second with a furlong to run. Since Decidedly won the Derby in 1962 when he was third with a furlong to go, the only three Kentucky Derby winners who were not first or second with a furlong to run were Animal Kingdom, third with a furlong remaining in 2011 when only a half-length from being second; Giacomo, sixth with a furlong to go in 2005; and Grindstone, fourth with a furlong to run in 1996. (Exceptions: Since 1955, the Kentucky Derby winners who weren’t either first or second at the eighth pole in his or her last two starts have been Tim Tam in 1958, Carry Back in 1961, Cannonade in 1974, Gato Del Sol in 1982, Unbridled in 1990 and Sea Hero in 1993, with Canonero II in 1971 unknown.)
4. THE GAMENESS CATEGORY. (The horse’s finish position in both of his or her last two races before the Kentucky Derby was no worse than his or her running position at the eighth pole.) This points out horses who don’t like to get passed in the final furlong. (Exceptions: Since 1955, the exceptions have been Venetian Way in 1960, Cannonade in 1974, Foolish Pleasure in 1975, Ferdinand in 1986, Silver Charm in 1997, Mine That Bird in 2009 and Super Saver in 2010, with Canonero II in 1971 unknown.)
5. THE DISTANCE FOUNDATION CATEGORY. (The horse has finished at least third in a 1 1/8-mile race or longer before the Kentucky Derby.) This points out horses who have the proper foundation and/or stamina for the Kentucky Derby distance. (Exceptions: Since 1955, the only exceptions have been Kauai King in 1966, Sea Hero in 1993, Charismatic in 1999, Giacomo in 2005 and Mine That Bird in 2009.)
6. THE NO ADDING OR REMOVING BLINKERS CATEGORY. (The horse has not added blinkers or had blinkers removed in his or her final start at 3 before the Kentucky Derby.) This seems to point out that, if a horse is good enough to win the Kentucky Derby, the trainer is not searching for answers so late in the game. (Since Daily Racing Form began including blinkers in its past performances in 1987, no horse has added blinkers or had blinkers removed in his or her last start at 3 before winning the Kentucky Derby.)
7. THE RACED AS A 2-YEAR-OLD CATEGORY. (The horse made at least one start as a 2-year-old.) (Exceptions: Apollo in 1882 and Justify in 2018. Since 1937, horses unraced as a 2-year-old are a combined 1 for 63 in the Kentucky Derby. During this period, the only horses to finish second or third in the Kentucky Derby without having raced at 2 were Hampden, who finished third in 1946; Coaltown, second in 1948; Agitate, third in 1974; Reinvested, third in 1982; Strodes Creek, second in 1994; Curlin, third in 2007; Bodemeister, second in 2012; and Battle of Midway, third in 2017.)
8. THE NOT A GELDING CATEGORY. (The horse is not a gelding.) (Exceptions: Funny Cide in 2003 and Mine That Bird in 2009 are the only geldings to win the Kentucky Derby since Clyde Van Dusen in 1929.)