The 143 Kentucky Derby is restricted to only 20 Kentucky Derby runners and will run on Saturday, May 6, 2017, for the first leg of the Triple Crown.
Here is the latest look at Patch, one of the contenders for the 2017 Kentucky Derby to be run at Churchill Downs.
Owner: Calumet Farm
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Pedigree: Union Rags – Windyindy, by A.P. Indy
Last Race Result: 2nd Place, Louisiana Derby, 4/1/17
Patch is sure to be one of the longshots at the Kentucky Derby, and most are probably going to write him off without really taking a close look at his history. This Todd Pletcher trained pony though, isn't necessarily going to be an immediate throwaway like so many of the other 50 to 1 shots or higher. We're not saying that a thoroughbred who has only been on the track three times, has never run a Grade 1 race and has only run in one graded stakes race ever that he didn't win is truly going to win this race. But we could definitely find worse bets on the board than this one.
It's easy to point out the things to not like about Patch. On the surface, the big issue is that he just hasn't seen this competition before. The Louisiana Derby probably wasn't the greatest prep race to send him out in, and it was a little troubling that Pletcher decided to take his pony away from his home at Gulfstream Park, where he could have run at the Florida Derby, to instead run at the Louisiana Derby on the same day.
And then there's the issue that he's only raced three times and has only won one of the three races. That, of course, is never a good thing when going into Churchill Downs for the first time.
There's more, too. Three jockeys in three races, not being able to find a top flight jockey to ride him at the Louisiana Derby, having a habit of getting into trouble during races… The list can go on and out.
But take a little bit of a look beyond that, and you might find a gem in the making. It's true that Patch has had some bad starts in his career out of the gate, but anything can happen in such a short span of races. He broke well in his second maiden race with John Velazquez on the mount and ended up winning that race by 1 3/4 lengths while posting a stunning 101 Beyer Speed Rating. And that was in just his second race of his career in February. What's possible if he breaks well and gets in good position a few months later at the Kentucky Derby? A 105 Beyer? If so, he'll have the potential to win this race.
Then look at some of the workouts this horse has had. Sure, being a workout warrior doesn't guarantee anything against 19 other really good ponies, but blazing five furlongs in 1:01 flat and four furlongs in 0:49 flat are really stunning figures for a colt who hasn't been on the track all that much in his career. If Patch trains like that at Churchill Downs leading into the Kentucky Derby and finds himself a good jockey, look out. He might be worth consideration.
Just keep in mind that Patch is what he is: A longshot. That's not to say that these big-priced ponies don't ultimately ever win the Kentucky Derby, but this isn't a colt we'd be wagering our life savings on as a sure thing. But the value could surely be there if he opens up anywhere near 50 to 1 on the morning line Kentucky Derby odds and should be remembered in all exotics.
With a maximum of 20 horses accepted into the Kentucky Derby field, there is a significant vetting process to qualify the horses among this group of three-year olds. A points system is in place to reward winners and other top finishers of the main races leading into the Derby. The Top 20 horses will get the first opportunity to run in the Kentucky Derby, though as horses bow out of the process, the next ones in the standings are given their chances until the field of 20 is set.
The Road to the Kentucky Derby wraps up the second week of April, thus ending a grueling stretch of eight months of qualifying for the top colts in the world. The field won't be finalized until the Kentucky Derby post draw on Wednesday, May 3.
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Below are some of the contenders that will possibly run the day of the race. There are 20 Derby Contenders for the race but these are the most likely ones will be confirmed a place at the event.
|Rank||Horse||Points||Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings||Graded Stakes Earnings||Breeder||Trainer||Owner|
|1||Girvin||150||$840,000||$840,000||Bob Austin & John Witte||Joe Sharp||Brad Grady|
|2||Gormley||125||$884,000||$884,000||Castleton Lyons & Kilboy Estate||John Shirreffs||Moss, Mr. and Mrs. Jerome S.|
|3||Irish War Cry||110||$676,660||$616,660||Isabelle de Tomaso||H. Motion||Isabelle de Tomaso|
|4||Irap||108||$760,000||$738,000||Aaron & Marie Jones||Doug O'Neill||Reddam Racing LLC|
|5||Always Dreaming||100||$589,000||$589,000||Santa Rosa Partners||Todd Pletcher||St Elias, Teresa Viola Racing Stables, Brooklyn Boys, MEB Stables|
|6||Gunnevera||84||$1,137,800||$1,134,200||Brandywine Farm & Stephen Upchurch||Antonio Sano||Peacock Racing Stables, LLC|
|7||Practical Joke||74||$966,000||$966,000||Whispering Oaks||Chad Brown||Klaravich Stables, Inc. and Lawrence, William H.|
|8||J Boys Echo||63||$305,000||$305,000||Betz, Blackburn, J. Betz, Ramsby, CNHHNK||Dale Romans||Albaugh Family Stables LLC|
|9||State of Honor||62||$310,364||$280,000||Manfred Conrad & Penny Conrad||Mark Casse||Conrad Farms|
|10||Mastery||60||$480,000||$480,000||Stone Farm||Bob Baffert||Cheyenne Stables LLC|
|11||Tapwrit||54||$325,570||$280,000||My Meadowview LLC||Todd Pletcher||Bridlewood Farm, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and LaPenta, Robert V.|
|12||Epicharis (JPN)||50||$753,381||$400,000||Masatsugu Kamada||Kiyoshi Hagiwara||Carrot Farm|
|13||Malagacy||50||$540,000||$540,000||John Trumbulovic||Todd Pletcher||Sumaya U.S. Stable|
|14||McCraken||40||$385,048||$335,320||Whitham Thoroughbreds, LLC||Ian Wilkes||Whitham Thoroughbreds LLC|
|15||Battle of Midway||40||$224,000||$224,000||Thor-Bred Stables, LLC||Jerry Hollendorfer||Fox Hill Farms, Inc.|
|16||Patch||40||$200,000||$200,000||Calumet Farm||Todd Pletcher||Calumet Farm|
|17||Battalion Runner||40||$140,000||$140,000||Dell Ridge Farm, LLC||Todd Pletcher||St. Elias Stable|
|18||Cloud Computing||40||$135,000||$135,000||Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings, Inc & Stretch Run Ventures, LLC||Chad Brown||Klaravich Stables, Inc. and Lawrence, William H.|
|19||Mont Saint Legame (JPN)||40||$0||$0||Kawashima Bokujo||Koji Maki||Shinichi Yamashita|
|20||Untrapped||34||$210,000||$210,000||Indian Creek & Jonathan Sheppard||Steven Asmussen||Michael Langford|
|21||Classic Empire||32||$1,493,820||$1,493,820||Steven Nicholson & Brandi Nicholson||Mark Casse||John C. Oxley|
|22||El Areeb||30||$330,000||$270,000||Dixiana Farms LLC||Cathal Lynch||M M G Stables, LLC|
|23||Royal Mo||30||$213,000||$213,000||Brandywine Farm||John Shirreffs||Moss, Mr. and Mrs. Jerome S.|
|24||Local Hero||30||$140,000||$140,000||Three Chimneys Farm LLC||Steven Asmussen||e Five Racing Thoroughbreds|
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