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 Practical Joke, one of the contenders for the 2017 Kentucky Derby to be run at Churchill Downs.
Owner: Klaravich Stables, Inc. and William H. Lawrence
Trainer: Chad Brown
Pedigree: Into Mischief – Halo Humor, by Distorted Humor
Last Race Result: 2nd Place, Blue Grass Stakes, 4/8/17
Practical Joke didn't end up winning the Blue Grass Stakes. Had he fought off Irap in the stretch run, he would have ultimately probably been the favorite to win the Kentucky Derby at this point. Alas, he was second best and is now actually the third choice to win the Derby just amongst the Blue Grass competitors at a price of 11 to 1. That's probably about accurate, too. This is a big horse with a legitimate shot to win the Derby, but he's got to be at his best to get the job done.
By all accounts, Practical Joke is a big time horse. He was running in Grade 1 races as a two-year old and winning them, and as a result, he was amongst the early Kentucky Derby favorites thanks to his wins at the Hopeful Stakes and the Champagne Stakes. He was third best in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, a result that most figured was relatively fair, and he opened up his three-year old campaign by finishing a distant second to another Derby contender, Gunnevera in the Fountain of Youth Stakes. He was second best at the Blue Grass as well after that.
Sure, it's a concern that Practical Joke hasn't won since last October, and he's never won outside of the state of New York in three tries on three different tracks, but he's also hit the board in every race he's run, and he's one of the few three-year olds who are worth over a million bucks already in their career.
We're just not exactly sure what type of horse Practical Joke is, and we're not all that sure Chad Brown has figured it out either. He was in a decent stalking position at the Blue Grass and looked three times like he was going to put Irap away. He was a trailer at the Fountain of Youth and seemed positioned well before getting put away by Gunnevera. He was a late runner in the Champagne Stakes and won, while he was a stalker at the Hopeful Stakes and put on perhaps his best showing of his career.
We're not fond of horses without identities, but we do love the fact that, in a field where there should be plenty of speed that isn't all that serious, Practical Joke isn't afraid to run far off the pace. He's probably going to have to if he's going to have any degree of success at the Kentucky Derby.
But there's no doubt that it would be foolish to forget about all of the great races this colt had as a two-year old. Is it possible that he's topped out and won't be getting any better than this in his career? Sure. But generally speaking, winners are winners, and the age of two isn't where most ponies reach their ends.
Jockey choice is going to be interesting here. Joel Rosario and Joe Ortiz have both had the mount on Practical Joke in his career. Both have won. Both have lost. We really wonder if Brown is going to reach out to a newcomer who might be able to kick something into Practical Joke that he just flat out hasn't shown the rest of the world. If so, he might end up being one of the steals of the Kentucky Derby.
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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