Photo: Hodges Photography
We’re awaiting the 3-year-old debuts of four horses in the Top 5 of Horse Racing Nation’s 2019 Kentucky Derby rankings. Evidencing how quickly things can change, War of Will, the Lecomte Stakes (G3) winner who didn’t try dirt until his fifth career start, sits fourth as a big mover in the new year.
The Mark Casse-trained son of War Front follows recently crowned champion Game Winner, unbeaten Bob Baffert stablemate Improbable and Signalman, who won Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) in his most-recent start. Knicks Go rounds out the first five.
These rankings are assembled based on ratings assigned to individual horses by HRN readers. To join in the process, simply join Horse Racing Nation, visit a horse’s profile page and assign a value. Horses can be re-rated weekly.
Other winners since Jan. 1 have also seen boosts in their standing, with Gunmetal Gray (Grade 3 Sham Stakes) now sixth, Mind Control (Jerome Stakes) in eighth and Mihos (Mucho Macho Man Stakes) ninth.
Baffert trains seven in the Top 50 to lead all conditioners. Todd Pletcher has five, the highest-ranked of them Federal Case, purchased for $650,000 after his maiden win and since a winner over allowance foes. Federal Case could run in Saturday’s Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Park on a pivotal weekend for the preps that also includes Aqueduct’s Withers (G3) and Santa Anita’s Robert B. Lewis (G3).
We’d be remiss not to mention Hidden Scroll, the big debut winner last Saturday at Gulfstream. The Bill Mott-trained son of Hard Spun jumped all the way to No. 22 within hours of his victory, but has since dropped back down. It seems racing fans aren’t sold on him — yet.
Click the image below, or visit out Kentucky Derby 2019 contenders page, to see the full Top 50.