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Jamie Clark

If you want to know about all the leading Kentucky Derby horses today for this year’s first leg of the Triple Crown, then this is the very page for you. We list the standings based on qualifying points for the big race at Churchill Downs and then mini profiles of those runners who got into the final field.

List of Kentucky Derby Horses Based on Qualifying Points

Kentucky Derby horses

A series of qualifying races take place across America and around the world on The Road to the Kentucky Derby. The better the runners do in those, then the more points and shorter odds on Kentucky Derby horses get. As promised, these are the current standings in order of qualifying point picked up en route to Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May:

  1. Sierra Leone (155)
  2. Fierceness (136)
  3. Catching Freedom (125)
  4. Stronghold (125)
  5. Resilience (110)
  6. Forever Young (100)
  7. Endlessly (100)
  8. Dornoch (75)
  9. Just A Touch (75)
  10. Track Phantom (70)
  11. West Saratoga (67)
  12. Just Steel (65)
  13. Honor Marie (65)
  14. Domestic Product (60)
  15. Catalytic (50)
  16. Society Man (50)
  17. Mystik Dan (46)
  18. Encino (40) – Scratched from final field
  19. Grand Mo The First (40)
  20. T O Password (40)
  21. Epic Ride (35)


Qualifying Points from the Road to Kentucky Derby Series correct as of Monday, April 8.

All Kentucky Derby Runners

While we didn’t know the final Kentucky Derby field until a week out from the big race, bettors and horse racing fans could still learn plenty about hopefuls. That is why we asked our expert handicappers to write profiles of the main contenders and later all the runers. Some will inevitably fall by the wayside through injury or switch targets, but here is more info on the thoroughbreds that could potentially be talked about as Triple Crown picks before the race.

Dornoch silks 1. Dornoch

  • Sire: Good Magic
  • Dam: Puca
  • Damsire: Big Brown
  • Foaled: April 22, 2021
  • Breeder(s): Grandview Equine
  • Owner(s): West Paces Racing LLC, R A Hill Stable Et Al
  • Trainer: Danny Gargan
  • Jockey: Luis Saez
  • Form Figures: 2211-14
  • Stakes Race Wins: Remsen Stakes, Fountain Of Youth Stakes
  • Qualifying Points: 75
  • Morning Line Odds: 20-1

Dual Grade II winner including the Fountain Of Youth at Gulfstream Park on reappearance after winter break. Just beat Sierra Leone at Aqueduct on final start as a juvenile, but form reversed when not making the show in the Blue Grass at Keeneland. Sire has already produced Kentucky Derby horses like last year’s winner Mage and Reincarnate after chasing home Justify in 2018. As a full brother to the former and with a damsire who won at Churchill Downs back in 2008, pedigree experts understandably fancy him. Low draw is a negative.

Sierra Leone silks 2. Sierra Leone

  • Sire: Gun Runner
  • Dam: Heavenly Love
  • Damsire: Malibu Moon
  • Foaled: March 31, 2021
  • Breeder(s): Debby Oxley
  • Owner(s): Mrs John Magnier, Michael Tabor Et Al
  • Trainer: Chad Brown
  • Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione
  • Form Figures: 12-11
  • Stakes Race Wins: Risen Star Stakes, Blue Grass Stakes
  • Qualifying Points: 155
  • Morning Line Odds: 5-2

Grade II winner after a winter break. Just bested by Dornoch before that at Aqueduct, but turnabout on that form when victorious in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland en route to Churchill Downs latest. Owned by the powerful Coolmore partners, who have such a strong influence as owner-breeders around the world.

By the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and 2016 Kentucky Derby third. Damsire produced Orb, who landed this in 2013. Picked up most points on The Road to the Kentucky Derby, but low draw means the Morning Line favorite has a major task on his hands.

Mystik Dan silks 3. Mystik Dan

  • Sire: Goldencents
  • Dam: Ma’am
  • Damsire: Colonel John
  • Foaled: March 4, 2021
  • Breeder(s): Lance Gasaway, Daniel Hamby & 4g Racing Llc
  • Owner(s): Lance Gasaway, 4 G Racing LLC & Valley View Farm LLC
  • Trainer: Kenneth McPeek
  • Jockey: Brian Hernandez
  • Form Figures: 215-513
  • Stakes Race Wins: Southwest Stakes
  • Qualifying Points: 46
  • Morning Line Odds: 20-1

Impressive Grade III winner at Oaklawn Park in February, but saw form reversed when third in the Arkansas Derby latest. Now has something to find with Just Steel on that basis. Shares a damsire with Society Man. Sire won the Santa Anita Derby, but failed to stay in both this and the Preakness in 2013. Could be more interesting in strongly run mile races down the line. Other Kentucky Derby horses appeal more.

Catching Freedom silks 4. Catching Freedom

  • Sire: Constitution
  • Dam: Catch My Drift
  • Damsire: Pioneerof The Nile
  • Foaled: March 8, 2021
  • Breeder(s): WinStar Farm LLC
  • Owner(s): Albaugh Family Stables LLC
  • Trainer: Brad H Cox
  • Jockey: Flavien Prat
  • Form Figures: 14-131
  • Stakes Race Wins: Smarty Jones Stakes, Louisiana Derby
  • Qualifying Points: 125
  • Morning Line Odds: 8-1

Churchill Downs winner on track debut in the fall. Started this year off with Listed victory at Oaklawn Park before making the show in the Risen Star. Came from off the pace and around the whole field to land the Louisiana Derby cosily as bumped by a rival when challenging widest of all at Fair Grounds. Colt by the 2014 Florida Derby hero and out of dam by same sire as American Pharoah. Drawn low and has to overcome that.

Catalytic silks 5. Catalytic

  • Sire: Catalina Cruiser
  • Dam: One Show Only
  • Damsire: Distorted Humor
  • Foaled: March 21, 2021
  • Breeder(s): Fred W Hertrich III
  • Owner(s): Tami Bobo, Julie Davies & George G Isaacs
  • Trainer: Saffie Joseph Jr.
  • Jockey: Jose Ortiz
  • Form Figures: 1-22
  • Stakes Race Wins: None
  • Qualifying Points: 50
  • Morning Line Odds: 30-1

Lightly-raced colt by four-time Grade II winner at distances from six furlongs up to an extended mile. Damsire produced Funny Cide, who won this and the Preakness in 2003, plus the 2010 Belmont Stakes hero. Raced in clear second for much of the Florida Derby when best of the rest and placing behind Fierceness latest. Drawn better that that one, but still has a lot of ground to make up with the winner on Gulfstream Park run. Always Dreaming won from this gate in 2017.

Just Steel silks 6. Just Steel

  • Sire: Justify
  • Dam: Irish Lights
  • Damsire: Fastnet Rock
  • Foaled: March 9, 2021
  • Breeder(s): Summerhill Farm
  • Owner(s): BC Stables LLC
  • Trainer: D Wayne Lukas
  • Jockey: Keith Asmussen
  • Form Figures: 5217631-2272
  • Stakes Race Wins: Ed Brown Stakes
  • Qualifying Points: 65
  • Morning Line Odds: 20-1

Churchill Downs black type sprint winner last November. Arkansas Derby second and represents best of that form for his Hall of Fame trainer, as the winner hails from the Bob Baffert barn. That handler can’t have Kentucky Derby runners due to a track ban. Experienced but lacks graded stakes win in career to date. By an up-and-coming sire who swept the 2018 Triple Crown.

Honor Marie silks 7. Honor Marie

  • Sire: Honor Code
  • Dam: Dame Marie
  • Damsire: Smart Strike
  • Foaled: May 4, 2021
  • Breeder(s): Royce Pulliam
  • Owner(s): Ribble Farms LLC, Michael H Eiserman Et Al
  • Trainer: D Whitworth Beckman
  • Jockey: Ben Curtis
  • Form Figures: 121-52
  • Stakes Race Wins: Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes
  • Qualifying Points: 65
  • Morning Line Odds: 20-1

Two wins and a place from three starts at Churchill Downs as a juvenile culminating in Grade II success. Only fifth in the Risen Star on return from winter break, but took a step forward when second in the Louisiana Derby latest. By the 2015 Breeders’ Cup third who won the Whitney Stakes. Damsire produced Curlin, so a well bred colt and two of the last six winning Kentucky Derby horses came out of lucky gate 7.

Just A Touch silks 8. Just A Touch

  • Sire: Justify
  • Dam: Touching Beauty
  • Damsire: Tapit
  • Foaled: May 5, 2021
  • Breeder(s): Don Alberto Corporation
  • Owner(s): Qatar Racing, Resolute Racing & Marc Detampel
  • Trainer: Brad Cox
  • Jockey: Florent Geroux
  • Form Figures: 122
  • Stakes Race Wins: None
  • Qualifying Points: 75
  • Morning Line Odds: 10-1

Fair Grounds maiden winner with two placed efforts in Kentucky Derby prep races at Aqueduct and Keeneland since. Lightly-raced colt by the 2018 Triple Crown hero Justify and open to plenty of further improvement. Has found one too good in both the Gotham Stakes and Blue Grass, so will need to progress if he wants to get his head in front at the wire. Mage won from this gate last year.

Encino silks 9. Encino – Scratched

  • Sire: Nyquist
  • Dam: Glittering Jewel
  • Damsire: Bernardini
  • Foaled: March 14, 2021
  • Breeder(s): Godolphin
  • Owner(s): Godolphin
  • Trainer: Brad H Cox
  • Jockey: Axel Concepcion
  • Form Figures: 2-111
  • Stakes Race Wins: John Battaglia Memorial, Lexington Stakes
  • Qualifying Points: 40
  • Morning Line Odds: 20-1

Raced exclusively within the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Built on length victory over Epic Ride in Listed contest at Turfway Park with Grade III wildcard success at Keeneland latest. Represents powerful owner-breeders and by the 2016 winner of this race. Damsire landed the 2006 Preakness and Travers Stakes. One of the under the radar Kentucky Derby horses to note, but scratched the Tuesday before the race.

T O Password silks 10. T O Password

  • Sire: Copano Rickey
  • Dam: T O Rachel
  • Damsire: King Kamehameha
  • Foaled: May 20, 2021
  • Breeder(s): Yanagawa Bokujo
  • Owner(s): Tomoya Ozasa
  • Trainer: Daisuke Takayanagi
  • Jockey: Kimura Kazushi
  • Form Figures: 11
  • Stakes Race Wins: Fukuryu Stakes
  • Qualifying Points: 40
  • Morning Line Odds: 30-1

Qualified for Churchill Downs via the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby with Listed success when last in action. Form doesn’t match the same level achieved by the race’s other Far East representative. Drawn in the middle of the field with Japanese seeking their first-ever winner of this world-famous contest.

Forever Young silks 11. Forever Young

  • Sire: Real Steel
  • Dam: Forever Darling
  • Damsire: Congrats
  • Foaled: February 24, 2021
  • Breeder(s): Northern Racing Japan
  • Owner(s): Susumu Fujita
  • Trainer: Yoshito Yahagi
  • Jockey: Ryusei Sakai
  • Form Figures: 111-11
  • Stakes Race Wins: Saudi Derby, UAE Derby
  • Qualifying Points: 100
  • Morning Line Odds: 10-1

Other Japanese runner with two Derby wins in the Middle East this winter. Needed every yard of a mile to get up and land the Saudi Derby in Riyadh. Followed-up in UAE Derby, which punched his ticket to Churchill Downs, on Dubai World Cup Night at Meydan latest. Out of the 2016 Dubai Turf winner, but clearly showed aptitude for the dirt in the Arabian Desert. Pick of the two Far East runners.

Track Phantom silks 12. Track Phantom

  • Sire: Quality Road
  • Dam: Miss Sunset
  • Damsire: Into Mischief
  • Foaled: February 17, 2021
  • Breeder(s): Breeze Easy Llc
  • Owner(s): L And N Racing LLC, Clark O Brewster Et Al
  • Trainer: Steven Asmussen
  • Jockey: Joel Rosario
  • Form Figures: 3211-124
  • Stakes Race Wins: Gun Runner Stakes, Lecomte Stakes
  • Qualifying Points: 70
  • Morning Line Odds: 20-1

Another Churchill Downs winner that landed black type races either side of Christmas. Risen Star second and missed the show in the Louisiana Derby when a disappointing beaten favorite latest. By the 2009 Florida Derby winner, but other side of pedigree is speedy. Stamina question mark beyond a mile, so other Kentucky Derby horses have stronger claims.

West Saratoga silks 13. West Saratoga

  • Sire: Exaggeraor
  • Dam: Mo Wicked
  • Damsire: Uncle Mo
  • Foaled: March 19, 2021
  • Breeder(s): Two Hearts Farm LLC
  • Owner(s): Harry L Veruchi
  • Trainer: Larry Demeritte
  • Jockey: Jesus Castanon
  • Form Figures: 4222115-232
  • Stakes Race Wins: Iroquois Stakes
  • Qualifying Points: 67
  • Morning Line Odds: 50-1

Grade III juvenile winner at Churchill Downs in the fall. Couldn’t build on that around Keeneland, but made the show in Sam F Davis at Tampa Bay Downs in February. Placed behind Endlessly in the Jeff Ruby latest. Four lengths to find on that run. Son of 2016 Kentucky Derby runner-up and Preakness Stakes winner. Damsire produced Nyquist, who won this from the same gate in 2016, so stoutly bred for the job.

Endlessly silks KD 14. Endlessly

  • Sire: Oscar Performance
  • Dam: Dream Fuhrever
  • Damsire: Langfuhr
  • Foaled: March 25, 2021
  • Breeder(s): Mrs Jerry Amerman
  • Owner(s): Amerman Racing LLC
  • Trainer: Michael McCarthy
  • Jockey: Umberto Rispoli
  • Form Figures: 1118-11
  • Stakes Race Wins: Del Mar Juvenile Turf, Zuma Beach Stakes, El Camino Real Derby, Jeff Ruby Steaks
  • Qualifying Points: 100
  • Morning Line Odds: 30-1

Experienced colt who won two Grade III turf events in California as a juvenile in the fall. Made a successful switch to dirt with Listed victory in El Camino Real Derby after midwinter break. Built on that with four-length victory in the Jeff Ruby at Turfway Park latest. Relying on dam side of pedigree for handling this surface, but done nothing wrong on it so far. One of the in-form Kentucky Derby horses this year.

Domestic Product silks 15. Domestic Product

  • Sire: Practical Joke
  • Dam: Goods And Services
  • Damsire: Paynter
  • Foaled: February 22, 2021
  • Breeder(s): Klaravich Stables
  • Owner(s): Klaravich Stables
  • Trainer: Chad Brown
  • Jockey: Irad Ortiz
  • Form Figures: 517-21
  • Stakes Race Wins: Tampa Bay Derby
  • Qualifying Points: 60
  • Morning Line Odds: 30-1

Grade III winner in Florida after Holy Bull Stakes second on return from midwinter break. Colt by 2017 Kentucky Derby fifth. Damsire produced Knicks Go and won 2012 Haskell Invitational. Further progress possible for ambitious trainer still seeking breakthrough win in the big one at Churchill Downs. Winners came out of this gate in 2015 and 2020 three-quarters down the draw.

Grand Mo The First silks 16. Grand Mo The First

  • Sire: Uncle Mo
  • Dam: Lilies So Fair
  • Damsire: Giant’s Causeway
  • Foaled: February 6, 2021
  • Breeder(s): John D Gunther
  • Owner(s): Granpollo Stable
  • Trainer: Victor Barboza Jr.
  • Jockey: Emisael Jaramillo
  • Form Figures: 113-333
  • Stakes Race Wins: None
  • Qualifying Points: 40
  • Morning Line Odds: 50-1

Dual Gulfstream Park winner as a juvenile and four thirds since. Only beaten by half-a-length in the Tampa Bay Derby, but no match for Fierceness in Florida Derby latest. Sire produced Nyquist. Significant improvement needed to close the gap.

Fierceness silks KD 17. Fierceness

  • Sire: City Of Light
  • Dam: Nonna Bella
  • Damsire: Stay Thirsty
  • Foaled: March 28, 2021
  • Breeder(s): Repole Stable
  • Owner(s): Repole Stable
  • Trainer: Todd Pletcher
  • Jockey: John Velazquez
  • Form Figures: 171-31
  • Stakes Race Wins: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Florida Derby
  • Qualifying Points: 136
  • Morning Line Odds: 3-1

Impressive dual Grade I winner. Has thrown in disappointing displays before Breeders’ Cup Juvenile romp and en route to the Florida Derby latest. On the pick of his form, however, a leading contender among Kentucky Derby horses this year. Pedigree does raise stamina doubts, but he wasn’t stopping at Gulfstream Park when last in action and scorching the earth with 13 1/2 lengths victory. This gate notably unlucky despite being high.

Stronghold silks 18. Stronghold

  • Sire: Ghostzapper
  • Dam: Spectator
  • Damsire: Jimmy Creed
  • Foaled: January 24, 2021
  • Breeder(s): Eric Waller & Sharon Waller
  • Owner(s): Eric Waller & Sharon Waller
  • Trainer: Philip D’Amato
  • Jockey: Antonio Fresu
  • Form Figures: 2122-11
  • Stakes Race Wins: Sunland Park Derby, Santa Anita Derby
  • Qualifying Points: 125
  • Morning Line Odds: 20-1

Churchill Downs maiden winner who left his juvenile form well behind when landing the Sunland Park Derby on return from midwinter break. Took things up a notch when just following-up in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby by a neck in California latest. By the same sire as 2021 Dubai World Cup winner Mystic Guide. One of the Kentucky Derby horses that has clearly improved this year.

Resilience silks 19. Resilience

  • Sire: Into Mischief
  • Dam: Meadowsweet
  • Damsire: Smart Strike
  • Foaled: March 24, 2021
  • Breeder(s): Pam & Martin Wygod
  • Owner(s): Emily Bushnell & Ric Waldman
  • Trainer: William Mott
  • Jockey: Junior Alvarado
  • Form Figures: 623-141
  • Stakes Race Wins: Wood Memorial Stakes
  • Qualifying Points: 110
  • Morning Line Odds: 20-1

Made the show in two Churchill Down maidens in the fall before winning at Gulfstream Park on New Year’s Day. Only fourth to Sierra Leone in the Risen Star, but a comfortable victor in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct latest after leading off the final turn into the home stretch. Bred for the Kentucky Derby as sire produced 2020 and 2021 winners, as well as recent Dubai World Cup hero Laurel River. Further progress can’t be ruled out, that’s for sure.

Society Man silks 20. Society Man

  • Sire: Good Magic
  • Dam: You Cheated
  • Damsire: Colonel John
  • Foaled: April 19, 2021
  • Breeder(s): SF Bloodstock LLC
  • Owner(s): West Paces Racing LLC, Danny Gargan & GMP Stables LLC
  • Trainer: Danny Gargan
  • Jockey: Frankie Dettori
  • Form Figures: 73-812
  • Stakes Race Wins: None
  • Qualifying Points: 50
  • Morning Line Odds: 50-1

Aqueduct maiden winner on third run at NY track and fourth career start. Built on that with fine second in the Grade II Wood Memorial at the same venue latest. World-famous jockey booked for the ride, but other Kentucky Derby horses have more going for them. By the same sire as Dornoch. Damsire won Santa Anita Derby and Travers Stakes in 2008. Drawn widest of all until Encino scratched.

Epic Ride silks 21. Epic Ride

  • Sire: Blame
  • Dam: Pick A Time
  • Damsire: Gio Ponti
  • Foaled: May 17, 2021
  • Breeder(s): Fred W Hertrich III
  • Owner(s): Welch Racing LLC
  • Trainer: John Ennis
  • Jockey: Adam Beschizza
  • Form Figures: 2-1123
  • Stakes Race Wins: Leonatus Stakes
  • Qualifying Points: 35
  • Morning Line Odds: 50-1

Black type winner at Turfway Park in February. Chased home Encino in a Listed race and made the show in Blue Grass Stakes latest. Something to find with Sierra Leone and Just A Touch on Keeneland form. Promoted from also eligible first reserve into the final field following scratching of Encino.

Mugatu silks 22. Mugatu – Reserve

  • Sire: Blofeld
  • Dam: Union Way
  • Damsire: Union Rags
  • Foaled: April 17, 2021
  • Breeder(s): JSM Equine LLC
  • Owner(s): Average Joe Racing Stables Ltd & Dan Wells
  • Trainer: Jeff Engler
  • Jockey: Joseph Talamo
  • Form Figures: 6320146-33485
  • Stakes Race Wins: None
  • Qualifying Points: 14
  • Morning Line Odds: 50-1

Gulfstream Park maiden winner who has finished no better than fourth in three Black Type races this year. Outran odds when one-pace fifth behind Sierra Leone in Blue Grass Stakes latest. Also eligible and now first reserve as a result of Encino scratching. Hard to see him landing a blow even if he gets in to the final field.

Kentucky Derby Horses And Jockeys To Follow

It’s not just about the horses in the Kentucky Derby field, but their riders as well. If a jockey has a particularly good recent record or has won the big one at Churchill Downs before, then that will attract interest from bettors.

John Velazquez may be a rider to follow as he has partnered three Kentucky Derby winners to victory since 2011. His mount in this year’s race, Fierceness, is naturally one bettors will wager on.

Flavien Prat, meanwhile, has had his mounts at least make the show in four of the last five years. The Kentucky Derby horses and odds available will reflect such trends. Prat will once again be a popular jockey this time around. He rides Catching Freedom.

It is worth bettors knowing who, if anyone, is the stable jockey for Hall of Fame trainers and major barns from around America. Should they more than one entry representing them in a race, then the rider may have had a choice of mounts.

This can also influence the market on Kentucky Derby betting sites as the jockey should in theory pick the horse with the best chance. It doesn’t always work like that in practice, of course.


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Jamie Clark

Jamie Clark is an expert handicapper with more than a decade of experience in the gambling industry. He has found winners of races all over the world, including the biggest in America like the Kentucky Derby.