Road to the Kentucky Derby Top 20

Game Winner takes the 2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, 11/4/18. (Jordan Thomson Photo)

Game Winner (photo by Jordan Thomson)

Following are point totals for the top 20 horses on the Road to the May 4 Kentucky Derby (GI), with connections, auction history, career line and recent activity information. Updated weekly. List includes more than 20 horses if a tie exists between horses under the 20-number cutoff.

(Updated 2/19/19)

  1. War of Will – 60 points
    (War Front—Visions of Clarity, by Sadler’s Wells)
    Owned by: Gary Barber
    Trained by: Mark Casse
    Ridden by: Tyler Gaffalione
    Bred by: Flaxman Holdings Ltd. (KY)
    $298,550 Arqana May 2-year-old
    Career: 7-3-1-1, $491,569
    – won Risen Star Stakes (GII), won LeComte Stakes (GIII)at FG, 2nd Summer Stakes (GIII) at WO
    – probable for Louisiana Derby (GII) on 3/23 as next start
  2. Game Winner – 30 points
    (Candy Ride—Indyan Giving, by A.P. Indy)
    Owned by: Gary and Mary West
    Trained by: Bob Baffert
    Ridden by: Joel Rosario
    Bred by: Summer Wind Equine (KY)
    $110,000 Keeneland September yearling
    Career: 4-4-0-0, $1,496,000
    2018 Eclipse Award winner, 2-year-old colt
    – won Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI), American Pharoah Stakes (GI), Del Mar Futurity (GI)
    – set to make season debut in 3/9 San Felipe (GII) at SA
    – worked 6f in 1:13.60 at SA from the gate on 2/25
  3. Country House – 20 points
    (Lookin at Lucky–Quake Lake, but War Chant
    Owned by: Mr & Mrs. J. V. Shields, E.J.M. McFadden Jr. & LNJ Foxwoods
    Trained by Bill Mott
    Ridden by: Luis Saez
    Bred by: J. V. Shields (KY)
    Career: 4-1-2-0, $120,175
    -2nd Risen Star Stakes (GII) on 2/16, likely for 3/23 Louisiana Derby (GII)
  4. Knicks Go – 18 points
    (Paynter—Kosmo’s Buddy, by Outflanker)
    Owned by: KRA Stud Farm
    Trained by: Ben Colebrook
    Ridden by: Albin Jimenez
    Bred by: Angie Moore (MD)
    $87,000 Keeneland September yearling
    $40,000 Keeneland November weanling
    Career: 7-2-1-1, $678,515
    -Won Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (GI), 2nd Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI)
    – returned off Breeders’ Cup performance to finish 11th as the l favorite in the Nov. 24 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (GII) at CD.
    – 5th in 3yo debut in the 2/9 Sam F. Davis Stakes (GIII) at Tam
    – worked 4f in :49.60 at Tam on 2/23 for the Tampa Bay Derby (GII) on 3/9
  5. Signalman – 18 points
    (General Quarters—Trip South, by Trippi)
    Owned by: Tommie Lewis, David Bernsen & Magdalena Racing (Sherri McPeek)
    Trained by: Kenny McPeek
    Ridden by: Brian Hernandez Jr.
    Bred by: Monticule (KY)
    $32,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall yearling
    Career: 5-2-2-1, $448,990
    – won Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (GII) at CD, 2nd Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (GI) at Kee, 3rd Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) at CD
    – pointing toward March 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes (GI) at GP on 3/2 for 2019 debut
    – worked 5f in 1:01.75 at GP on 2/23
  6. Gunmetal Gray – 18 points
    (Exchange Rate—Classofsixtythree, by Include)
    Owned by: West Point Thoroughbreds, Hollendorfer and Pearl Racing LLC
    Trained by: Jerry Hollendorfer
    Ridden by: Mike Smith
    Bred by: Lee Pokoik (KY)
    $225,000 Ocala Breeders’ Sales March 2-year-old
    $85,000 Keeneland September yearling
    Career: 6-2-2-0, $247,200
    – won Sham Stakes (GIII) at SA, 2nd American Pharoah Stakes (GI) at SA
    – second in Robert B. Lewis Stakes (GIII) at SA on 2/2
    – probable for the San Felipe (GII) at SA on 3/9
    -worked 5f in :59.80 at SA on 2/23
  7. Long Range Toddy – 16 points
    (Take Charge Indy—Pleasant Song, by Unbridled’s Song)
    Owned by: Willis Horton Racing LLC
    Trained by: Steve Asmussen
    Ridden by: Richard E. Eramia
    Bred by: Willis Horton Racing LLC (KY)
    Career: 6-3-1-1, $401,125
    – won Clever Trevor Stakes at RP, Won Remington Springboard Mile at RP, 2nd Smarty Jones Stakes at OP on 1/25, 3rd Southwest (GIII) at OP on 2/18
    – Likely for $1 million Rebel Stakes (GII) on 3/16
  8. Mucho Gusto – 14 points
    (Mucho Macho Man—Itsagiantcauseway, by Giant’s Causeway)
    Owned by: Michael Lund Petersen
    Trained by: Bob Baffert
    Ridden by: Joe Talamo
    Bred by: Teneri Farm & Bernarndo Alvarez Calderon
    $50,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July Select yearling
    Career: 4-3-1-0, $234,000
    $625,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-old
    $95,000 Keeneland September yearling
    $14,000 Keeneland January yearling
    – won Bob Hope Stakes (GIII) at Dmr, won Bob Lewis Stakes (GIII) at SA on 2/2, 2nd Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity (GI)
    – Baffert on next start: “I want to run him in spots where he’s going to be very competitive, and we have those other horses, so it depends on what the other horses are doing. Right now, I’m going to nominate my horses everywhere and whoever’s doing great that week runs in that race… Let the games begin.”
    – worked 4f in :47.60 at SA on 2/20
  9. Maximus Mischief – 12 points
    (Into Mischief—Reina Maria, by Songandaprayer)
    Owned by: Cash Is King LLC and LC Racing
    Trained by: Robert Reid Jr.
    Ridden by: Frankie Pennington
    Bred by: Martha Jane Mulholland (KY)
    $340,000 Fasig-Tipton April Midlantic 2-year-old
    $165,000 Keeneland November weanling
    Career: 4-3-0-1, $225,700
    – won Remsen Stakes (GII) at Aqu, third in Holy Bull Stakes (GIII) at GP on 2/2
    – Won the Holy Bull Stakes (GII) at GP on 2/2
    -worked 4f in :49.02 at GP on 2/24
    -dissatisfied with recent work, horse will miss FOY and will be out of action “indefinitely”
  10. Tax – 12 points
    (Arch–Toll, by Giant’s Causeway
    Owned by: Reeves Thoroughbreds, R.A. Hill Stable, Hugh Lynch & Corms Racing
    Trained by: Danny Gargan
    Ridden by: Junior Alvarado
    Bred by: Claiborne Farm & Adele Dilschneider
    Career: 4-2-1-1, $186,300
    – gelding won Withers Stakes (GIII) at Aqu on 2/2
    – likely headed on to the Gotham Stakes (GIII) on 3/9
    -worked 4f in :51.24 at Bel (tr.t) on 2/23
  11. Super Steed – 10 points
    (Super Saver–Totally Tucker, by Elusive Quality)
    Owned by: Michael Pressley & Steed Jackson
    Trained by: Larry Jones
    Ridden by Terry Thompson
    Bred by: Michael Pressley (KY)
    Career: 5-2-1-0, $356,500
    -upset Southwest Stakes (GIII) at more than 60-1
    -likely headed to 3/16 Rebel Stakes (GII) next
  12. Mind Control – 10 points
    (Stay Thirsty—Feel That Fire, by Lightnin N Thunder)
    Owned by: Red Oak Stables (Brunetti) and Madakat Stables LLC
    Trained by: Greg Sacco
    Ridden by: John Velazquez
    Bred by: Red Oak Stable (KY)
    Career: 5-3-1-0, $323,400
    – won Hopeful Stakes (GI) at Sar, won Jerome Stakes at Aqu
    – worked 5f in 1:00.60 at Bel (tr.t) on 2/23
    – probable for the Gotham Stakes (GIII) at Aqu on 3/9
  13. Improbable – 10 points
    (City Zip—Rare Event, by A.P. Indy)
    Owned by: WinStar Farm LLC, China Horse Club Ltd. and Starlight Racing
    Trained by: Bob Baffert
    Ridden by: Drayden VanDyke
    Bred by: St. George Farm & G. Watts Humphrey Jr. (KY)
    $200,000 Keeneland September yearling
    $110,000 Keeneland November weanling
    Career: 3-3-0-0, $269,520
    – won Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity (GI), won Street Sense Stakes at CD
    – will likely race next wherever stablemate Game Winner doesn’t
    – worked a bullet 6f in 1:12 at SA on 2/25
  14. Harvey Wallbanger – 10 points
    (Congrats–Adorabell, by Distorted Humor)
    Owned by: Harold Lerner, AWC Stables, Nehoc Stables, Scott Akman & Paul Braverman
    Trained by: Kenny McPeek
    Ridden by: Brian Hernandez Jr.
    Bred by: Tony Holmes and Dr. & Mrs. Walter Zent
    $50,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July Selected yearling
    Career: 5-2-3-0, $299,520
    -upset winner of the 2/2 Holy Bull Stakes (GIII) at GP, likely for the Fountain of Youth on 2/2
    -worked 5f in 1:01.75 at GP on 2/23
  15. Well Defined – 10 points
    (With Distinction–Fru Fru, by Medaglia d’Oro)
    Owned by: Stonehenge LLC
    Trained by: Katheen O’Connell
    Ridden by: Pablo Morales
    Bred by: Stonehenge LLC (FL)
    Career: 7-3-1-1, $490,570
    -won Sam F. Davis at Tampa in gate-to-wire fashion
    -previously won the In Reality Stakes restricted to Florida-breds
    -will race next in the 3/9 Tampa Bay Derby
    -worked 5f in 1:02 at GPW on 2/22
  16. Gray Attempt – 10 points
    (Graydar—Attempt to Name, by Consolidator)
    Owned by: Dwight Puett
    Trained by: William H. “Jinx” Fires
    Ridden by: Shaun Bridgmohan
    Bred by: Wynnstay LLC, Donna Moore & Jim Richardson (KY)
    $50,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July Select yearling
    Career: 4-3-0-0, $194,700
    – won Smarty Jones Stakes at OP, won Sugar Bowl Stakes at FG
    – 9th and last in Southwest Stakes (GIII) at OP on 2/18, future on Derby trail in doubt
  17. Anothertwistafate – 10 points
    (Scat Daddy–Imprecation, by First Defence)
    Owned by Peter Redekop B.C. Ltx
    Trained by: Blaine Wright
    Ridden by: Juan J. Hernandez
    Bred by: Pursuit of Success LLC (KY)
    $360,000 Ocala Breeders’ Sales June 2-year-old in training
    Career: 4-3-0-0, $94,545
    -won El Camino Real Derby (GIII) on 2/16 to take first steps on Kentucky Derby trail
  18. Roiland – 1o points
    (Successful Appeal–Anabranch, by Congaree)
    Owned by: James and Mary Durlacher
    Trained by: Tom Amoss
    Ridden by: James Graham
    Bred by: James and Mary Durlacher (KY)
    Career: 6-2-1-1, $119,660
    -3rd in Risen Star Stakes (GII) last out, likely for 3/23 Louisiana Derby (GII)
  19. Hog Creek Hustle – 9 points
    (Overanalyze—Candy Fortune, by Candy Ride)
    Owned by: Something Special Racing LLC
    Trained by: Vickie Foley
    Ridden by: Florent Geroux
    Bred by: Hargus Sexton, Sandra Sexton & Silver Fern Farm LLC (KY)
    $150,000 Keeneland September yearling
    Career: 5-2-1-1, $137,300
    – 2nd LeComte Stakes (GIII) at FG, 3rd Sugar Bowl Stakes at FG, 4th in Risen Star (GII) at FG on 2/16
    – worked 4f in :51.20 at FG on 2/9
  20. Sueno – 8 points
    (Atreides—Class Above, by Quiet American)
    Owned by: Silverton Hill LLC
    Trained by: Keith Desormeaux
    Ridden by: Corey Lanerie
    Bred by: Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings Inc. (KY)
    $61,000 Keeneland September yearling
    $1,500 Keeneland November weanling
    Career: 5-2-2-1, $90,440
    – won Gold Rush Stakes, 2nd Sham Stakes (GIII) at SA, 2nd Southwest Stakes (GIII) at OP on 2/18
    – worked 5f in :59.60 at SA on 1/26


Margaret Ransom
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters, Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.

After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager. She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several race horse retirement organizations, including CARMA.

Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull as her favorite horse of all time. She lives in Pasadena with her longtime beau, Tony, three Australian Shepherds and one Golden Retriever.