Top Juveniles Ready for Road to 2015 Kentucky Derby

We are still over eight months away from the 2015 running of the Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs on May 2, but it is never too early to start looking for Kentucky Derby horses.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby kicks off this fall with several major races, including the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland and Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park in October, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in November at Santa Anita.

Last year there were 34 official Road to the Kentucky Derby races with 16 comprising the “Kentucky Derby Championship Series” over the 10 weeks that precede the first Saturday in May.

It is early, but we have seen several juveniles who could make their mark on the first Saturday of May. One of those was Big Trouble, winner of the Sanford Stakes at Saratoga on July 19. However, the Tony Dutrow trainee will be sidelined for at least the remainder of the year due to a torn suspensory ligament in his right foreleg and is probably not going to head down the Road to the Derby.

Trainer Todd Pletcher is always loaded with promising Kentucky Derby hopefuls and last year nominated a record 42 horses to the Triple Crown. Pletcher picked up his first Kentucky Derby win with Super Saver in 2010, but his record in the Run for the Roses stands at one for 40 after going 0 for 4 with his starters in 2014.

Pletcher sent out a promising debut winner at Saratoga in Competitive Edge on July 26. The colt took the field gate to wire and drew away to win by 10¼ lengths. The colt was a $750,000 purchase and sired by 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver. Look for the future Kentucky Derby betting odds on this colt to drop after he makes his stakes debut.

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas is no stranger to the Kentucky Derby, wining with Charismatic (1999), Grindstone (1996) and Thunder Gulch (1995).

His colt Mr. Z has already made three starts as a juvenile, breaking his maiden in his debut, followed by a neck loss to Big Trouble in the Sanford and a third place finish in the Saratoga Special (G2).

While Dutrow likely will not see his promising colt Big Trouble in Louisville on the first Saturday in May, he has another talented colt in I Spent It.

The son of Super Saver was an impressive maiden winner in his debut, and then came back to win the Saratoga Special in his last start despite some traffic troubles. His next start likely will come in the Champagne (G1) at Belmont Park on Oct. 4.

Another couple of talented colts to look out for are the Steve Asmussen trained Cinco Charlie, winner of the Bashford Manor Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs, and the Mark Casse trained Skyway, who won the Best Pal Stakes (G3) at Del Mar on Aug. 3.

Whether you are looking to take advantage of early Kentucky Derby odds or are going to wait until the first Saturday of May for your Kentucky Derby betting, keep an eye out for major Derby preps over the next few months.

About Tennessee Leduc

Born in Summersville Kentucky, Tennessee is an impassioned fan of horse racing, women, civilized debauchery, and... mint juleps. He writes, he reads, he listens, but above all he experiences the world he lives in.

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