Top Three Kentucky Derby Prep Races of 2016

All the preps for this year’s Kentucky Derby (G1) are in the books, and the field of 20 is shaping up to be competitive and it’s going to be a great wagering race.

There were 34 Road to the Kentucky Derby points races contested, starting last fall at Churchill Downs and ending with the Lexington (G3) at Keeneland last week.

Here is a look at the three most impressive efforts we saw in Derby prep races.

3. Destin – Tampa Bay Derby

The Todd Pletcher trained Destin is flying a bit under the radar, as he has not been seen since winning the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) on March 12. His current betting odds for the Kentucky Derby stand at 14-1.

The colt has won three of his five career starts, the most impressive his last. The runner up in the Tampa Bay Derby was Outwork, who came back to win the Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct in his next outing.

Destin earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 100, just one of three triple digit Beyers earned on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

Pletcher’s lone win in the Kentucky Derby came in 2010 with Super Saver, who prepped in the Tampa Bay Derby.

2. Nyquist – Florida Derby

The Florida Derby was supposed to be the east-west showdown between Nyquist and Mohaymen, at the time the top two betting choices for the Kentucky Derby.

Nyquist remained undefeated, taking the field gate to wire to win by 3 ¼ lengths and earned a 94 Beyer Speed Figure. Mohaymen weakened to finish fourth, and went from the solid betting favorite for the Run for the Roses to co-second choice at 8-1 with Exaggerator.

The price on Nyquist went from 8-1 down to his current odds of 10-3.

1. Exaggerator – Santa Anita Derby

The Keith Desormeaux trained Exaggerator finished behind Nyquist in the San Vicente (G2) and then was third behind Danzing Candy and Mor Spirit in the San Felipe (G2) before putting it all together in the Santa Anita Derby (G1).

The colt took to the wet track, turning the tables on both Mor Spirit and Danzing Candy, winning by 6 ¼ lengths.

It was his fourth win in nine career starts and his career top Beyer Speed Figure, earning a 103, the best speed figure among any of the Derby preps this year.

The Santa Anita Derby has been a key race in recent years. Both California Chrome in 2014 and I’ll Have Another in 2012 used the race as a springboard to picking up the Roses.

Exaggerator was listed at 20-1 in early Kentucky Derby betting on March 30, but has dropped down to 8-1 after his victory in the Santa Anita Derby.

Post Navigation