The first Kentucky Derby qualifying race this weekend is the Fountain of Youth and the 50-20-10-5 Point Values. I wrote about it earlier today.
The second Kentucky Derby qualifying race is a bit later this afternoon at the Fairgrounds with the Risen Star. Two defectors from the postponed Southwest with JS Bach (update: scratched) and War Story. It makes perfect sense to run here, unless you had shown clear favoritism for the Oaklawn surface. These two are now chasing many more points; not only to the winner, but also for the top 4. Both of those two are reasonable contenders in a relatively open race. Imperia relished the dirt last out, but would need to be a top form to capture this one. He very well may need a race.
Also, in the Kentucky Jockey Club Gold Cup, was International Star, who won the Lecomte over this track. He fits on speed as a reasonable contender, although I have a hunch we’ve seen the best that this horse can accomplish. That could be enough to win today, although likely not with improvements probable. Instead, I much prefer Tiznow RJ, who ran much better than I thought he would in the Lecomte. With the seasoning under him, he seems primed for a huge effort today Bluff was an impressive maiden winner, but hasn’t shown the speed needed to win this race.
As for the re-drawn and rescheduled Southwest Stakes from Oaklawn, the addition of Hillbilly Royalty is fascinating. He was super sharp earning a 93 Beyer in an allowance here two weeks ago. It’s a fast turn around, but he seems sharp and reschedule/ defections make this race very winning. He also likes to reward his believers as he already has two double-digit odds wins to his resume as well, winning on debut at 14-1 and in an allowance at 13-1. He’ll be a good deal lower that that on Sunday, but could still be a reasonable 4/1.