The Kentucky Derby is on May 1 and the prep race season is over, with the top 20 horses in the point standings earning invitations to the first race of the Triple Crown Series. With less than three weeks until the big race, it's a good time to review the horses expected to be in the field for the Run for the Roses.
Number 18: Dynamic One
Dynamic One is one of four entries trained by Todd Pletcher. He qualified for the Derby in his first career stakes race after breaking his maiden at Aqueduct on March 7 after three unsuccessful attempts at Gulfstream Park and Aqueduct.
The 15/1 shot in the 100-40-20-10 Wood Memorial was part of the Pletcher upset duo, finishing second to 72/1 longshot Bourbonic after leading at the head of the stretch. Dynamic One worked his way to lead from the fifth post position but was just edged by a neck at the finish, paying $15.40 and $9.20 for the place run.
By picking up 40 points and $140,000 in stakes earnings, Dynamic One was able to qualify for the Kentucky Derby ahead of some other horses with the same points total. His prospects for the Kentucky Derby are dubious at best though due to limited experience against quality competition.
In addition, the Wood was run at a record slow pace, allowing him and Bourbonic to make late runs against a bunched field. With four horses expected to be in the Kentucky Derby, it will be interesting to see what type of strategy Pletcher incorporates to give Known Agenda, his strongest prospect, the best chance at winning.
Number 17: Soup and Sandwich
Although the Mark Casse-trained colt used a similar performance to qualify for the Kentucky Derby, Soup and Sandwich's resume is somewhat better than that of Dynamic One. Soup and Sandwich broke his maiden on January 28 in his first try at Gulfstream Park, then followed it up with an allowance optional claiming win at Tampa Bay Downs on February 24.
In the 100-40-20-10 $750,000 Florida Derby, he was well down the list of favorites at 12/1 odds but contended from the start out of the eighth post position. Soup and Sandwich even took the lead in the middle of the race but gave it up to eventual winner Known Agenda as they entered the stretch.
Due to his prior win, Soup and Sandwich was able to edge ahead of Dynamic One in the standings. He joins another Casse product, Helium, in the Kentucky Derby, and once again, limited experience will make it difficult to handicap his chances.
The field for the Florida Derby was stacked with quality three-year-olds and Soup and Sandwich was able to beat Greatest Honour, Nova Rags and Spielberg, among others. His finish is much less of a fluke than what Dynamic One turned in at the surprising Wood Memorial, making him more of a threat in the Kentucky Derby, especially for multiple horse bets like a trifecta or superfecta.