O Besos, Get Her Number squeeze into Kentucky Derby

With Concert Tour and Crowded Trade having withdrawn from the Kentucky Derby to focus on the Preakness Stakes, there are now opportunities for O Besos and Get Her Number to compete at Churchill Downs.

The field for the Kentucky Derby continues to change as more horses withdraw, giving hopefuls farther down the qualifying points list a chance to earn invitations to the opening race of the Triple Crown on May 1. The latest two colts to gain entry are O Besos and Get Her Number.

Get Her Number recap

Having only picked up another 10 qualifying points after finishing fourth in the 100-40-20-10 Arkansas Derby, taking his total to 20, it looked like the Peter Miller-trained colt would be left out of the Kentucky Derby. As the list of withdrawals grew though, Get Her Number continued to climb in the standings, and when Concert Tour and Crowded Trade turned their attention to the Preakness, he moved into the field.

Get Her Number began the prep series with a win in the 10-4-2-1 American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita on September 26 but didn't race for five and a half months afterwards. The layoff showed in a seventh-place finish in the 50-20-10-5 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn on March 13.

He returned to the same track a month later for the 100-40-20-10 Arkansas Derby and responded with a better performance, finishing in fourth place. The 10 points gained at Oaklawn ended up being just enough to qualify, albeit eventually, for the Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs.

Recent performances haven't really given any indication that Get Her Number can be much of a factor in the Kentucky Derby, but the Rebel and the Arkansas Derby both sported strong fields with multiple Triple Crown prospects. Getting back to his September form and continuing the improvement over the last two races could make him a factor in multiple horse wagering.

O Besos in the field

Trained by Gregory Foley, O Besos has spent his last four races at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans, with the two most recent contests offering Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifying points.

He finished fourth in the 50-20-10-5 Risen Star Stakes on February 13 to get on the points board.

O Besos followed up that outing with a surprising third place run in the 100-40-20-10 Louisiana Derby on March 20 to get to a total of 25 qualifying points. As with Get Her Number, it initially appeared he would fall short, but now his connections will be afforded an opportunity at the Kentucky Derby.

He didn't break his maiden until December 20 at the Fair Grounds, while the Risen Star was the first stakes race for O Besos. Even though he lacks experience, the Louisiana Derby performance shows that he can hang with Triple Crown caliber competition, finishing with a late surge and closing to within a head of the second place Midnight Bourbon and two lengths back of winner Hot Rod Charlie.

Given the way he closed, the extra furlong and a half in the Kentucky Derby could be an advantage as all of the entries take a step up in the distance over the eight and a half and nine furlong prep races. If the early pace is slow, especially like it was in the Wood Memorial, O Besos could definitely be a factor.