Sainthood and Crowded Trade - Kentucky Derby outsiders?

Sainthood and Crowded Trade both finished just inside the top 20 on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, with question marks persisting about their chances at Churchill Downs on May 1.

The qualifying races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby have all been completed and the field for the May 1 Run for the Roses is in the process of being finalized.

At least two horses with enough points to earn an invitation to Churchill Downs will not be there: Life Is Good due to injury and Weyburn because his connections feel he needs additional time to prepare for the Triple Crown.

That leaves any horse on 40 points or more having enough to qualify for the Kentucky Derby, with some horses below that total still in the mix if others are withdrawn from the race.

With 17 days left until the big event, it's time to take a more detailed look at some of the horses that will probably be in the field.

Number 20: Sainthood

Sainthood, trained by Todd Pletcher and owned by WinStar Farm LLC and CHC Inc., has 40 qualifying points by virtue of a second-place finish in the 100-40-20-10 Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park on March 27. He was a late bloomer and didn't break his maiden until February 13 at the Fair Grounds in his second career race.

Sainthood is one of five horses with 40 points, but he ended up at the bottom of that list due to his total of just $47,000 in stakes earnings, which is the tiebreaker on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. Although he was a middle-of-the-road odds pick in the Jeff Ruby, Sainthood managed to contend with winner Like the King, losing by a length after an impressive stretch run.

With just one stakes race of experience, it's difficult to determine if Sainthood can be a factor in the Kentucky Derby. He's currently one of four Pletcher entries in the race and could be a real wild card for multiple-horse wagers, particularly trifecta or superfecta bets.

Number 19: Crowded Trade

Crowded Trade is another horse that only recently broke his maiden, doing so in his first career race at Aqueduct on January 28. He followed that up by finishing second in his stakes debut at 5/1 in the 50-20-10-5 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct on March 6, getting edged by a nose by longshot Weyburn.

He was the betting favorite on April 3 in the Wood Memorial at 2/1, probably based on his previous performances at Aqueduct. The Chad Brown-trained colt struggled near the back of the pack for most of the race. He then surged from eighth place just before the quarter pole and held on to third place down the stretch to get just enough points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby.

With only three races on his resume, Crowded Trade is another Derby entry that is difficult to handicap at Churchill Downs. He closed strongly in the 1 1/8-mile Wood, so perhaps the extra furlong in the Kentucky Derby could benefit him. However, the depth of the field for a horse that hasn't won a stakes race will be a challenge.