Derby Leaderboard: Classic Empire May Need An On-The-Board Finish In Arkansas

by | 04.08.2017 | 8:32pm
Classic Empire and Julien Leparoux return to the barn after the colt worked five furlongs April 3 at Winding Oak Farm. (photo courtesy Shea Leparoux/Twitter)

After Saturday's three major 100-point prep races, the likely favorite for the Kentucky Derby might not be any more obvious than it was this morning. What is clear, however, is that Breeders' Cup Juvenile Champion Classic Empire is no longer in the top 20 point-earners; he's 21st on the leaderboard with 32 points.

The Joe Sharp-trained Girvin remains the highest point-earner with 150, off his wins in the Risen Star and the Louisiana Derby. Newly moved into second is the Santa Anita Derby winner Gormley, with 125. Next is Irap, winner of the Blue Grass at Keeneland, with 113 points, followed by the Wood Memorial winner Irish War Cry with 110.

Saeed bin Suroor trainee Thunder Snow is lying fifth at the moment with 100 points from his UAE Derby win, and the Sheikh has been rumored to be heavily considering bringing the colt to the United Stakes for the first Saturday in May. Florida Derby winner Always Dreaming resides in the sixth position with his 100 points.

Rounding out the Top 20 on the leaderboard are the following: Gunnevera (84); Practical Joke (74, runner up in Blue Grass); J Boys Echo (63, third in Blue Grass); State of Honor (62); Tapwrit (54, fifth in Blue Grass); Malagacy (50); Hence (50); Fast and Accurate (50); McCraken (40, third in Blue Grass); Battle of Midway (40, runner up in Santa Anita Derby); Patch (40); Battalion Runner (40, runner up in Wood); Cloud Computing (40, third in Wood); Untrapped (34).

The good news is that the temperamental Classic Empire has recorded consecutive works at trainer Mark Casse's farm in Ocala, and he has a chance in next weekend's G1 Arkansas Derby to earn more points. At this point, barring any defections from the Top 20, Classic Empire will have to finish on the board, either first (100), second (40), third (20), or fourth (10) in order to regain a place in the top group headed to the Kentucky Derby.

Also aimed at the Arkansas Derby are Malagacy, One Liner, Petrov, Conquest Mo Money, Untrapped, Silver Dust, Sonneteer, and Rockin Rudy.

Find the full leaderboard here: Road to the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard

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