Road to the 2019 Kentucky Derby: November Prep Races

Posted by Evan Chronis on Mon, Nov 26, 2018

The American Road to the 2019 Kentucky Derby® keeps rolling and the Japan Road has officially begun!

Over Thanksgiving weekend, we saw two more installments in the Road to the 2019 Kentucky Derby. Three weeks after the Breeders' Cup Juvenile was run, Churchill Downs® once again became the center of the horse racing world when it held the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes on November 24. 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, the Japan Road to the 2019 Kentucky Derby started with the Cattleya Sho at the Tokyo Racecourse on the same day. 

Road to the 2019 Kentucky Derby

Check out our last Road to Derby update!

American Road to the Kentucky Derby

Signalman: 2018 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes winner

Third time turned out to be the charm for Signalman at Churchill Downs on November 24. After finishing second to Knicks Go at the Breeders' Futurity and third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Signalman final got his ace as he finished first at the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. 

Signalman championed on through the wet and sloppy surface at Churchill Downs, usurping Topper T and King for a Day in the final furlong to come out on top of the competition. The win was Signalman's first graded stakes victory. 

The win gives Signalman 10 more points on the board for the American Road, bringing his total to 18 so far. 

Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby

Make Happy: 2018 Cattleya Sho winner

Girls run the world... or at least they did at the Tokyo Racecourse on November 24. 

Make Happy, a filly from California, came out on top at the Cattleya Sho — the first race on the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby. 

In what was a tight-knit race through the first half, Make Happy turned on her second gear as she blazed down the final stretch en route to a 2 1/2-length victory. Godolphin and Johann finished second and third, respectively, to get points on the board as well. 

The victory puts Make Happy in elite, but lonely, territory, as she is the only filly with points on any of the three leaderboards for the Road to the 2019 Kentucky Derby. 

But with the Japan being extended from three races to four this year, the path to Churchill Downs is longer than ever with no guarantee of entry for Make Happy at this point.

Kentucky Derby American Road Standings

1 Game Winner 30  
2 Knicks Go 18  
3 Signalman 18  
4 Complexity 10  
5 Cairo Cat 10  
6 Gunmetal Gray 4  
7 Code of Honor 4  
8 Tight Ten 4

Kentucky Derby European Road Standings

1 Royal Marine (IRE) 10
2 Magna Grecia (IRE) 10
3 Mohawk (IRE) 10
4 Japan (GB) 10
5 Phoenix of Spain (IRE) 4
6 Broome (IRE) 4
7 Sydney Opera House 4
8 Mount Everest (IRE) 4

Kentucky Derby Japan Road Standings

1 Make Happy (Filly) 10
2 Kingen (JPN) 4
3 Johaan (JPN) 2
4 Romantico (JPN) 1

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