Road to the 2020 Kentucky Derby: December Prep Races

Posted by Julie Skaff on Thu, Dec 19, 2019

The year may be coming to an end, but the “Road to the 2020 Kentucky Derby®” is continuing on in full force. The last few weeks have been busy with one late-November race and four December races to finish out the decade.

Keep reading to see who came out on top in their final race as a two-year-old!

Road to Derby - December

 

Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes

When: November 30

Where: Churchill Downs

Winner: Silver Prospector

Silver Prospector earned 10 points on November 30th when he won his first graded stakes on a messy track at Churchill Downs®. The two-year-old colt ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.94 with jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. aboard.

Ed and Susan Orr’s colt started off his career in July with three loses in a row at Belmont Park, Saratoga, and Kentucky Downs. However, he quickly caught attention when he came out on top of a 6 1/2-furlong dash at Keeneland by two-lengths back in October.

Stay tuned to see if Silver Prospector can keep earning points to make it back to Churchill on May 2nd!

 

Remsen Stakes

When: December 7

Where: Aqueduct

Winner: Shotski

Shotski wasn’t on anyone’s radar going into the Remsen Stakes after a fourth-place finish at the Street Sense Overnight Stakes in late October.

During his first two-turn race, Shotski initially shot out of the gate and eventually outran Ajaaweed by a half-length to cross the finish line. He brought home $137,500 and 10 points with jockey Luis Saez helping lead the way.

Owner Jeremiah O’Dwyer describes Shotski as a “relaxed horse” and has no intention to put him in another race anytime soon.

 

 

Los Alamitos Futurity

When: December 7

Where: Los Alamitos Race Course

Winner: Thousand Words

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and Thousand Words’ Los Alamitos Futurity win was undeniably picture worthy. He pushed through in the final stretch to win by a neck on December 7th. Los Alamitos Race Course was wet and muddy with just four horses on the track.

Thousand Words’ trainer, Bob Baffert, must have been confident going into the race, considering his legendary track record. He now holds the win record for this race with 12 wins.

 

 

Springboard Mile Stakes

When: December 15

Where: Remington Park

Winner: Shoplifted

Shoplifted earned his first 10 points on the “Road to the 2020 Kentucky Derby” when he took the top spot in the last U.S points race of 2019. He had a slight advantage in that he was the only runner in the pack with any Grade 1 race experience.

It was a historic win for trainer Steve Asmussen, who’s four-win night placed him as Remington Parks’ all-time leading trainer with 1,051 wins.

 

 

Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun

When: December 18

Where: Kawasaki

Winner: Vacation

There was talk of several different frontrunners for the second points race of four in Japan, but Vacation sprinted past Iolite to take the win in the very last second of the race at Kawaski. He took home a whopping 20 points with the victory.

Vacation was ridden by jockey Hiroti Yoshihara and trained by Kenichi Takatsuki for the one-mile race, which was his third win in four starts!

The Japan series was designed to boost interest in the Kentucky Derby with Japanese horse racing fans. Lani of Japan participated in 2015, and in 2019, Master Fencer placed 6th! The next two races in the series will take place in February and March of 2020.

 

 

Kentucky Derby American Road Standings

RANK

HORSE

POINTS

1

Storm the Court

22

2

Anneau d'Or

12

3

Tiz the Law

12

4

Shoplifted

10

5

Maxfield

10

6

Eight Rings

10

7

Silver Prospector

10

8

Shotski

10

9

Dennis' Moment

10

10

Thousand Words

10


Kentucky Derby European Road Standings

RANK

HORSE

POINTS

1

Kameko

14

2

Innisfree (IRE)

14

3

Victor Ludorum (GB)

10

4

Royal Dornoch (IRE)

10

5

Alson (GER)

4

6

Shekhem (IRE)

4

7

Year of The Tiger (IRE)

3

8

Armory (IRE)

2

9

Iberia (IRE)

2

10

Gold Maze (GB)

2

 

Kentucky Derby Japanese Road Standings

RANK

HORSE

POINTS

1

Dieu du Vin (JPN)

10

2

Shonan Mario (JPN)

4

3

Daimei Corrida (JPN)

2

4

Aurora Tesoro

1

 

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