2022 Kentucky Derby Standings: Biggest Prep Races Up Next

Written By Dave Bontempo on March 28, 2022
kentucky derby standings

The 2022 Kentucky Derby standings have new leaders as the first Saturday in May draws closer. Epicenter and Slow Down Andy – Risen Star rivals last month – prevailed in separate follow-up stakes races this past weekend.

The domestic winners of the most recent Road to the Kentucky Derby points-qualifying races have ascended the leaderboard. Crown Pride (Japan) garnered the international spotlight in Dubai.

All three have essentially stamped their tickets to the Run for the Roses May 7 at Churchill Downs.

2022 Kentucky Derby Standings

Epicenter added 100 points to sit atop the qualifying pack with 164 points by winning the $1 million Louisiana Derby and Crown Pride moved into second with 100 by copping the $1 million UAE Derby. Both victories came Saturday. On Sunday, Slow Down Andy notched 50 points and surged to fourth by seizing the $500,000 Sunland Derby in New Mexico.

RankHorsePointsTrainer
1Epicenter
164Steven M. Asmussen
2Zandon114Chad Brown
3White Abarrio
112Saffie Joseph, Jr.
4Mo Donegal112Todd Pletcher
5Tiz the Bomb110Kenny McPeek
6Cyberknife100Brad Cox
7Crown Pride (JPN)100Koichi Shintani
8Taiba100Tim Yakteen
9Simplification
74Antonio Sano
10Smile Happy
70Kenny McPeek
11Classic Causway66Brian Lynch
12Tawny Port60Brad Cox
13Barber Road
58John Ortiz
14Un Ojo
54Anthony W. Dutrow
15Messier40Tim Yakteen
16Zozos40Brad Cox
17Summer Is Tomorrow40Bhupat Seemar
18Charge It40Todd Pletcher
19Happy Jack30Doug O'Neill
20Pioneer of Medina25Todd Pletcher
21In Due Time24Kelly Breen
22Ethereal Road22D. Wayne Lukas
23Rich Strike21Eric Reed
24Rattle N Roll20Kenny McPeek

*Not Triple Crown nominated; can become eligible with $6,000 payment due March 28

Triple Crown Schedule

Major KY Derby Prep Races Schedule

The big staples on the calendar that will finalize the Kentucky Derby field are up next in the month of April, with 100-40-20-10 points available for the top-four finishers.

April 2

  • Florida Derby, Gulfstream Park
  • Arkansas Derby, Oaklawn Park

April 9

  • Wood Memorial, Aqueduct
  • Blue Grass Stakes, Keeneland
  • Santa Anita Derby, Santa Anita Park

Race Recaps From Past Weekend

UAE Derby

Crowns Pride was a surprise, utilizing a ground-saving trip and all-out stretch run, nipping Summer Is Tomorrow to win at 16-1. Summer Is Tomorrow notched 40 points for second and will likely have enough qualifying points if entered.

Louisiana Derby

Epicenter was not a surprise. The Risen Star Stakes winner made it a prep-race double by winning the Louisiana Derby as a stalking 4-5 favorite at Fair Grounds. And he went one step further, establishing a track record of 1:54.38 for the 1 3/16-mile distance.

Epicenter was surging so easily at the finish line that it was easy to project him comfortably extending another 1/16 of a mile in the Kentucky Derby.

Jockey Joel Rosario alertly guided Epicenter to third place early, letting Zozos and Pioneer of Medina set the early pace. Epicenter took emphatic control just past the top of the turn and roared through the homestretch. Zozos held second, obtained 40 points and most likely secured a Derby points berth too.

With a 102 Beyer Speed Figure in this performance, Epicenter has a chance to be the favorite in the Kentucky Derby.

Sunland Derby

Slow Down Andy, the even-money favorite, passed a gut check in the Sunland Derby. Twice.

A distant sixth in the Risen Star, Slow Down Andy notched his Derby entry with a 50-point survival of two intense duels. One lasted the first three quarters of the event and the other occurred in the homestretch.

He was hooked up in a blistering speed duel for the 1 1/8-mile race with Straight Up G that resulted in half-mile fractions of 45.35, more than two seconds faster than the 47.97 pace for the same distance at the Risen Star. The pace demolished Straight Up G, who had darted in at the start, was rushed up and not able to get a clear lead.

Slow Down Andy put him away, but then looked vulnerable to a flying Bye Bye Bobby. He managed to fight off the challenge and earn his way to Churchill Downs. Bye Bye Bobby, with 20 points, may also have enough.

Although impressive to hold off the challengers, Slow Down Andy only earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 86 in the win.

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Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, who writes extensively on the emergence of legalized sports betting, is a recipient of the Sam Taub Award for Broadcast Excellence by the Boxing Writers Association of America. He has broadcast boxing for all the major networks over the last four decades and is a member of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame as well as the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame. His work also can be seen at the Press of Atlantic City and iGamingPlayer.

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