Meet the new king on top of the 2022 Kentucky Derby standings.
Classic Causeway sits atop the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard after kicking his way to the May 7 Run for the Roses with a convincing front-running triumph in the $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby.
2022 Kentucky Derby Standings
The Tampa Bay Derby, and the absence of qualifying races the weekend of March 19, signal a shift into the higher-powered prep events. The first two 100-point preps hit the board March 26 with the Louisiana Derby at Fairgrounds and the UAE Derby in Dubai.
The top 20 earn spots in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby. In 2021, the final spot had 10 points, as it does now.
|1||Epicenter ||164||Steven M. Asmussen|
|3||White Abarrio||112||Saffie Joseph, Jr.|
|4||Mo Donegal||112||Todd Pletcher|
|5||Tiz the Bomb||110||Kenny McPeek|
|7||Crown Pride (JPN)||100||Koichi Shintani|
|10||Smile Happy ||70||Kenny McPeek|
|11||Classic Causway||66||Brian Lynch|
|12||Tawny Port||60||Brad Cox|
|13||Barber Road ||58||John Ortiz|
|14||Un Ojo||54||Anthony W. Dutrow|
|17||Summer Is Tomorrow||40||Bhupat Seemar|
|18||Charge It||40||Todd Pletcher|
|19||Happy Jack||30||Doug O'Neill|
|20||Pioneer of Medina||25||Todd Pletcher|
|21||In Due Time||24||Kelly Breen|
|22||Ethereal Road||22||D. Wayne Lukas|
|23||Rich Strike||21||Eric Reed|
|24||Rattle N Roll||20||Kenny McPeek|
Triple Crown Schedule
Race Recap: Tampa Bay Derby
After bettors slammed the morning line 8-5 favorite down to 4-5 at post time, Classic Causeway earned the 50 qualifying points in wire-to-wire fashion. The victory, reminiscent of his Feb. 12 Sam Davis Stakes victory at Tampa, propelled Classic Causeway to 66 points, more than enough to reach the Derby.
Minor prizes may prove useful for Grantham, the 37-1 shot who secured second place and 20 points. He moved to 21 qualifying points, eighth on the list.
Shipsational, earning 10 points for third, now has 14 points and 15th position.
Ridden by Irad Ortiz, Classic Causeway bolted to the lead, notched a first quarter of 23.67, and then was able to relax the pace.
His final time of 1:44.90 in the Tampa Bay Derby is nearly a full second slower than that of Forbidden Kingdom’s 1:43.98 over the same distance last week at the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita. But Classic Causeway ran over a track listed “good” because of morning rains, rather than “fast”, which provides a better time, especially for frontrunners.
Despite the heavier track, the top-three finishers were the ones who went to the lead. Classic Causeway led the rail-hugging Grantham throughout, while Shipsational was third early, fell back to sixth and charged wide into contention around the final turn. When Classic Causeway drifted out, Shipsational had a wider-than-expected turn and that may have cost him second place. But the win verdict was never in doubt.
Grantham paid a handsome $18 to place and completed a $52.80 exacta. It was the second good performance from a horse graduating the Withers Stakes in New York on Feb. 5.
Un Ojo, who finished second to Early Voting in the Withers, later delivered a 75-1 upset at the Rebel Stakes. Grantham, fourth in the Withers, has now made a good showing in his Withers follow-up.
Shipsational rounded out a $1 trifecta payout of $75.80. Golden Glider, 38-1, completed a $1 superfecta of $534.
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