Firenze Fire tied for second on Derby leaderboard as January preps conclude

Jan 16, 2018 Vance Hanson/

The final Road to the Kentucky Derby series prep races for the month of January were contested over the three-day holiday weekend, so the leaderboard will remain stable until February 3, minus any defections in the interim.

The most significant mover was Firenze Fire (#2, 20 points), who moved into a tie for second after taking the $150,000 Jerome at Aqueduct on Saturday after the race was postponed from New Year's Day. Seven Trumpets (#19, 4 points) joined three other Dale Romans stablemates onto the leaderboard with his narrow defeat in the one-mile race.

Also on Saturday, Instilled Regard (#6) won the Lecomte (G3) at Fair Grounds, earning an additional 10 points on top of the four he made for his second in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) in December. On Monday, a third Bob Baffert trainee joined the fray when Mourinho (#12) earned 10 points with a dominating win in the $150,000 Smarty Jones at Oaklawn.

Two from the barn of Steve Asmussen, Principe Guilherme (#17, 4 points) and Combatant (#13, 8 points) are firmly in the Top 20 following runner-up placings in the Lecomte and Smarty Jones, respectively. Combatant had previously filled the same slot in the Springboard Mile at Remington Park in December.

Another Top 20 horse was in action over the weekend as Breeders' Futurity (G1) runner-up Bravazo (#15, 4 points) scored an allowance win at Oaklawn on Saturday. He's heading back to stakes for his next start.

The next Kentucky Derby point-scoring opportunities in the U.S. will be on February 3 when the Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Park, Withers (G3) at Aqueduct, and the Robert B. Lewis (G3) at Santa Anita will be held.

(Adam Coglianese Photography)

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