With only four point-scoring opportunities (two of them have
been run already), there won’t be any dramatic shifts in position on the 2017 Kentucky Derby (G1) points
leaderboard during the month of January.
The one significant change to have occurred in the past week is Gormley’s ascension to second place following his narrow victory in the Sham (G3) at Santa Anita last Saturday. That 10-point score brings his running total to 20 points, the other 10 having been earned following a win in the FrontRunner (G1) in October. Gormley was unplaced in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) following the FrontRunner.
American Anthem, narrowly edged by Gormley after setting a fast pace in the one-mile Sham, earned four points and entered the Derby Top 20 at number 18 following that stakes debut.
According to published reports, trainer John Shirreffs, who won the 2005 Derby with Giacomo, is inclined to give Gormley a break and wait for the March 11 San Felipe (G2) at Santa Anita, a 50-point prep, for the colt’s next start. Plans for American Anthem, a son of 2012 Derby runner-up Bodemeister, are not known at this writing.
The final two preps this month are the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park on January 16 and the Lecomte (G3) at Fair Grounds on January 21. Both are worth 10 points to the winner.
Most of the February preps will be 10-point races as well, but there will be more of them, including a trio on February 4: the Withers (G3) at Aqueduct, the Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Park, and the Robert B. Lewis (G2) at Santa Anita.