The running of the 146th Kentucky Derby on May 2 is fast approaching as we are just seven weeks away from the Run for the Roses. And while countless things can occur on the Road to the Kentucky Derby between now and the First Saturday in May, it is never too early to start condensing the list of your favored 3-year-olds.
  1. Honor A. P. -- Shirreffs trainee was an excellent second against a strong field in his 2020 debut, performing like a colt with a huge future. Long-striding sophomore figures to improve as the distances increase, too. And he boasts the most fitting name of his crop, in the year that we lost racing and breeding titan A. P. Indy.
  2. Tiz the Law -- Classy Tagg pupil was superb in the Holy Bull (G3) and seems on track for another big showing in the Florida Derby (G1). Constitution colt has a high ceiling and could be peaking on the First Saturday in May.
  3. Independence Hall -- Once-beaten colt remains a huge Derby threat despite his loss at Tampa for Trombetta. I am expecting the dark bay to fire big in the Florida Derby and to duplicate it at Churchill Downs.
  4. Sole Volante -- Late-running second in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) reinforced my lofty opinion of the Karakonite gelding. Biancone charge appears to be the type who will thrive at classic distances.
  5. Authentic -- Unbeaten Baffert pupil needs no introduction following a fine San Felipe (G2) triumph. Colt has been ‘flawless’ to date from three wins, each accomplished in facile fashion. Fleet sophomore could climb up this list with another prime showing in the Santa Anita Derby (G1).
  6. Three Technique -- Mr. Speaker youngster needs only a strong closing run in the Rebel (G2) to stay in my top 10. Englehart trainee has done little wrong to date, and he has room to improve with distance.
  7. Country Grammer  -- I really liked his comeback performance in a salty spot in the Fountain of Youth (G2) when fifth behind a runaway winner. Son of Tonalist is a bit behind many of his foes, but he has more to offer than he displayed at Gulfstream Park last time out.
  8. Ete Indien -- Fountain of Youth romper is an obvious talent who has prospered since being moved to the dirt. One of two from Biancone on the list, he faces a tall task in the Florida Derby in his return, however.
  9. Enforceable -- Hard-trying Casse charge has been hampered by slow paces on a few occasions as of late, but he is always finishing in the stretch, regardless. Well-bred son of Tapit could vault up the list when the final round of preps separate the contenders from the pretenders.
  10. Maxfield -- It is dicey that my top juvenile from 2019 will even aim for the Run for the Roses on May 2. But, I can’t ignore how impressive he was as a 2-year-old, and a big sophomore debut could have his connections dreaming of Churchill Downs.

(Photo: Honor A. P. working at Santa Anita - Horsephotos.com)