In a season where there was literally no standout among the juvenile colts, the early portion of the 2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby series will have a wide-open leaderboard when the final domestic points prep of the year, the $400,000 Springboard Mile at Remington Park, is run on Sunday.
The winner of the Springboard Mile will earn 10 Derby qualifying points and will share a commonality with eight of the other nine horses in the Top 10 with just a single point-scoring prep victory. At this early stage, only 12 points will separate number 1 from number 10.
Here's a quick look at the first nine, pending the addition of the Springboard Mile winner into the Top 10.
1. Storm the Court (22 points) -- Earned 20 points for his gusty victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1), and may win the Eclipse Award as champion two-year-old male by default with no other aspirants to the honor making hay in a trio of other stakes in late November and early December.
2. Anneau d'Or (12) -- The only one on the list without a stakes win, he narrowly missed to Storm the Court in the Breeders' Cup to earn eight points, then added four more when runner-up in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1).
3. Tiz the Law (12) -- Impressive Champagne (G1) winner bypassed the Breeders' Cup and instead pointed for the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs. Heavily favored to clinch the championship title there, he hung when belatedly finding racing room in deep stretch and finished third.
4. Maxfield (10) -- Dominating winner of the Breeders' Futurity (G1), he was forced to withdraw from the Breeders' Cup a few days beforehand due to the discovery of a bone chip. Has had interim surgery and thus his return to action over the winter will be partially delayed.
5. Eight Rings (10) -- Handily defeated Storm the Court in the FrontRunner (G1) at Santa Anita, but was not up to repeating the task in the Breeders' Cup. Under consideration for the Los Alamitos Futurity but ultimately not entered, he might reappear in the seven-furlong San Vicente (G2) at Santa Anita next.
6. Silver Prospector (10) -- Upset winner of the Kentucky Jockey Club over Tiz the Law for trainer Steve Asmussen, who's still in search of his first Derby having already trained winners of the other two classics. The colt is now proven over the Louisville strip and in the slop.
7. Shotski (10) -- Behind Silver Prospector in the Street Sense S. early in the Churchill fall meet, he rebounded last week to win the nine-furlong Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct in wire-to-wire fashion, seemingly the preferred route to victory over that surface that afternoon.
8. Dennis' Moment (10) -- Earned the first points of the series when taking the Iroquois (G3) in September, but lost all chance when stumbling badly leaving the gate in the Breeders' Cup. He'll attempt to make amends in Florida following that toss-out, in which he trailed all the way.
9. Thousand Words (10) -- Became the latest Bob Baffert trainee to win the Los Alamitos Futurity with a game performance over an off track in his first two-turn attempt. Although not as precocious as stablemate Eight Rings was this season, he enters winter quarters with decidedly fewer question marks.