Parity reigns in division and on Kentucky Derby leaderboard

Jan 06, 2020 Vance Hanson/

We're halfway through the January allotment of 2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby series preps, and there are a lot of 10s on the leaderboard.

Not 10s as in 'perfect,' but simply a lot of different prep winners that have earned 10 points since the series began in September. Of the 11 races held in North America to date, we've had 11 different winners. Nine of the 11 haven't scored points in any other prep, so the earnings tie-breaker is used to put them in their rightful order.

In the two races held so far in 2020, Independence Hall won the Jerome S. on New Year's Day, thereby shoving Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) winner Thousand Words outside the Top 10. The latter is trained by Bob Baffert, as is Authentic, who won the Sham (G3) last Saturday in erratic yet convincing fashion. However, the Sham was worth only $60,000 to the winner, thus leaving Authentic just outside the Top 10 himself for the time being.

Storm the Court, with 22 points and the likely default choice for most Eclipse Award voters as division champion following his Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) triumph, figures to stay atop the leaderboard through at least the first part of February. The equivalent of a prep win behind him is Anneau d'Or, who finished second, narrowly, in both the Breeders' Cup and Los Al Futurity. Champagne (G1) winner Tiz the Law is right with him sitting at 12 points following his third-place run in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2).

Completing the Top 10 are the respective winners of the Springboard Mile, Breeders' Futurity (G1), American Pharoah (G1), Kentucky Jockey Club, Jerome, Remsen (G2), and Iroquois (G3).

The final 10-4-2-1 scoring opportunities left this month are the Lecomte (G3) at Fair Grounds on Jan. 18, and the Smarty Jones S. at Oaklawn Park on Jan. 24. However, things could shake up rather quickly as soon as the first day in February when the Withers (G3), Holy Bull (G3), and Robert B. Lewis (G3) will all be run.

There may be parity now, but it obviously won't last.

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