Two scoring races were offered last weekend (March 21-22), both offering points on a 50-20-10-5 scale to the top four finishers, and Dubai Sky and Firing Line stamped their Kentucky Derby ticket with victories in the Spiral Stakes and Sunland Derby, respectively.
Less than six weeks remain until the 141st Kentucky Derby on May 2 and we are entering the home stretch of prep races. The next three weekends feature the most important events in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series, with the point values increasing to 100-40-20-10.
For more on the Road to the Kentucky Derby series and updated Leaderboard standings for the projected 20-horse field, please click here.
Dubai Sky had raced exclusively on turf before trying the Polytrack at Turfway Park and as a result of his 2 ¼-length Spiral win, the three-year-old son of Candy Ride was made eligible for the Triple Crown by Monday’s (March 23) late nomination deadline.
He registered a nice 103 BRIS Speed rating and Dubai Sky will attempt to give Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott and jockey Jose Lezcano their first Kentucky Derby victory.
Firing Line brought a lofty reputation into New Mexico’s Sunland Derby, finishing a close second to the highly-rated Dortmund in his two previous starts, and the 1-5 favorite did not disappoint his many backers, rolling to a 14 ¼-length decision that was good for a career-best 101 BRIS Speed rating.
Jockey Gary Stevens, a three-time Kentucky Derby winner, is very keen on his chances and Firing Line will provide trainer Simon Callaghan with his first Kentucky Derby representative.
None of the other runners in the Spiral or Sunland Derby are expected to point toward the Kentucky Derby.
There will be plenty to discuss next week with the Florida Derby, Louisiana Derby and U.A.E. Derby on deck this Saturday (March 28).
For further details on the Spiral and Sunland Derby, please check out my Kentucky Derby Report at brisnet.com.