Scouting The 2019 Kentucky Derby At The Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes

Wednesday, November 21, 2018 5:04 PM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018 5:04 PM UTC

The next running of the fabled Kentucky Derby for top 3-year old thoroughbreds is still more than five months away, but the early makings of the potential field for the 2019 Run for the Roses is taking place now with a couple of key major graded stakes races still on the 2018 slate for a up-and-coming Juveniles.

<p>A strong field is expected for the Saturday’s Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs.</p><p>The Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes is a major graded event for 2-year-old thoroughbreds with a total prize purse of $200,000 as well as points toward entry in the 2019 Kentucky Derby. This Saturday’s main event on the card at Churchill Downs will be contested on the dirt track over a distance of 1 1/16 miles.</p><h2><strong>Tracking the Top Contenders</strong></h2><p>The 2-year-old colt at the top of the contender’s list for Saturday’s featured race would have to be <strong>Knicks Go</strong>, coming off an impressive second-place finish in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Nov. 2 at Churchill Downs. This Maryland-bred entry is trained by Ben Colebrook and he has quickly risen up the ranks on the early Kentucky Derby Trail with a victory in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity on Oct. 6 at Keeneland ahead of his finish in the money of the biggest race of the year for juveniles earlier this month. In five events as a 2-year-old, this sire of Paynter has placed in the money four times with a pair of victories.</p><p>Another hot ride to follow on Saturday is trainer Dale Romans’ <strong>Blue Steel</strong> with the highest Horse Racing Nation rating in the projected field at 6.19. This 2-year-old Kentucky-bred colt will be making his major stakes debut coming off a recent victory at Churchill Downs in a Maiden Special Weight race on Oct. 28 at a distance of seven furlongs. Graduating to the longer distance of this race could be a make or break run for this son of Will Take Charge, but there is a good chance he will be up to the task under the guidance of Romans.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"und\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;&lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/ChurchillDowns?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;@ChurchillDowns&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/BreedersCup?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;@BreedersCup&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/signalman?src=hash&amp;amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#signalman&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/omJfYU1END\"&gt;pic.twitter.com/omJfYU1END&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Jeff Hiles (@JAHiles) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/JAHiles/status/1055792633254211584?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;October 26, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p>You also could add trainer Kenneth McPeek’s <strong>Signalman</strong> to this list following his third-place run in this year’s BC Juvenile. His HRN rating climbed to 5.60 on the heels of that solid performance and this 2-year-old Kentucky-bred colt could be poised to break through with a win on Saturday after also placing second in the Breeders’ Futurity behind Knicks Go. Sired by General Quarters, he has two finishes in the money at Churchill this year.</p><h2><strong>One to Watch</strong></h2><p>Famed trainer Todd Pletcher is expected to have two entries in this year’s Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. Current is coming off a seventh-place run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and we will have to wait and see how he does on the dirt at Churchill. The one to watch could be Pletcher’s <strong>King for a Day</strong>, who recently placed first in a Maiden Special Weight Race at Belmont Park on Oct. 3 at a distance of 1 1/16 miles. This Kentucky-bred colt is a sire of Uncle Mo with a pair of top-three finishes in a MSW race as a juvenile.</p><h2><strong>Longer Odds Could Mean Larger Rewards</strong></h2><p><a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/best-sportsbooks/" rel="nofollow" title="Check Our Top-Rated Sportsbooks">The morning line odds for this race have yet to be released </a>pending the official announcement of the post positions, but one probable entry that could offer value at a longer number would be trainer Mike Maker’s <strong>Kentucky All-Star</strong>. This two-year-old colt from Calumet Farm was sired by Oxbow with Awesome Again as a prominent sibling. He remains an open book coming into this race in what would be his juvenile debut.</p><p> </p>
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