Senor Buscador rises into our Derby Top Ten List

Week 4 of our Run for the Roses Contenders sees some movement after the Springboard Mile and Los Alamitos Futurity
Week 4 of our Run for the Roses Contenders sees some movement after the Springboard Mile and Los Alamitos Futurity

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Welcome to the fourth edition of our weekly HorseRacing.net rankings for Kentucky Derby horses. Each week Sean, J.N. and myself will rank our current top ten horses and one of us with write an overview of where we are and the changes from the previous week. Senor Buscador and Spielberg both won Prep Races this week but did they move the needle? Let's just say they split opinion. It is the turn of our Editor to write up his thoughts as he has two newcomers to his list...

All of our Top Ten's are below...

Kentucky Derby 2021 Contenders
  • Position
  • J.N.
  • Neil
  • Sean

Position

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • Last Updated:

J.N.

  • Essential Quality
  • Hot Rod Charlie
  • Known Agenda
  • Highly Motivated
  • Rock Your World
  • Super Stock
  • Midnight Bourbon
  • Concert Tour
  • Medina Spirit
  • Mandaloun
  • 13 April 2021

Neil

  • Essential Quality
  • Hot Rod Charlie
  • Highly Motivated
  • Known Agenda
  • Medina Spirit
  • Rock Your World
  • Super Stock
  • Soup and Sandwich
  • Greatest Honour
  • Concert Tour
  • 13 April 2021

Sean

  • Hot Rod Charlie
  • Medina Spirit
  • Essential Quality
  • Rock Your World
  • Highly Motivated
  • Dream Shake
  • Concert Tour
  • Known Agenda
  • Midnight Bourbon
  • Mandaloun
  • 13 April 2021

1 - Life is Good - Both Sean and myself have the Bob Baffert trained colt on top of our lists for the opening week and have yet to see a reason to change our thoughts. The 90 Beyer speed figure in breaking his maiden at Del Mar is enough to earn that spot. Not much new to report but until we see him in early January, its likely he'll remain on top.  Next Race expected to be at the Sham in early January.

2 - Jackie's Warrior - I'm sticking with the early front-runner for the Derby here but I'm waiting anxiously for his next run after a very lackluster display in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. For me it takes two sub-par runs before I start to get really concerned. Before that run he'd won with relative ease at five furlongs, six furlongs, seven furlongs and at a mile. I'm not stepping off the Jackie's Warrior bandwagon just yet. Next race tbd.

3 - Senor Buscador - This is a very bold move up the list but every time you watch how the Todd Fincher trained horse won at Remington in the Springboard Mile you just get a sense that a star has been born. I get that he took no Derby Points due to not running Lasix free but I have no doubt he'll get his opportunities down the road. A 93 Beyer number is extremely impressive but it wasn't just that. The horse started slow out of the gates, went four-wide around the turn and just turned on the jets to win by five and three-quarter lengths. Arguably the best run of any two-year-old this year but for now I'm sticking with third but he was a lot closer to going further up this list than below. Next race tbd.

4 - Essential Quality - The winner of the aforementioned Breeders' Cup Juvenile should probably be higher up this list but sometimes as humans we have recency bias and I have that with Senor Buscador. A Beyer of 95 for that win at Keeneland is second among two-year-olds this year. Next race tbd.

5 - Highly Motivated - This selection is all about raw speed. I see huge red flags about his lack of racing at any real distance but the son of Into Mischief seems to have one of the key components you need in abundance. He shaved one-hundredth off the track record at Keeneland for 6.5f in the Nyquist winning the race in 1:14.99 earning a 96 Beyer. The stamina questions will surely get answered in due course. Next race tbd.

6 - Spielberg - The highly touted Spielberg only gets into my top ten based on his final furlong at the Los Alamitos Futurity. Until that point he wouldn't have made it in at all but the way he chased down The Great One is worthy of noting. The 81 Beyer is not great but he did show late speed and stamina. This is a very weak pick though and he could easily be moved down in the near future. Next race is likely the Robert B. Lewis.

7 - Vequist - I'm still on an island but listing the filly but until I see ten better two-years-olds then I'm going to keep her listed. A 93 Beyer winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies shows she has speed around two turns. I don't expect her to remain in my top ten long-term and no doubt she'll be pointed towards the Oaks but for now I look at the who has impressed me the most and she's right up there. Next race tbd.

8 - Keepmeinmind - I'll keep Kentucky Jockey Club winner Keepmeinmind in the top ten place solely because that charge from last to first in the said race was admirable considering where he was. The field at Churchill Downs for that race was not exactly stellar but a win is a win. Next race tbd.

9 - Mandaloun - A bit of a flier this one but Into Mischief has proven himself to be one helluva stallion and after an 81 Beyer at Churchill Downs on Saturday, this is another horse I want to see up against a better quality of competition in the near future. Next race tbd.

10 - Hot Rod Charlie - Expected to have a lay-off after finishing second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile so expect him to drift out of the Top Ten after the two Prep Races early in the New Year. Just like one bad run doesn't get me to runaway (a la Jackie's Warrior) - one good run doesn't pique my interest but for now, he keeps the final Top Ten spot on my list. Next race tbd.

Dropped Out: Red Flag & Get Her Number

Kentucky Derby 2021

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