Two lesser Kentucky Derby prep races last weekend —  the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields and the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park — both yielded 10 Derby Qualifying Points to their winners, Azul Coast and Silver Prospector, respectively. But the process leading to those results couldn’t have been more different.

Silver Prospector racking up derby points
Silver Prospector, ridden by Ricardo Santana, Jr., won the Southwest Stakes and is the horse to watch this weekend. (Image: Coady Photography)

Silver Prospector turned in a heady 97 Beyer Speed Figure while out-pacing the Southwest Stakes field for his one-length victory. He sits sixth with 21 points on the Kentucky Derby points list after that victory, and his earlier winner’s circle visit at last fall’s Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes.

Steve Asmussen, Silver Prospector’s trainer, said his charge’s likely next stop is the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn on March 14. That race offers 85 points to the top four finishers (50-20-10-5), and is the logical stepping stone to the April 14 Arkansas Derby.

Azul Coast, meanwhile, turned in a pedestrian 74 Beyer in besting a weak field at the El Camino Real. He thrived on the synthetic surface and picked up some points, a nice win, and a spot in the Preakness Stakes. But it’s a stretch to think he’s in the same class as his fellow 3-year-old stablemates in Bob Baffert’s barn.

2020 Road the the Kentucky Derby — Points Leaders

  1. Mr. Monomy – 52
  2. Modernist – 50
  3. Enforceable – 33
  4. Storm the Court – 22
  5. Tiz the Law – 22
  6. Silver Prospector – 21
  7. Thousand Words – 20
  8. Major Fed – 20
  9. Silver State – 14
  10. Independence Hall – 14
  11. Shotski – 14
  12. Azul Coast – 14
  13. Shoplifted – 13
  14. Anneau d’Or – 12
  15. Maxfield – 10
  16. Eight Rings – 10
  17. Sole Volante – 10
  18. Dennis’ Moment – 10
  19. Max Player – 10
  20. Gold Street – 10
  21. Authentic – 10

Above is the latest list of point totals. Last year, 38 points were enough to qualify, with points leader Tacitus racking up 150. (Eventual winner Country House qualified 14th with 50 points.)

We still have a month to go before the biggest point races on the Derby prep trail come into play. Until then, owners and trainers will be chasing points and eyeing their path to Kentucky according to the schedule below:

2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby — Upcoming Prep Races 

  • Feb. 29 – Fountain of Youth / 50-20-10-5 (Gulfstream Park)
  • Mar. 7 – Gotham / 50-20-10-5 (Aqueduct)
  • Mar. 7 – Tampa Bay Derby / 50-20-10-5 (Tampa Bay Downs)
  • Mar. 7 – San Felipe / 50-20-10-5 (Santa Anita Park)
  • Mar. 14 – Jeff Ruby Stakes / 20-8-4-2 (Turfway Park)
  • Mar. 14 – Rebel / 50-20-10-5 (Oaklawn Park)
  • Mar. 21 – Louisiana Derby / 100-40-20-10 (Fairgrounds)
  • Mar. 22 – Sunland Derby / 50-20-10-5 (Sunland Park)
  • Mar. 28 – UAE Derby / 100-40-20-10 (Meydan Racecourse)
  • Mar. 28 – Wood Memorial / 100-40-20-10 (Gulfstream Park)
  • Apr. 4 – Blue Grass / 100-40-20-10 (Keeneland)
  • Apr. 4 – Santa Anita Derby / 100-40-20-10 (Santa Anita Park)
  • Apr. 11 – Lexington / 20-8-4-2 (Keeneland)
  • Apr. 11 – Arkansas Derby / 100-40-20-10 (Oaklawn Park)

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