WHO’S HOT

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - News - WHO’S NOT ON THE BUB­BLE – Jay Priv­man

Ken­tucky Derby-win­ning train­ers Bob Baf­fert (Amer­i­can An­them and Mas­tery), John Shirreffs (Gorm­ley and Royal Mo), and Todd Pletcher (Al­ways Dream­ing, Bat­tal­ion Run­ner, and Tap­writ) all have mul­ti­ple run­ners on the top 20 list. Other Derby-win­ning train­ers who have a run­ner on the list are Graham Mo­tion (Ir­ish War Cry) and Doug O’Neill (Iliad).

The Derby Watch ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee had a ten­ta­tive list made one week ago, prior to the Sam Davis Stakes. No Doz­ing was on the list be­fore the race. Af­ter fin­ish­ing a dull sixth, he was dropped. Bat­tle of Mid­way also was a ten­ta­tive se­lec­tion be­fore he fin­ished third in the San Vi­cente.

If the con­nec­tions of the filly Unique Bella change their minds and de­cide to go to the Derby, she’d ob­vi­ously go on the list, but trainer Jerry Hol­len­dor­fer said the Ken­tucky Oaks on the first Fri­day in May is her tar­get. Among those just miss­ing the cut this week were State of Honor and Un­trapped. There are two scor­ing races in the United States this week­end – the El Camino Real Derby on Satur­day and the South­west Stakes on Mon­day – and while the El Camino Real Derby didn’t ap­pear as if it would come up strong, the South­west was ex­pected to in­clude Smarty Jones run­ner-up Petrov, who would forge his way onto the list with a vic­tory.

But the most sig­nif­i­cant race may be tak­ing place Sun­day at Tokyo Race Course, where the 1,600-me­ter Hy­acinth will be run. Churchill Downs is seek­ing to get a Ja­panese-based run­ner into the Derby – which would en­able Churchill Downs to of­fer simul­cast wa­ger­ing on the race in Ja­pan – and thus has carved out 50 points for the win­ner of the Hy­acinth. That would be enough to secure a start­ing spot in the Derby.

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