By Dick Downey
Updated 12:24 p.m. ET re: Midnight Lucky
Updated 1:45 p.m. ET re: Titletown Five
Updated March 20 11:13 a.m ET Oxbow, Govenor Charlie
We are now officially barreling down the road to the Kentucky Derby, and the Road to the Roses contest is coming up soon. So here’s a survey of over 80 horses and where they're going next on the Derby Trail.
Itsmyluckyday and Shanghai Bobby remain on course for the Grade I Florida Derby, with both of them working regularly toward the race. Eddie Plesa, Jr. hopes his horse can again defeat Todd Pletcher's 2012 juvenile champion.
Falling Sky, third in the Grade II Tampa Bay Derby, is headed to the Grade I Arkansas Derby on April 13 for trainer John Terranova II.
Flashback will compete in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on April 6, and Garrett Gomez will replace Julien Leparoux in the saddle. Leparoux will move his tack to Keeneland starting the day before that and is presumably looking for a Derby horse. It probably won't be on a Bob Baffert trainee, however.
Hear the Ghost will try to repeat his stunning performance in the Grade II San Felipe running back in the Santa Anita Derby for Jerry Hollendorfer.
Normandy Invasion will hit the ground for the Grade I Wood Memorial on April 6 for trainer Chad Brown.
Orb is among the few and the proud pointing to the Florida Derby, but the list of probables is growing now.
Rebel runner-up Oxbow’s next start will be in the Arkansas Derby. D Wayne Lukas has mentioned the Grade I Blue Grass as a possibility for Rebel winner Will Take Charge, but he’s not committed to a race at this point.
Revolutionary looks like he'll be the favorite in the Grade II Louisiana Derby on March 30 for Pletcher.
Mark Casse will unveil Uncaptured’s 2013 debut in Saturday's Grade III Horseshoe Cincinnati Spiral Stakes. The son of Lion Heart has put in five workouts on Ocala Training Center’s synthetic track in preparation.
Pletcher’s Tampa Bay Derby winner Verrazano is about 90% likely for the Wood Memorial. The Florida Derby or Arkansas Derby are remote alternatives.
Vyjack, winner of the Grade III Gotham last out, will make his return at Aqueduct, but on the outer track, for the Wood. Trainer Rudy Rodriguez will come off a 20 day suspension just before the race.
Several Worth Watching
Abraham, who broke his maiden Feb. 16 for Todd Pletcher, looks set to go in the Grade III Sunland Derby this Sunday.
Abstraction, impressive maiden winner at Fair Grounds last week, is not on the Derby Trail. The Preakness was not ruled out, andDavid Carroll said he would probably put the Belmont Stakes on the calendar and work backward from there.
Balance the Books will go to the Spiral for Brown in his first start of the year. He’ll race after nine workouts at Palm Meadows interrupted only by a missed breeze on Feb. 25.
Pletcher sends Capo Bastone to the Spiral following a win over a sloppy track at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 16.
We're not sure where Charming Kitten will pop up next. Second in the Grade III Palm Beach to Rydilluc, Charming Kitten hasn’t yet returned to the worktab as of Monday. If all is well, the Blue Grass would be a logical spot. Meanwhile, that is definitely the race to watch for Rydilluc.
After he won the Grade II Swale Stakes, Clearly Now was mentioned for the Florida Derby. He hasn't been on the list of probables for the Florida Derbyu. However, Clearly Now put in a workout on Sunday, so maybe we'll hear something soon.
Code West, edged out by Ive Struck A Nerve in the Grade II Risen Star, will be sent back to the New Orleans for the Louisiana Derby by Baffert. Of course, we all know that Ive Struck A Nerve is off the Derby Trail.
At this dictation, Graham Motion’s Crop Report and Cerro are both on the outside looking in for the Spiral Stakes. A backup might be the Rushaway on the Spiral undercard unless connections want to wait, but at this point, they need defections to make the Spiral. In the same position as of Monday afternoon are Red Wings for Lukas and Divine Ambition for Darrin Miller
Demonic was off the worktab from Feb. 11 to March 8, and as of March 18, he was off it again. They Sunland Derby has been considered by John Sadler.
Baffert’s Den's Legacy, third in the Rebel, will be returned to Hot Springs for the Arkansas Derby.
Departing, who could be late-nominated to the Triple Crown by the March 23 deadline, will compete in the Louisiana Derby, as will Sunbean, who also wasn't early-nominated to the series. Al Stall, Jr. trains both.
Dewey Square put in a bullet work on the main track at Gulfstream Park on Sunday. There’s no announcement yet by Dale Romans, though. If he continues on a non-dirt route to the Derby, we expect to see Dewey Square in the Blue Grass.
Paddy Gallagher’s Dice Flavor, winner of the El Camino Real Derby on the Tapeta surface at Golden Gate, will make the trip to Dubai to run on Tapeta in the UAE Derby on March 30. Doug O’Neill’s He’s Had Enough will be there, too. McPeek had mentioned Java's War for the UAE Derby, too, but nothing has been said about that lately, so maybe it will be the Blue Grass for the Tampa Bay Derby runner-up.
Dynamic Sky, fourth in the Tampa Bay Derby, is waiting in the wings. Nothing has been announced by Casse to our knowledge.
The Wood Memorial will be next for Kiaran McLaughlin's Elnaawi, Third in the Gotham Stakes after a tough trip.
Mike Maker has been preparing Fear the Kitten for the Spiral with workouts at Turfway -- a bullet work on March 3 followed by a maintenance work on March 10. However, Fear the Kitten was absent from the worktab this past weekend.
Maybe someone knows what’s next for Fortify, scratched from the Al Bastakiya on March 9. We suppose it could be the Group 2 UAE Derby.
Frac Daddy needs a little more time and will bypass the Spiral in favor of the Florida Derby for McPeek.
Freedom Child is an interesting prospect for trainer Tom Albertrani. On March 10, he won a nine-furlong maiden race at Gulfstream Park by 5 1/4 lengths. Florida Derby?
Goldencents tweeted on Monday," I get to make a decision today, should be fun. More later...." But we didn't hear any more from him, so we'll say the Santa Anita Derby, which was the last heard from O'Neill.
Gunderman could go to the Illinois Derby for his connections in Chicago. Mark Casse trains.
Looking Cool defeated River Rocks on Sunday in a 1 1/16 mile allowance at Gulfstream. No word yet on the next start for the Carl Nafzger trainee Looking Cool or Wayne Catalano's River Rocks.
The filly Midnight Lucky, who won in dominant fashion in her sole start, was said to be pointed to the Sunland Derby by Baffert, but we're told the Sunland Oaks is the target. We’ll know for sure when entries close on Wednesday.
Noble Tune, impressive winner of a grass allowance on Tampa Bay Derby day, is expected next in the Blue Grass, as Brown keeps him separated from Balance the Books. So far.
Overanalyze, who ran a so-so race in the Gotham, is being pointed by Pletcher to the Arkansas Derby.
Palace Malice, also trained by Pletcher, will return to the Crescent City for the Louisiana Derby, but without the services of Rosie Napravnik, who will ride Shanghai Bobby in Florida that day.
After a workout on Monday, Power Broker may be pointed to the Wood Memorial in one attempt to make the Derby field.
Baffert sends Shakin It Up to the Sunland Derby for his two-turn debut following his win of the Grade II San Vicente Stakes.
Speak Logistics has been pointing to the Wood Memorial, and he may run in that race yet, but he missed a workout this past weekend. That, or the track clockers missed it.
Super Ninety Nine will not be returned to Oaklawn Park after laying an egg in the Rebel. Next on his menu is the Santa Anita Derby.
Lukas, who is really on a roll this year, had Titletown Five pointed to the Sunland Derby, but co-owner Paul Hornung said today that the Louisiana Derby is next. This Saturday, Lukas will saddle Channel Isle in the Spiral.
The Fair Grounds press office has put out a couple of releases including Tiz a Minister in the probables list for the Louisiana Derby; however, trainer Paul Alguire has also mentioned the Santa Anita Derby or the Blue Grass Stakes, saying he could get Garrett Gomez for the latter race.
Tiz the Truth finally returned to the worktab on Monday. He had been away from it since Feb. 17. The Wood \Memorial may be possible for the Baffert trainee.
After Treasury Bill’s up-the-track effort in the Rebel, it would be surprising if Ron Ellis sent him back to Oaklawn Park for the Arkansas Derby. We'll hear something soon.
War Academy, impressive looking allowance winner at Santa Anita Last Friday, is looking toward either the Arkansas Derby or Blue Grass for Baffert.
West Hills Giant, second in the Gotham, will return in the Wood Memorial If all goes well for the Terranova trainee.
Amerigo Vespucci finished seventh in the Gotham, and we’re waiting to hear something definite.
Appealing Tale, who left the worktab on Feb. 18, returned to it on March 9 and is active again. Not sure where he will pop up next, though.
Black Onyx to the Spiral.
Dry Summer to the Sunland Derby.
For Greater Glory to the Spiral after running third in the Battaglia Memorial.
General Election, winner of the Battaglia, to the Spiral.
Giant Finish, second in the Battaglia, to the Spiral.
Golden Soul, sixth in the Risen Star, to the Louisiana Derby.
Govenor Charlie is going to the Sunland Derby. Entries close Wednesday.
Ground Transport to the Louisiana Derby.
Heaven’s Runway to the Arkansas Derby.
Hip Four Sixtynine to the Louisiana Derby.
Not sure where Incognito will run next, but he looked good winning a snow-driven maiden at Aqueduct Saturday.
Just Win Baby to the Sunland Derby.
Turfway star Mac the Man to the Spiral.
Merit Man to the Florida Derby.
Mr Palmer to the Wood Memorial.
Mudflats to the Sunland Derby.
My Name is Michael to the Spiral.
Mylute to the Louisiana Derby.
Persuasive Paul to the Sunland Derby.
Pick of the Litter possible for the Florida Derby.
Proud Strike to the Louisiana Derby.
Saint Prado to the Sunland Derby?
Show Some Magic to the Sunland Derby.
Siete de Oros presumably to the Wood Memorial.
Stormdriver to the Sunland Derby.
Taken by the Storm to the Spiral.
Texas Bling to the Arkansas Derby.
Wildcat Moon to the Sunland Derby?
CAVEAT: This list is not intended to cover all Triple Crown nominees.