The 2018 Kentucky Derby trail began last year, back in September, when The Tabulator won the Iroquois at Churchill Downs. Seven months have passed and 35 qualifying races have been run. In the end, the field of 20 has been assembled for the first Saturday in May.
Along the way 28 different horses found the winner’s circle with Magnum Moon and My Boy Jack taking the final two races. At the same time, both joined the club of only seven runners that were victorious in two of the stops on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.
With his victory in the Arkansas Derby, Magnum Moon added to his Rebel win to become the top points earner with 150. Magnum Moon is now unbeaten in four career starts, all of which came in 2018. Since the points system was initiated in 2013, all of the Derby winners have entered the big race without a loss as a 3-year-old and with a victory in one of the seven 100-point qualifying races. The son of Malibu Moon fits both of those criteria.
My Boy Jack, on the other hand, headed to the Lexington Stakes short on points. The son of Creative Cause had 32 points in hand after winning the Southwest and finishing third in the Louisiana Derby. Not willing to just sit at home and hope for a spot to open, trainer Keith Desormeaux sent his horse to Keeneland on three weeks rest and was rewarded with 20 points after his colt’s impressive victory.
photo of Magnum Moon courtesy of Coady Photography