LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's still early as we journey along the road to the roses but we've seen just enough preps to unveil our first fab five plus five. It's time to rank the top contenders for the Kentucky Derby.
1. McKinzie - There are about a half-dozen 3-year-olds you could put at number one. I'll start with this runner trained by Bob Baffert. Let's face the facts, this trainer knows how to get to the to the First Saturday in May with a live horse. McKinzie was a solid 2-year-old and his win in last month's Sham Stakes was a very strong 2018 debut.
2. Bolt d'Oro - The colt might be the most talented of this crop. Last year, he dazzled as he rang up some Grade I victories. Then there was that third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. But remember, on that day at Del Mar, many top favorites had off-days. Mark down March 10. That's when he surfaces in the San Felipe Stakes.
3. Good Magic - He ran 'em off their feet last fall when he galloped to victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. On March 3, we'll see if he can build on that performance when the 2-year-old champ debuts in the Fountain of Youth.
4. Audible - Took a giant leap into the Derby picture after romping in the recent Holy Bull Stakes. He's in the capable hands of Todd Pletcher who has slated the Florida Derby as the next test.
5. Instilled Regard - He looked like a seasoned - pro in taking last month's Lecomte Stakes. You have to like his tactical running style in that win at Fair Grounds. One to watch.
6. Catholic Boy - Made a successful switch from grass to dirt when he captured the Remsen last fall. Saturday, the colt makes his first start of the year in the Sam F. Davis at Tampa. He faces a stiff test in that one.
7. Solomini - It's another promising Baffert runner. Suffered a bit of a setback as he missed some training coming off an illness. Pointing for either the March 10th San Felipe, or the March 17 Rebel.
8. Free drop Billy - Finished second by 5 1/2 lengths to Audible in the Holy Bull. Flashed talent last year so has to be in the mix.
9. Mourinho - Another Baffert contender among our top ten. His 3 -year- old debut was very good as he took the Smarty Jones by three lengths. This was his first test over a route of ground.
10. Tiz Mischief - Willing to give him another look after a third place effort in the Holy Bull. He was 13 lengths in back of the winner, Audible. His off-the-pace running style possibly was not a good fit at Gulfstream.