Horse Racing

Where and when 2019’s Kentucky Derby contenders were born and how they made it to Churchill Downs

Kentucky is not just the “horse capital of the world” because the Kentucky Derby happens to be here. It’s the horse capital of the world because almost all the contenders for this signature American classic are born and bred in the commonwealth.

This year, 18 of the 20 Derby contenders were bred and foaled in Kentucky. Only the Florida-bred Win Win Win and the Japan-bred Master Fencer come from outside the state (and you don’t have to go too far back in their pedigrees to find their Kentucky ties).

Jared Peck, Brian Simms Staff

Here’s a rundown of all the horse farms that fostered Saturday’s runners (The official 20-horse field will be drawn Tuesday morning. These are the current top 20 in Derby points):


Foaled: Feb. 21, 2016, at Juddmonte Farms, 3082 Walnut Hill Road, Lexington

Jockey: Jose Ortiz

Trainer: William I. Mott

Owner: Juddmonte Farms.

Breeder: Juddmonte Farms

Sire: Tapit

Dam: Close Hatches

Record: Three firsts in four starts, 150 Road to the Derby points

Notes: The Derby points leader captured both the Wood Memorial and the Tampa Bay Derby, two major preps in this gray/roan colt’s three victories in only four starts.

Omaha Beach (Scratched)

Foaled: April 24, 2016, at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud, 5095 Frankfort Road, Versailles

Jockey: Mike Smith

Trainer: Richard Mandella

Owner: Fox Hill Farms

Breeder: Charming Syndicate

Sire: War Front

Dam: Charming

Record: Three wins, three seconds and a third in seven starts, 137.5 Derby points

Notes: Omaha Beach emerged as the media poll favorite to win the rose blanket after nosing out Game Winner in the Rebel and beating a stacked Arkansas Derby field by a length.


Foaled: May 22, 2016, at Lane’s End Farm, 1500 Midway Road, Versailles

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Trainer: George Weaver

Owner: R.A. Hill Stable and Gatsas Stables

Breeder: Alpha Delta Stables

Sire: Candy Ride

Dam: Mona De Momma

Record: Three wins and a place in four starts, 110 Derby points

Notes: Winner of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland and a third at the Fountain of Youth, this chestnut colt has three wins in his four starts.

Plus Que Parfait

Foaled: March 23, 2016, at Oak Lodge, 710 Jackstown Road, Paris

Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.

Trainer: Brendan P. Walsh

Owner: Imperial Racing

Breeder: Calloway Stables

Sire: Point of Entry

Dam: Belvedera

Record: Two firsts, a second and two thirds in seven starts, 104 Derby points

Notes: Originally sold for just $24,000 and then sold again for $135,000, this chestnut ridgling paid off handsomely with a win at the UAE Derby which spiked his career earnings to more than $1.5 million. Breeder Calloway Stables is based in Murray, but had Plus Que Parfait foaled in Central Kentucky.


Foaled: April 23, 2016, at Stone Farm, 200 Stoney Point Road, Paris

Jockey: Florent Geroux

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Owner: Speedway Stable

Breeder: Stone Farm

Sire: Quality Road

Dam: Ghost Dancing

Record: Three wins and a third in four starts, 100 Derby points

Notes: Another horse without much on-track experience, this gray/roan trained by Baffert has a resume similar to his 2018 Triple Crown winner, Justify, including a win in the Santa Anita Derby. The difference: Roadster has a third place among his four starts. Justify was undefeated. Roadster’s Santa Anita win came on a stirring charge from well back.

By My Standards

Foaled: March 22, 2016, at Blackhorse Thoroughbreds, 3000 Walnut Hill Road, Lexington

Jockey: Gabriel Saez

Trainer: W. Bret Calhoun

Owner: Allied Racing Stable

Breeder: Don Ladd

Sire: Goldencents

Dam: A Jealous Woman

Record: Two wins, two seconds and a third in five starts, 100 Derby points

Notes: Won the Louisiana Derby in a stunning upset at 22-1 odds over Todd Pletcher’s Spinoff and that race’s favorite, fellow Derby contender War of Will.

Maximum Security

Foaled: May 14, 2016, at Dell Ridge Farm, 3964 Winchester Road, Lexington

Jockey: Luis Saez

Trainer: Jason Servis

Owner: Gary and Mary West

Breeder: Gary and Mary West Stables

Sire: New Year’s Day

Dam: Lil Indy

Record: Four wins in four starts, 100 Derby points

Notes: Posted a convincing 3 ½-length win over fellow Derby contender Bodexpress in the Florida Derby leading from wire to wire. Lightly raced like much of the rest of the field with only four starts, all of them wins.

Game Winner

Foaled: March 6, 2016, at Summer Wind Farm, 2877 Iron Works Road, Georgetown

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Owner: Gary and Mary West.

Breeder: Summer Wind Equine

Sire: Candy Ride

Dam: Indyan Giving

Record: Four wins, two seconds in six starts, 85 Derby points

Notes: The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner has hit the board in second in his two races since and posted respectable speed ratings. Edged out by a half-length in the Santa Anita Derby and by a nose in the Rebel. Orphaned at a couple of months old when his dam fell ill with colic and didn’t recover from surgery.

Code of Honor

Foaled: May 23, 1016, at Lane’s End Farm, 1500 Midway Road, Versailles

Jockey: John Velazquez

Trainer: Shug McGaughey

Owner: W.S. Farish

Breeder: W.S. Farish

Sire: Noble Mission

Dam: Reunited

Record: Two wins, a second and a third in five starts, 74 Derby points

Notes: Fountain of Youth winner has had uneven results over a five-race career with a fourth in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes and a third in his last prep, the Florida Derby. An Equibase speed figure of 111 in the Fountain of Youth, however, is among the best posted by any Derby contender.

Haikal (Scratched)

Foaled: March 23, 2016, at Shadwell Farm, 4600 Fort Springs Pinckard Road, Lexington

Jockey: Rajiv Maragh

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin

Owner: Shadwell Stable

Breeder: Shadwell Farm

Sire: Daaher

Dam: Sablah

Record: Three firsts, a second and a third in five starts, 70 Derby points

Notes: The Gotham Stakes winner finished a closing third in the Wood Memorial and has three wins in his five starts.


Foaled: Feb. 11, 2016, at St. George Farm, 635 Iron Works Pike, Lexington

Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Owner: WinStar Farm LLC, China Horse Club International Ltd. and Starlight Racing

Breeder: St. George Farm LLC & G. Watts Humphrey Jr.

Sire: City Zip

Dam: Rare Event

Record: Three wins and two seconds in five starts, 65 Derby points

Notes: Improbable impressed greatly his first three times out going undefeated including a Grade 1 stakes win at Los Alamitos. The chestnut colt has gotten faster since, but finished second to fellow Derby contenders Long Range Toddy and Omaha Beach his last two times out.

War of Will

Foaled: April 17, 2016, at Lane’s End-Oak Tree Division, 5971 Mt. Horeb Pike, Lexington

Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione

Trainer: Mark Casse

Owner: Gary Barber

Breeder: Flaxman Holdings Limited

Sire: War Front

Dam: Visions of Clarity

Record: Three wins, a second and a third in eight starts, 60 Derby points

Notes: A two-time graded stakes winner before a disappointing ninth last time out in the Louisiana Derby. With eight races, this bay colt is one of the most experienced horses in the field. Believed to have been injured out of the Louisiana Derby gate with what was said to be a muscle strain, but reported to have recovered well.

Long Range Toddy

Foaled: April 12, 2016, at Three Chimneys Farm, 1981 Old Frankfort Pike, Versailles

Jockey: Jon Court

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Owner: Willis Horton Racing

Breeder: Willis Horton Racing

Sire: Take Charge Indy

Dam: Pleasant Song

Record: Four wins, a second and a third in eight starts, 53.5 Derby points

Notes: Has hit the board in six of eight starts including a win in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park to solidify his place in the Derby field.


Foaled: April 20, 2016, at Claiborne Farm, 703 Winchester Road, Paris

Jockey: Junior Alvarado

Trainer: Danny Gargan

Owner: R.A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Hugh Lynch and Corms Racing Stable

Breeder: Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider

Sire: Arch

Dam: Toll

Record: Two wins, two seconds and a third in five starts, 52 Derby points

Notes: A dark bay gelding, Tax impressed with a gutty win at the Withers after stumbling out of the gate and a second at the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct to secure his place in the Derby field. Claimed by one of the current owners for $50,000 in the first race at Keeneland on Oct. 21.

Cutting Humor

Foaled: April 7, 2016, at Claiborne Farm, 703 Winchester Road, Paris

Jockey: Mike Smith replaced Corey Lanerie on Cutting Humor after Smith’s Omaha Beach was scratched.

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Owner: Starlight Racing

Breeder: Dell Hancock and Bernie Sams

Sire: First Samurai

Dam: Pun

Record: Two wins, two seconds and a third in six starts, 50 Derby points

Notes: Held off a hard-charging Anothertwistoffate in the Sunland Derby to earn his way into the Kentucky Derby coming off a disappointing seventh in the Southwest Stakes a month earlier. Purchased by Starlight Racing for $400,000 at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton New York Saratoga Select Yearling Sale.

Win Win Win

Foaled: March 20, 2016, at Live Oak Stud, 9275 SW Ninth Street Road, Ocala, Fla.

Jockey: Julian Pimentel

Trainer: Michael Trombetta

Owner: Live Oak Plantation.

Breeder: Live Oak Stud

Sire: Hat Trick

Dam: Miss Smarty Pants

Record: Three wins, two seconds and a third in six starts, 50 Derby points

Notes: Set a track record for 7 furlongs at Tampa Bay Downs on Jan. 19 and hit the board with a third in the Tampa Bay Derby and a second in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes to earn entry into the field.

Country House

Foaled: May 8, 2016, at Three Chimneys Farm, 1981 Old Frankfort Pike, Versailles

Jockey: Flavien Prat

Trainer: Bill Mott

Owner: Mrs. J.V. Shields Jr., E.J.M. McFadden Jr. and LNJ Foxwoods.

Breeder: J.V. Shields Jr.

Sire: Lookin at Lucky

Dam: Quake Lake

Record: One win, two seconds and a third in six starts, 50 Derby points

Notes: Third in the Arkansas Derby, fourth in the Louisiana Derby and second in the Risen Star, this chestnut colt has shown the speed to threaten. Breeder J.V. Shields Jr. passed away last year at the age of 80.

Gray Magician

Foaled: Feb. 16, 2016, at Twin Creeks Farm, 3870 Fords Mill Road, Versailles

Jockey: Drayden Van Dyke

Trainer: Peter Miller

Owner: Wachtel Stable, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber

Breeder: Twin Creeks Farm

Sire: Graydar

Dam: Burg Berg

Record: One win, three seconds and two thirds, 41 Derby points

Notes: Has only one win in eight starts, but one of his three seconds came in one of the richest Derby preps in the world, the UAE Derby in Dubai, where he was edged out by a half-length in a thrilling three-way dash to the wire.


Foaled: Feb. 18, 2016, at Hagyard Farm, 4915 Paris Pike, Lexington

Jockey: Manny Franco

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Owner: Wertheimer and Frere

Breeder: Wertheimer and Frere

Sire: Hard Spun

Dam: Zaftig

Record: Two wins, a second and a third in four starts, 40 Derby points

Notes: Has a second in the Louisiana Derby and a third in the Saratoga Special with two wins in his other two starts. His sire, Hard Spun, ran all three legs of the Triple Crown in 2007 with a place, a show and a fourth.

Master Fencer

Foaled: Feb. 21, 2016, in Japan

Jockey: Julien Leparoux

Trainer: K. Tsunoda

Owner: Katsumi Yoshizawa

Breeder: Katsumi Yoshizawa

Sire: Just a Way

Dam: Sexy Zamurai

Record: Two wins and two seconds in six starts, Japan invitee

Notes: Master Fencer finished fourth in Japan’s Road to the Kentucky Derby series, but with the top three opting out, Owner Katsumi Yoshizawa accepted the nation’s annual sole bid to Churchill Downs. Dam Sexy Zamurai is a Kentucky-bred. The No. 7 horse in the Fukuryu Stakes in Japan, Master Fencer settled in well off the pace before hitting stride in the final turn and powering to a second-place finish.

145th Kentucky Derby

When: 6:50 p.m. Saturday

Where: Churchill Downs in Louisville


Purse: $3 million (Grade 1)

Distance: 1 1/4 miles (dirt)

Post-position draw: 11 a.m. Tuesday