Through various sources, the Churchill Downs communications team has confirmed that 22 horses are known to have been entered in Saturday’s $2 million Kentucky Derby.
The horses known to be entered in the Kentucky Derby are (in order of preference by points earned on the Road to the Kentucky Derby (with jockeys): Gun Runner (Florent Geroux); Nyquist (Mario Gutierrez); Exaggerator (Kent Desormeaux); Outwork (John Velazquez); Brody’s Cause (Luis Saez); Creator (Ricardo Santana Jr.); Lani (Yutaka Take); Mor Spirit (Gary Stevens); Mohaymen (Junior Alvarado); Danzing Candy (Mike Smith); Destin (Javier Castellano); Suddenbreakingnews (Luis Quinonez); Oscar Nominated (Julien Leparoux); Shagaf (Joel Rosario); Whitmore (Victor Espinoza); Tom’s Ready (Brian Hernandez Jr.); My Man Sam (Irad Ortiz Jr.); Majesto (Emisael Jaramillo); Trojan Nation (Aaron Gryder) and Mo Tom (Corey Lanerie).
Laoban (Cornelio Velasquez) and Cherry Wine (Robby Albarado) are on the “also eligible” list.
The “also eligible” horses could draw into the field should any horse(s) be scratched before Friday’s scratch time at 9 a.m. ET.
Entries closed today at 10 a.m. ET. Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey paid the $200,000 supplemental entry to make Oscar Nominated eligible to the Triple Crown (note: he was not a $600 early nominee on Jan. 16 or $6,000 late nominee on March 21). Since its inception in 1996, Oscar Nominated is only the third supplemental nominee to the Kentucky Derby. Unshaded was a $150,000 supplemental nominee in 2000 but was excluded because 20 original nominees entered the race. That policy was revised in 2014 to make supplemental entrants eligible if they qualified with sufficient points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.
Greeley’s Galaxy, a $200,000 supplemental nominee in 2005, was the 20th entry that year and finished 11th.
The $200,000 supplemental entry for Oscar Nominated bumps the Kentucky Derby purse to $2,391,600 (if 20 horses start) with a $1,631,600 check to the winner; $400,000 to the runner-up; $200,000 to third; $100,000 to fourth; and $60,000 to fifth. The purse would be the second-largest in Kentucky Derby history only behind the $2,399,600 awarded in 2005.
The Kentucky Derby field has been limited to 20 starters since 1975 – the year after 23 horses contested the 100th anniversary of the Derby in 1974. At least 20 horses have entered the race every year since 2004, and 16 of the last 18 years. If 20 start, it would mark the 19th occasion; the first was 1923 when 21 horses went to the post.
The Kentucky Derby post position draw – a traditional “pill pull” in which horses’ entry blanks are pulled simultaneously with a numbered pill to determine what stall a horse will break from the starting gate – will be held today at 5:30 p.m. in the Aristides Lounge on the second floor of the Grandstand. The post position draw will air live on NBCSN from 5:30-6 p.m.