Sidelines with John Clay

Kentucky Derby 143: Which prep race produces the most winners?

As we count down toward Saturday and Kentucky Derby 143, it should be noted that the last six Derby winners each won their final prep race before coming to Churchill Downs.

That raises the question: Which of the final Kentucky Derby preps have produced the most winners who followed with a win in Louisville?

With the help of Equibase, here’s a look at the winners of final preps, starting in 1976, who also went on to win the Kentucky Derby.

In parentheses is the prep race’s winner this year:

Florida Derby (Always Dreaming)

▪ 2016: Nyquist

▪ 2013: Orb

▪ 2008: Big Brown

▪ 2006: Barbaro

▪ 2001: Monarchos

▪ 1995: Thunder Gulch

▪ 1990: Unbridled

▪ 1984: Swale

▪ 1979: Spectacular Bid

Santa Anita Derby (Gormley)

▪ 2014: California Chrome

▪ 2012: I’ll Have Another

▪ 1989: Sunday Silence

▪ 1988: Winning Colors

▪ 1978: Affirmed

Wood Memorial (Irish War Cry)

▪ 2000: Fusaichi Pegasus

▪ 1981: Pleasant Colony

▪ 1977: Seattle Slew

▪ 1976: Bold Forbes

Arkansas Derby (Classic Empire)

▪ 2015: American Pharoah

▪ 2004: Smarty Jones

▪ 1983: Sunny’s Halo

Blue Grass (Irap)

▪ 1991: Strike the Gold

▪ 1979: Spectacular Bid

Spiral Stakes (Fast and Accurate)

▪ 2011: Animal Kingdom

▪ 1992: Lil E. Tee

Illinois Derby (Multiplier; not in Kentucky Derby)

▪ 2002: War Emblem

Lexington Stakes (Senior Investment; not in Kentucky Derby)

▪ 1999: Charismatic

Louisiana Derby (Girvin)

▪ 1996: Grindstone

Now here’s a look at the final prep race for the last 20 Kentucky Derby winners:

▪ 2016: Nyquist - 1st in Florida Derby

▪ 2015: American Pharoah - 1st in Arkansas Derby

▪ 2014: California Chrome - 1st in Santa Anita Derby

▪ 2013: Orb - 1st in Florida Derby

▪ 2012: I’ll Have Another - 1st in Santa Anita Derby

▪ 2011: Animal Kingdom - 1st in Spiral Stakes

▪ 2010: Super Saver - 2nd in Arkansas Derby

▪ 2009: Mine That Bird - 4th in the Sunland Derby

▪ 2008: Big Brown - 1st in the Florida Derby

▪ 2007: Street Sense - 2nd in the Blue Grass

▪ 2006: Barbaro - 1st in the Florida Derby

▪ 2005: Giacomo - 4th in the Santa Anita Derby

▪ 2004: Smarty Jones - 1st in the Arkansas Derby

▪ 2003: Funny Cide - 2nd in the Wood Memorial

▪ 2002: War Emblem - 1st in the Illinois Derby

▪ 2001: Monarchos - 1st in the Florida Derby

▪ 2000: Fusiachi Pegasus - 1st in the Wood Memorial

▪ 1999: Charismatic - 1st in the Lexington Stakes

▪ 1998: Real Quiet - 2nd in the Santa Anita Derby

▪ 1997: Silver Charm - 2nd in the Santa Anita Derby

Check out these recent Kentucky Derby week stories:

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