The field for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby has no runaway contender. Because of this, a new face has jumped into the top 5 standings with a win this weekend at Oaklawn Park. Malagacy is still undefeated in 2017. Having beaten one of the main Derby contenders during the Rebel Stakes, American Anthem, he has now vaulted up the Road to the Derby leaderboard. Could Malagacy realistically challenge for the Derby?
Of course he could. Because this Derby field is so wide open, any horse could challenge for it. The way he ran during the Rebel Stakes certainly proves that he has a chance.
Malagacy makes Shackleford proud & puts another Pletcher in the Derby picture! pic.twitter.com/78NhvV7dqq
— Candice Curtis (@skipaway2000) March 18, 2017
The Rebel winner, Malagacy (1 first-place vote; 170 points) and another Todd Pletcher trainee jumps all the way up from the 25th slot to fifth in the top-ten. Owned by Sumaya U.S. Stable, the chestnut son of 2011 Preakness Stakes winner Shackleford , is now a perfect three for three for 2017. The victory earned him 50 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Derby and places him fourth of the list of 20 possible starters in the race. It is expected his next start will come in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby on April 15.
March 20 2017
— TwinSpires.com (@TwinSpires) March 20, 2017
If all goes according to plan, Malagacy will be back racing at Oaklawn in the G1 Arkansas Derby. We’ll have a much better idea of the kind of racehorse he is after this race.