(Justify going into the first turn of the Kentucky Derby / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

Well, we hit the Exacta. If you had it boxed, which, of course, we did.

And, it was not a bad payoff, either. The $2 play returned $69.60, unless you had the duo in Pool 3 of the Churchill Downs “Futures Wager.” Then you got back a tidy $245.80. In Pool 4, the exacta returned $81.00 Which, of course, we had, as well.

Not bad for our first year of The Pressbox Derby Rankings. 

After that, we were a little soft on the numbers, until you go to My Boy Jack — who we always rated higher than most until he was bet down so dramatically going into the Derby at less than 7-1 odds.

Overall, though, our rankings did OK in our first year of rating such. Here is a closer look at how our selections fared from 1-to-20.

Rank Horse Sire Trainer Jockey Last Start Next Start Comment
1 Good Magic Curlin Chad Brown Junior Ortiz 2nd Preakness Stakes — ? Game throughout; made several runs; just couldn’t get by the winner
2 Justify Scat Daddy Bob Baffert Mike Smith 1st Preakness Stakes As advertised / Dominant in victory to win KY Derby and snap the “Apollo Curse” string at 134 years
3 Flameaway Scat Daddy Mark Casse Jose Lezcano 13th Break — Headed to WO Great stalking position of 4th entering the final turn and gave way when switched leads in the mud
4 Bolt d’Oro Medaglia d’Oro Mick Ruis Victor Espinoza 12th Break — Back to CA Another who appeared to be in great shape in the final turn/As close as 3rd/ Gave way there
5 Noble Indy Take Charge Indy Todd Pletcher Florent Geroux 19th Undecided Broke well and moved up into the top tier entering the first turn/5-wide and faded in backstretch
6 My Boy Jack Creative Cause J. Keith Desormeaux Kent Desormeaux 5th Undecided Beautiful colt made a huge move late despite being stopped/8-wide into stretch
7 Audible Into Mischief Todd Pletcher Javier Castellano 3rd Undecided Steading at the 5/16 pole and had to come from much farther back/Huge move to get 3rd
8 Magnum Moon Malibu Moon Todd Pletcher Luis Saez 19th Break Broke in from 16th post/rough trip and never in contention
9 Mendelssohn Scat Daddy Aidan O’Brien Ryan Moore 20th Back to Europe Very rough trip early and never comfortable after that/Eased and saved
10 Enticed Medaglia d’Oro Kiaran McLaughlin Junior Alvarado 14th Undecided Rough trip/Bumped at start/Steading at 7/16ths mark/never closer than 13th
11 Vino Rosso Curlin Todd Pletcher John Velazquez 9th Undecided Wide trip from 18th post/made gradual progress but never a threat
12 Hofburg Tapit Bill Mott Irad Ortiz 7th Undecided Brushed at start and steadied twice/fought through adversity to get up to 7th late
13 Lone Sailor Majestic Warrior Tom Amoss James Graham 8th Undecided Slow start and moved to the rail/made steady progress until “stymied” by others
14 Free Drop Billy Union Rags Dale Romans Robby Albarado 16th Undecided Never a threat / Regroup time
15 Combatant Scat Daddy Steve Asmussen Ricardo Santana, Jr 18th Undecided Contender to run 3rd or 4th in this year’s Derby at some huge odds/I use
16 Instilled Regard Arch Jerry Hollendorfer Drayden Van Dyke 4th Back to CA Roughed up at the start, but game as all heck/Moved up from 17to to finish 4th
17 Solomini Curlin Bob Baffert Flavien Prat 10th Back to CA Broke from 17th post & last early in “new style;” able to move up gradually despite trouble
18 Bravazo Awesome Again D. Wayne Lukas Luis Contreras 6th Preakness Stakes Had a wide trip, but was able to move up and run better than most expected
19 Promises Fulfilled Shackleford Dale Romans Corey Lanerie 15th Undecided Made lead, as expected/faded before the final turn
20 Firenze Fire Poseidon’s Warrior Jason Servis Manny Franco 11th Undecided Tracked the leaders early on, but done early on