March 27, 2023

2020 Kentucky Derby Season Begins With the Ellis Park Juvenile (and a Top 10 list)

My annual struggle is when the following year’s Kentucky Derby season should begin.

  • Immediately after this year’s Kentucky Derby seems too quick because that’s still Triple Crown season, and the current crop of three-year-olds deserve their due.
  • The come down between the Belmont Stakes and big summer race meetings is better for decompressing, and any earnest attempt at a top 10 list would just be guessing.
  • My employer sponsoring a two-year-old race that’s a de facto prep for the first Points Race for the 2020 Kentucky Derby seems like the perfect time to start the hype.

And so it goes that the Ellis Park Juvenile on Sunday at Ellis Park ushers in the first 2020 Kentucky Derby top 10 of the season!

There’s also the first 2020 Kentucky Oaks top 10 list in the season leading into the Ellis Park Debutante, but that’s little less noteworthy regarding the weekend proceedings since none of the Debutante’s entrants are in the top 10 versus Derby #8 Letmeno eyeing a start in the Juvenile.

Speaking of entries for these two stakes races, not only has entries but also FREE past performances! For the Juvenile and Debutante, Ultimate Past Performances are free (just click each race name). Want full-card Premium Past Performances? Then log in, visit our free product page, and get to handicapping! For all Ellis Park handicapping info, CLICK HERE.

Vance Hanson and James Scully’s thoughts on Ellis Park:

And now for some thoughts on my top 10 lists:

  • The fillies have impressed more to date
    • Amalfi Sunrise has been most excited undefeated in 2 starts, defeating the previously undefeated Comical in the Sorrento
    • Inspiressa was even money to defeat what look like two other potential good ones in Bast and America’s Surprise. That’s likely to be a key race on the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies trail
  • I decided to slot the two recent stakes winners 1-2 on my first Derby poll in deference to their accomplishment, but there have been some exciting maiden winners recently.
  • Bootytama hasn’t been seen since Turf Paradise closed, but being by Animal Kingdom augers well for improvement, and I’m looking forward to seeing this one surface again.
  • I saw Nicely Nicely’s debut live at Arlington International Race Course and was impressed. Didn’t come back too fast numbers wise, but maybe the synthetic surface is to blame for dulling the effort. Should go on with it too for Team Valor.
  • Green Light Go gets extra credit for reminding us of a Lorde song.