The 2018 Kentucky Derby is here and if you are getting ready to pick a winner keep in mind that trainers can impact a winner like Bill Belichick or whoever coaches the Browns. With that in mind, I have ranked trainer/horse duos for the 2018 Kentucky Derby.
2018 Kentucky Derby Trainer Power Rankings
- Aidan O’Brien, Mendelssohn +525 – O’Brien might be the best trainer in the world. If you ask anyone outside of North America who’s the best in the world, they’ll tell you it’s Aidan O’Brien. He’s got a freak of a racehorse that should win the Kentucky Derby. Notice that I wrote should?
- Bob Baffert, Justify +365, Solomini +2350 – Ever since Cavonnier finished second to Grindstone in the 1996 Kentucky Derby, Bob Baffert has been a Run for the Roses force. He won the Derby with Silver Charm, Real Quiet, War Emblem, and, of course, Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.
- Todd Pletcher, Vino Rosso +1350, Audible +600, Noble Indy +3000, Magnum Moon +750 – Todd Pletcher took home his second Derby win last year when Always Dreaming won the Run for the Roses. He’s got a strong hand heading into Saturday’s race.
- Chad Brown, Good Magic +825 – Brown has been one of the best trainers, some say the best, in the United States the past 3 years. He won the Preakness last year with Cloud Computing. Good Magic could be sitting on a big race.
- Mick Ruis, Bolt d’Oro +850 – Ruis was an owner. Then, he became a trainer. If he had more experience with 3-year-olds, he might be at the top of the list. That’s how much respect Bolt d’Oro deserves.
- Mark Casse, Flameaway +4500 – Mark Casse had a real shot to win the Kentucky Derby last year with Classic Empire. Flameaway isn’t as good as Classic Empire. Still, the fact that Casse has gotten him to win 2 races, and finish second in his other 3 races this year tells you what a great trainer he is.
- Jerry Hollendorfer, Instilled Regard +6000 – Hollendorfer campaigned Songbird. He also campaigned Shared Belief.
- Bill Mott, Hofburg +1500 – Cigar’s trainer has an outside derby contender in Hofburg. If any trainer can get a 3-year-old to run lights out in the Kentucky Derby in only his fourth-lifetime race, it’s Bill Mott.
- Kiaran McLaughlin, Enticed +2500 – Enticed just doesn’t seem to have what it takes to win on Saturday. Still, McLaughlin knows how to get them ready. I’m not totally discounting.
- Keith J. Desormeaux, My Boy Jack +2000 – Desormeaux, jockey Kent Desormeaux’s brother, has started to show up in the Kentucky Derby. He had a legit contender, Exaggerator, a couple of years ago.
- Steve Asmussen, Combatant +7000 – Steve Asmussen trained two of the best horses to step on a racetrack in the past 20 years, Curlin and Rachel Alexandra.
- Tom Amoss, Lone Sailor +5000 – Amoss has a decent closer who could get a fast pace to chase in Lone Sailor. If the favorites fall apart, he’ll have as good of a shot as anybody.
- Jason Servis, Firenze Fire +10000 – Servis won the 2004 Kentucky Derby with Smarty Jones. Firenze Fire is not Smarty Jones.
- Dale Romans, Promises Fulfilled +5000, Free Drop Billy +3500 – I know that both Promises Fulfilled and Free Drop Billy did enough to make it to the Kentucky Derby starting gate. Neither has a shot, though.
- D. Wayne Lukas, Bravazo +6000 – D. Wayne’s got a horse in this year’s Derby. I don’t expect much, but the man that owned the Kentucky Derby in the 1980’s can pull rabbits out of his hat. He’d have to pull around 100 unicorns out of his hat for Bravazo to win on Saturday.