What’s Next for the 2017 Kentucky Derby Runners?

The start of the 2017 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on May 6 at Churchill Downs. (Eclipse Sportswire)

Now that the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands dust has settled, you might be wondering where the 20 Derby runners are headed next. While the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, is the next step for some, most of the Derby horses are not headed to Baltimore.

Find out their next steps below.

Headed to the Preakness

Always Dreaming

The Kentucky Derby winner has already arrived at Pimlico Race Course and taken a spin around the track.

Lookin At Lee

Derby runner-up Lookin At Lee has returned to the track at Churchill Downs, where he will train ahead of his Preakness run before shipping to Baltimore next Tuesday, May 16.

Classic Empire

Classic Empire finished fourth in the Derby with a rough trip. He is back on track at Churchill Downs before a planned van ride to Pimlico on Sunday, May 14.


Seventh-place Derby finisher Gunnevera is training toward a start in the Preakness. He’s expected to ship to Pimlico by van Saturday, May 13.


Like Lookin At Lee, fellow Steve Asmussen trainee and 11th-place Derby finisher Hence is training at Churchill Downs before flying to Baltimore on May 16.

Other race plans

Battle of Midway

After a third-place finish at long odds, Battle of Midway has returned to his home base at Santa Anita Park in California where he may target the June 24 Affirmed Stakes there.

Practical Joke (5th) will be kept to middle-distance races after trainer Chad Brown decided 1 ¼ miles was beyond the colt’s best distance. Connections are aiming for the Dwyer Stakes on Belmont day, June 10.


The minor injury McCraken sustained when finishing eighth in the Derby is healing well. His connections may be pointing him toward the June 17 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs.

Irish War Cry

Tenth-place finisher Irish War Cry has returned to trainer Graham Motion’s Fair Hill, Md., base with a long-term goal of the Haskell Invitational Stakes at Monmouth Park on July 30.

Returning to home track

Gormley (9th), Sonneteer (16th) and Irap (18th) all shipped back to California to regroup.

Tapwrit (6th) and Patch (14th) will both return to trainer Todd Pletcher’s New York barn to await future plans.

Thunder Snow, who didn’t complete the Derby after bucking out of the starting gate, left Tuesday for Huntsville, Ala., where he would catch a plane to England.                                           


Churchill Downs is home base for 13th-place finisher Girvin’s trainer, Joe Sharp, and future plans for the colt are undecided. A Preakness run hasn’t been completely ruled out.

Untrapped (12th), J Boys Echo (15th), Fast and Accurate (17th) and State of Honor (19th) are also already home at Churchill Downs, where they’ll regroup with future plans undecided.

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