Kentucky Derby contenders abound

The Kentucky Derby field, of course, is limited to 20 based on earnings in graded stakes, which amounts to a rather whimsical attempt at crowd control, but there it is. And so noisemakers 21 through 100 are the also-eligibles.

It was rather difficult to get them down to 100, frankly. But the firm roundness of the number and its implied completeness, as opposed to, say, 141 or 267 or 1,505, urged editing. I could have included more Europeans, such as Harvard N Yale, who with an eye on invasion recently ran on the all-weather track at Wolverhampton, and Dabirsim, the unbeaten French sensation who's 85-1 in the Vegas Derby futures, but such horses rarely make the journey. And I certainly could have included Chips All In, who won the recent Eddie Logan at Santa Anita, or Swag Daddy, who won the Restrainor Stakes at Aqueduct. But I think Chips All In probably found a home on the turf, and Swag Daddy's performance was just too slow to inspire or excite. In other words, this is a personal list, made entirely for purposes of my own amusement and edification.

Quite simply, I tried to include horses I think will make some noise on the road to the Triple Crown, giving preference to those that might be able to embrace the classic distance, those I know are in training and, in an effort to inform, those that might still be flying beneath the ken of popular radar. And so here are the also-eligibles: 21-100.

Top Triple Crown contenders

21. Thunder Moccasin
Sire: A. P. Warrior
Trainer: Todd Pletcher

The little colt recently zipped through lively fractions (45.60 seconds for the half-mile) to win his debut in a very fast clocking (1:15.81 for 6 1/2 furlongs) at Gulfstream, and his pedigree suggests he could be successful at longer distances.

22. Casual Trick
Sire: Bernardini
Trainer: Nick Zito

In only his third start, he narrowly lost the Gulfstream Park Derby, by a half-length, to Reveron; but the effort represented significant improvement, and the lightly raced colt who's a few months younger than most of his rivals should continue to move forward for a Hall of Fame trainer who knows how to hit the moment squarely.

23. Summer Front
Sire: War Front
Trainer: Christophe Clement

Unbeaten in his three outings that include two stakes victories, all on the turf, he has a pedigree that suggests he might be able to make the transition to dirt. Either way, though, he's going to be a serious noisemaker.

24. O'Prado Again
Sire: El Prado
Trainer: Dale Romans

He won the Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct in his first start on a fast dirt surface, giving him consecutive victories to conclude his juvenile campaign.

25. Isn't He Clever
Sire: Smarty Jones
Trainer: Henry Dominguez

The intriguing colt who has won three of four recently took down the Riley Allison Futurity at Sunland Park, dominating by nearly 12 lengths, and in record time, making him the early favorite for the $800,000 Sunland Derby in March, where he could get the earnings necessary to put himself in the roseate Derby.

26. Indian Ambush
Sire: Indian Charlie
Trainer: Bill Mott

The beautifully moving colt flashed his potential in his second start, beating a solid maiden field at Churchill and running the turn effectively, a talent that often pays off in May. He's training in Florida for his return.

27. I'll Have Another
Sire: Flower Alley
Trainer: Doug O'Neill

He flashed talent last summer at Hollywood and Del Mar before heading east for the Hopeful Stakes, where he raced wide and apparently didn't handle the sloppy going. But he has talent and seems to be training forwardly in Southern California for his return, possibly in the San Vicente.

28. Shared Property
Sire: Scat Daddy
Trainer: Tom Amoss

Winner of the Arlington-Washington Futurity in only his second start, he has had two workouts in New Orleans as he prepares for his return to competition.

29. Reveron
Sire: Songandaprayer
Trainer: Augustin Bezara

The Gulfstream Park Derby was his third consecutive victory, and he seems to be moving in the right direction. But his pedigree questions his distance capabilities, and he hasn't seen the best in Florida.

30. El Padrino
Sire: Pulpit
Trainer: Todd Pletcher

He progressed steadily last year, finishing second in his debut, then winning by many lengths and then running third in the Remsen Stakes. "He has a chance to be there," his trainer said abut the colt and the Kentucky Derby. El Padrino could take the New Orleans road to Kentucky.

31. Blingo
Sire: Artie Schiller
Trainer: John Shirreffs

An impressive debut winner on the turf, the handsome gelding moved to the main track for his second start, where he rallied strongly from far back to finish sixth in the CashCall Futurity. So his options are many and his future bright.

32. Midnight Transfer
Sire: Hard Spun
Trainer: Carla Gaines

He sparkled on opening day at Santa Anita, running three-quarters of a mile in 1:08.02. He'll probably stretch out, according to his trainer, and try two turns for his next trick.

33. A Boy Named Em
Sire: Point Given
Trainer: Eddie Kenneally

He rallied powerfully to win his debut in the slop at Churchill Downs and has strung together some solid workouts in Florida in preparation for his 3-year-old campaign, which begins Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

34. My Adonis
Sire: Pleasantly Perfect
Trainer: Kelly Breen

He won the Jean Lafitte Stakes by five in preparation for the Delta Jackpot, where he got burned on an incredibly hot pace. Training in Florida, he could be fast enough to run with Hansen in the Holy Bull.

35. Maan
Sire: Malibu Moon
Trainer: Eddie Kenneally

The $200,000 purchase won his debut at Churchill in promising fashion last summer. He has been training at Palm Meadows in Florida for his return.

36. Big Blue Nation
Sire: Bluegrass Cat
Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Third in last year's Hopeful after an impressive debut, he has had two workouts at the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida in preparation for his return.

37. Longview Drive
Sire: Pulpit
Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer

After three consecutive victories, he traveled from California to Louisiana for the Delta Jackpot, where he promptly fell far behind before rallying for third. He'll race in blinkers for the first time Saturday in the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita.

38. Exfactor
Sire: Exchange Rate
Trainer: Bernie Flint

The winner of the Bashford Manor at Churchill, he returned to win the Sugar Bowl Stakes at Fair Grounds and could try two turns for the first time in the Lecomte Stakes on Jan. 21.

39. How Do I Win
Sire: Corinthian
Trainer: Todd Pletcher

The gray colt has won his two most recent races by a total of 20 lengths. He'll make his stakes debut and his first start around two turns in Saturday's Count Fleet Stakes at Aqueduct.

40. Sir Bond
Sire: Street Sense
Trainer: Neil Howard

The handsome colt has been second in each of his starts; in both, however, he encountered trouble. But he was belly-down-ears-back running through the stretch in his last and could find the winner's circle Friday at Fair Grounds. He looks and moves like a runner, and he's in the hands of a masterful horseman.

41. In The Beat
Sire: Street Sense
Trainer: Carl Nafzger

Like his sire, he rallied while skimming the rail to win at Churchill Downs in a fast clocking. His pedigree suggests he'll appreciate more distance, which he'll find Saturday at Gulfstream.

42. Indian Evening
Sire: Indian Charlie
Trainer: Josie Carroll

Third in the Saratoga Special, he won the Swynford at Woodbine to conclude his juvenile campaign. He's galloping on a farm in Florida in preparation for his 3-year-old season.

43. Motor City
Sire: Street Sense
Trainer: Ian Wilkes

He, too, with Calvin Borel riding, got through on the rail to win at Churchill, specifically the Iroquois Stakes, in a performance that was both auspicious and recollective.

44. Sweet Swap
Sire: Candy Ride
Trainer: John Sadler

He went to the sidelines after a disappointing performance behind Secret Circle in the Jack Goodman Stakes, but he has sizzled in recent workouts at Santa Anita to indicate his readiness to return to competition.

45. Souper Speedy
Sire: Indian Charlie
Trainer: Tom Albertrani

After defeating Hierro in his debut, he ran second in the Remsen Stakes in only his second start.

46. Out of Bounds
Sire: Discreet Cat
Trainer: Eoin Harty

Following up his victory at Hollywood Park with a bullet workout, he'll make his stakes debut Saturday in the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita.

47. Managed Account
Sire: Malibu Moon
Trainer: Teresa Pompay

He won the Toccet Stakes at Aqueduct and finished sixth in the Remsen after a stumbling start and a rough trip; he recently turned in a bullet workout at Gulfstream Park.

48. Fantastic Song
Sire: Lemon Drop Kid
Trainer: Chad Brown

He ran third in the grassy Pilgrim Stakes and then jumped, unsuccessfully, into the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, but he appears to be training well on the main track in Florida. And since his sire won the Belmont Stakes, he could reasonably make a dirty transition.

49. Cozzetti
Sire: Cozzene
Trainer: Dale Romans

Of his four races, only one was on a dirt surface, where he won by five lengths, and the gray colt can run all day.

50. Brigand
Sire: Flatter
Trainer: Bob Baffert

The $925,000 purchase had a promising start to his career last summer, winning his debut and running second in the Hollywood Juvenile. He went to the sidelines after a disappointing performance in the Best Pal Stakes, but he has been training at Santa Anita in preparation for his return.

51. Lucky Chappy
Sire: High Chaparral
Trainer: Graham Motion

The Italian import rallied strongly to finish fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf; although five of his races have been on the grass, he has been nominated to some upcoming stakes on the main track.

52. Drill
Sire: Lawyer Ron
Trainer: Bob Baffert

He won two of his first three, including the Del Mar Futurity, but has failed consistently in his efforts around two turns. He'll return to sprints, where he could be formidable.

53. Africanist
Sire: Johannesburg
Trainer: Eddie Kenneally

After a series of solid performances, he disappointed in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, but he appears to be training well in Florida.

54. Stephanoatsee
Sire: A.P. Indy
Trainer: Graham Motion

A half-brother to Shackleford, he could be better than his Remsen performance (7th) suggests. He'll get another chance to prove himself Saturday, in the Count Fleet at Aqueduct.

55. Clip The Coupons
Sire: Congrats
Trainer: Chad Brown

He sparkled in his debut at Saratoga and then veered off in the direction of mediocrity. But after some time off, he could find his best form in Florida.

56. Shkspeare Shaliyah
Sire: Shakespeare
Trainer: Doodnauth Shivmangal

Winner of the Pilgrim Stakes, he has run exclusively on turf, but he'll make his dirt debut Saturday in the Count Fleet Stakes at Aqueduct.

57. King Kid
Sire: Lemon Drop Kid
Trainer: Dale Romans

After a slow maiden victory at Churchill, he finished third in the Gulfstream Park Derby.

58. Margano
Sire: Dynaformer
Trainer: Barclay Tagg

The full-brother to Barbaro appears to be improving, having won his most recent outing. Although he has raced on the turf, he could reasonably try, given his pedigree, the dirt.

59. Holdin Bullets
Sire: Ghostzapper
Trainer: Wesley Ward

After winning his debut at Keeneland, the speedster finished third, five lengths back, in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint.

60. Atigun
Sire: Istan
Trainer: Ken McPeek

After racing on turf and synthetic surfaces, he won his first outing on dirt and then ran fifth in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes despite a wide trip.

61. Stat
Sire: Unbridled's Song
Trainer: Todd Pletcher

After a sharp maiden win, he ran second in the Saratoga Special to Union Rags. Training in Florida for his return, he had his first serious workout (three-eighths in 37.74) this week.

62. Il Villano
Sire: Pollard's Vision
Trainer: Susan Crowell

He concluded his juvenile campaign with consecutive front-running stakes victories, but he'll get a big test Saturday in the Count Fleet Stakes.

63. Groovin' Solo
Sire: Bob And John
Trainer: Myung Kwon Cho

He stepped forward and improved sharply when he moved to the dirt, winning on New Year's Eve at Santa Anita, where his clocking was about three lengths slower than that for Fed Biz the same day.

64. Night Tide
Sire: Malibu Moon
Trainer: Bob Baffert

Yet another possibility from the powerful barn of the white-haired sage, he ran third in the Hollywood Juvenile last summer.

65. Big Screen
Sire: Speightstown
Trainer: Frank Alexander

The recent Gulfstream winner appears to be improving, and a move into stakes company soon isn't beyond his reach.

66. One Sock Down
Sire: Dehere
Trainer: E. J. Coletti

He impressed in his debut at Gulfstream, winning by three in a solid time; the fast chestnut will try to stretch out Saturday.

67. State of Play
Sire: War Front
Trainer: Graham Motion

He missed some training prior to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf and ran poorly, but the talented colt appears to be doing well in Florida in preparation for his 3-year-old season.

68. Seven Lively Sins
Sire: Stormy Atlantic
Trainer: Al Stall Jr.

A tough hard-trying colt, he has proven he can carry his speed around two turns and should be dangerous in New Orleans.

69. Unbridled's Note
Sire: Unbridled's Song
Trainer: Steve Asmussen

A debut winner at Churchill, he's in California preparing for the second start of his career.

70. Spirit Rules
Sire: Tribal Rule
Trainer: Paul Aguirre

The Cal-bred won by eight lengths at Hollywood Park in a rapid clocking to suggest he might have some noisy potential.

71. Battle Force
Sire: Giant's Causeway
Trainer: John Shirreffs

Third in the Generous Stakes, he never has raced on dirt but seems to have trained well over the main track at Santa Anita.

72. Speightscity
Sire: Speightstown
Trainer: Gary Contessa

He finished far back in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, but he could make some noise this winter in New York.

73. Maritimer
Sire: Stormy Atlantic
Trainer: Sid Attard

The Canadian-bred romped in the Display Stakes at Woodbine. He has the talent to compete with top horses here, but he'll have many lucrative opportunities north of the border.

74. Mark Valeski
Sire: Proud Citizen
Trainer: Larry Jones

After chasing Union Rags in his debut, he won his next outing easily, beating future stakes winner Ancient Rome. He's in New Orleans preparing for his return at Fair Grounds.

75. Z Dager
Sire: Mizzen Mast
Trainer: Steve Asmussen

He made two distinct moves and finished gamely in his recent victory at Fair Grounds, where he could get tested for class and talent in the coming weeks.

76. Ted's Folly
Sire: Wild Tale
Trainer: Wilson Brown

Bought for $1,200, he finished the year with six consecutive victories and earnings of $335,491. He recently had a workout at Fair Grounds, and wouldn't it be inspiring if such a horse were to race for the sport's jewels?

77. Lord Tarzan
Sire: Leroidesanmaux
Trainer: Graham Motion

He's intriguing if only because he represents the same connections -- owner (Team Valor), trainer and sire -- as last year's Kentucky Derby winner, Animal Kingdom. Lord Tarzan ran only once as a juvenile, closing strongly to be second to Holdin Bullets, but is in Florida preparing for his return.

78. Bernster
Sire: Storm Cat
Trainer: Bob Baffert

Bet down to 9-5 in his debut, he set a rapid pace and held on to be second, behind Midnight Transfer, on opening day at Santa Anita, in what could turn out to be a key maiden race.

79. Tiger Walk
Sire: Tale Of The Cat
Trainer: I. Correas

He concluded his juvenile campaign with consecutive victories at Laurel and seemed to take a big step foward when he moved from the turf to the dirt.

80. Currency Swap
Sire: High Cotton
Trainer: Teresa Pompey

The unbeaten colt won the Hopeful, but then a chipped ankle abbreviated his juvenile campaign. He reportedly has been galloping at a Florida farm in preparation for his return to competition.

81. Fire Alarm
Sire: Fusaichi Pegasus
Trainer: Bret Calhoun

Despite a dawdling pace, he ran three lengths behind Gemologist at Churchill in an encouraging effort, but then disappointed in the Springboard Stakes at Remington. The long-legged, lightly raced colt has potential and plenty of room for development, but he obviously needs to take some big steps forward in New Orleans if he's going to have a clamorous impact on the road to the Triple Crown.

82. B Shanny
Sire: Street Cry
Trainer: Michael Hushion

After a sharp victory at Saratoga and just before he was to run in the Champagne, he chipped a knee. And so he's far behind, but he could make some noise down the road.

83. Treacherous
Sire: Ghostzapper
Trainer: Richard Mandella

In his first effort around two turns, he finished less than three lengths behind Sky Kingdom.

84. Wharton
Sire: War Front
Trainer: Steve Asmussen

The $485,000 purchase beat a good group of maidens at Churchill and has a couple of workouts at Santa Anita in preparation for his 3-year-old season.

85. Macho Rocket
Sire: Macho Uno
Trainer: Bob Baffert

The fast colt won his debut in November at Hollywood Park and will soon emerge at Santa Anita.

86. Fort Loudon
Sire: Awesome of Course
Trainer: Stanley Gold

Won three consecutive stakes at Calder and then struggled when he went to the deep end of the pool, finishing seventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. He's training in Florida.

87. Holy Candy
Sire: Candy Ride
Trainer: John Sadler

In his debut, as the 2-1 favorite, he finished a half-length behind Empire Way. And he appears to be training well, with a recent bullet six-furlong move at Hollywood Park, to suggest he's ready to get into the winner's circle.

88. Hammers Terror
Sire: Artie Schiller
Trainer: Mike Stidham

He returned with a bullet workout after his recent victory at Fair Grounds; a winner of two of his three outings, his only loss being by a nose, he's aimed at the Lecomte Stakes on Jan. 21.

89. Banner Bill
Sire: Rockport Harbor
Trainer: Ralph Biamonte

He won his first three outings, including two stakes at Woodbine, before finishing fourth in the Saratoga Special.

90. Candy's Jewel
Sire: Candy Ride
Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer

A runner-up finish behind Sky Kingdom could have flipped his switch; since then he appears to be training sharply and should soon find the winner's circle.

91. Handsome Mike
Sire: Scat Daddy
Trainer: Doug O'Neill

He set a lively pace in the CashCall before fading, and so distance is a question. And he could be better on turf. But he'll remain on the dirt Saturday in the Sham Stakes, where he'll probably have to be content to stalk Secret Circle.

92. Laurie's Rocket
Sire: Bluegrass Cat
Trainer: Dallas Stewart

A two-time winner last year, he faltered against top company, but he stepped forward when second in the Sugar Bowl Stakes in New Orleans.

93. Radiant Talent
Sire: Johannesburg
Trainer: Steve Margolis

His fast maiden score at Fair Grounds suggests he could soon be ready to step into stakes company.

94. Got Even
Sire: Stephen Got Even
Trainer: Peter Miller

The Cal-bred stakes winner has a pedigree that suggests he could stretch out effectively, and he's unbeaten in two starts on dirt.

95. Junebugred
Sire: Corinthian
Trainer: David Fawkes

After some sharp works, he scored his maiden victory at Aqueduct before going south. He could be aimed at the Smarty Jones Stakes on Jan. 16 at Oaklawn Park.

96. Desert Storm
Sire: Tiznow
Trainer: Bill Mott

The $440,000 yearling purchase rallied wide, from far back, to finish third in his debut to suggest his potential. In other words, for him, as with most of these youngsters, possibilities outnumber accomplishments. He has been training at Payson Park in Florida.

97. Whistleblower
Sire: Grand Slam
Trainer: Ken McPeek

He seemed to wake up in his most recent outing, a two-length victory at Aqueduct, and will make his stakes debut Saturday in the Count Fleet.

98. Went The Day Well
Sire: Proud Citizen
Trainer: Graham Motion

After the colt raced twice in England, Team Valor purchased him, obviously with the intention of trying him on dirt; he's nominated to the Santa Anita Derby.

99. Wrote
Sire: High Chaparral
Trainer: Aidan O'Brien

If the winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf isn't quite up to the challenge of the European classics, could he return for a run at the roses?

100. Twelve Hundred
Sire: Cape Town
Trainer: James DiVito

A $1,200 purchase, the Ill-bred won the Prairie Meadows Juvenile Mile by eight lengths last summer and then seemed to regress, but he obviously has talent and Cinderella on his side.