For Immediate Release

April18, 2016




Unbeaten juvenile champion Nyquist remained on top with 11 of 13 first-place votes in the latest Ultimate Kentucky Derby Poll presented by But the news of the week was the plunging of Cupid from No. 3 to 17 after being crushed as the heavy favorite in Saturday’s Arkansas Derby.


The poll came out before trainer Bob Baffert told reporters that Cupid suffered an entrapped epiglottis and was to have surgery Monday to correct the breathing obstruction. The other big swings in the poll involved the late-running Arkansas Derby victor Creator, who went from No. 20 to 6, and fellow-closer Suddenbreakingnews, fifth in Oaklawn Park’s Rebel after winning the Southwest, rejoining the poll at No. 11 following his runner-up performance in the Arkansas Derby.


Steve Asmussen and his team have really excelled this sophomore season landing three fillies in the Kentucky Oaks and Creator now joining Gun Runner in the Derby,” said pollster Steve Byk, host of the popular satellite radio show “At the Races with Steve Byk.” “A patient approach paid off with the Tapit son, as Creator is harnessing his ability at the perfect time. He will garner plenty of support from those looking for a pace collapse at the Downs.”


“Biggest change was to eliminate Cupid and move up Creator,” said racing analyst Caton Bredar.  “Despite a poor effort by the favorite, the overall quality of the field in the Arkansas Derby seems higher than most of the other final Derby preps.  While they still haven’t shown as much as Nyqvist, Gun Runner and Exaggerator, the top three—Creator, Suddenbreakingnews and Whitmore have to rank in the top 10 Derby contenders, with Creator offering a lot of upside as a horse getting really good at just the right time.”  


The Ultimate Kentucky Derby poll appears every Monday morning at, the website of Eclipse Award-winning Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN), which is partnering with, the official data source of the Kentucky Derby, to produce the rankings.


Even though the Kentucky Derby points qualifying races have concluded, there will still be changes in the remaining two polls. Among those who will be closely watching morning training is Gary Palmisano Jr., VIP player services manager for Churchill Downs and


“The top tier truly standout over the rest,” Palmisano said. “The next step in the handicapping process will be to monitor each one during their preparations for the Derby. A horse must be at the top of their game to win, so paying close attention to each horse over the next few weeks is critical in possibly picking the winner.”


The Ultimate Kentucky Derby Poll presented by is overseen by Jennie Rees, a five-time Eclipse Award-winning turf writer who provides comments on the consensus top 20 at Other Ultimate Kentucky Derby pollsters are’s Ed DeRosa and James Scully; HRRN’s Mike Penna, Jude Feld and Acacia Courtney;  2012 Eclipse Award-winning handicapper Michael Beychok; reigning NHC Tour winner Jonathon Kinchen; the NTRA’s Jim Mulvihill; and racing analyst, handicapper and horse owner Jeff Siegel.






About HRRN


The Horse Racing Radio Network is your home for Eclipse Award winning coverage of the biggest events in racing throughout the year. In 2016, HRRN will broadcast more than 100 stakes races from racetracks across the country, and is the official radio network of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont Stakes, and Breeders’ Cup World Championships. HRRN also produces a series of popular talk shows aired throughout the week on SiriusXM satellite radio: Xpressbet Radio on HRRN (Wednesday – Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET), Jock Talk presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka (Tuesday, 6-7 p.m. ET), Trainer Talk presented by Fasig-Tipton (Wednesday, 6-7 p.m. ET), Brisnet Call In Show (Thursday, 6-7 p.m. ET), Xpressbet Weekend Stakes Preview (Friday, 6-7 p.m. ET) and the Equine Forum (Saturday, 8-10 a.m. ET). .


For more information visit, follow us on Twitter @HRRN and like “Horse Racing Radio Network” on Facebook


About is the official data source of the Kentucky Derby,, and Churchill Downs Inc.’s family of racetracks. Founded in 1971 by Richard “Dick” Broadbent III as Bloodstock Research Information Services, was the first large-scale website to offer past performances online when it launched in 1996. Acquired by CDI in 1996, is a leading provider of horse racing information. Follow on Twitter @Brisnet.


About Jennie Rees


Jennie Rees, a five-time Eclipse Award winner and 2014 inductee into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame’s Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor, left newspaper journalism to specialize in horse-racing communications, advocacy and fan education. Follow her on Twitter @TracksideJennie and on Facebook.