For Immediate Release March 21, 2016
Cupid joined the Ultimate Kentucky Derby Poll presented by at No. 7 with his front-running 1 1/4-length victory over Whitmore in Saturday’s $900,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. But there was hardly agreement on the light gray’s chances in the May 7 Kentucky Derby, with the Bob Baffert-trained Cupid ranked everywhere from No. 2 to No. 19 by the panel of 13 noted handicappers, turf journalists and analysts.
Unbeaten Mohaymen remains the dominant No. 1 pick, getting all the top votes with the exception of two for No. 2 ranked Nyquist, the unbeaten 2-year-old champion whom he’ll meet in the April 2 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park.
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. HRRN will broadcast the Florida Derby live, as well as this week’s Louisiana Derby.
Michael Beychok, the 2012 National Handicapping Champion and Eclipse Award Handicapper of the Year, went from not ranking Cupid to putting him at No. 4, saying, “Very impressed by his courage and of course his connections.”
Jim Mulvihill, director of media and industry relations for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, did Beychok two better, having Cupid No. 19 a week ago but catapulting the Rebel victor to No. 2.
"He was determined to get the lead and had to work hard for it,” Mulvihill said. “I was amazed he still had so much fight left when Whitmore came to him. It's not easy for a horse to rush up to secure position, then relax to slow down the pace, and then still have the stamina and tenacity to fend off a serious challenge in the stretch. Cupid is now an elite Derby contender no matter what happens in his next start.”
James Scully, head of the Editorial Department at and a lead-contributor and content manager for’s blog and the Kentucky Derby website, also put Cupid at No. 4: “Had Cupid No. 10 off his maiden win, thought about placing him second after watching the Rebel. There’s no telling how good he is, could be scratching the surface. Wound up ranking him fourth but won’t be surprised to see Cupid win the Kentucky Derby. With further improvement expected, he’ll be very formidable this spring.”
Meanwhile, HRRN analyst Jude Feld, a former trainer, pegged Cupid at No. 19, saying cheerfully, “If Cupid wins the Kentucky Derby, I will kiss James Scully’s (butt) on the Pimlico finish line before the first race on Preakness Day.”
The Ultimate Kentucky Derby Poll presented by is overseen by five-time Eclipse Award-winning turf writer Jennie Rees, who provides comments on the consensus top 20 at Rees has Cupid in the middle at No. 12, saying, “Those with late-running horses such as Whitmore, Creator and Cherry Wine - though beaten by Cupid in the Rebel - should appreciate his appearance in the Kentucky Derby because he’s another quality speed horse to pressure the likes of Danzing Candy, Nyquist and Outwork.”
Other Ultimate Kentucky Derby pollsters are Ed DeRosa,’s marketing director and’s publicity director; HRRN co-founder and president Mike Penna; reigning NHC Tour winner Jonathon Kinchen; HRRN analyst and former Miss Connecticut Acacia Courtney; racing journalist and analyst Caton Bredar; Steve Byk, host of the popular weekday racing show At the Races with Steve Byk; Gary Palmisano, VIP Player Services Manager for Churchill Downs and; and Jeff Siegel, the prominent California analyst, handicapper and longtime horse owner.
About HRRN
The Horse Racing Radio Network is your home for Eclipse Award winning coverage of the biggest events in racing throughout the year. HRRN broadcasts more than 100 stakes races and is the official radio network of the Triple Crown 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, covered racing for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal for 32 years before leaving newspaper journalism to specialize in horse-racing communications, advocacy and fan education. Follow her on Twitter @TracksideJennie and at “Trackside Jennie” on Facebook.