The connections of several Kentucky Derby contenders might be throwing back a few of these as they wait to see if their horses are able to qualify for the "Greatest Two Minutes In Sports."
For a handful of 2012 Kentucky Derby hopefuls, this Saturday represents their last chance to solidify their spot in the starting gate at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May. The $750,000 G1-Blue Grass Stakes and the $1 million G1-Arkansas Derby will provide the winner with ticket to the Derby, regardless of their graded stakes earnings before the race. A second place finish (or worse), however, may keep some talented colts on the sidelines for the biggest race of the year.
Below are the graded stakes earnings for the Top 60 Triple Crown nominated three-year-olds (via the Thoroughbred Times). Horses names that appear in bold indicate a starter in either the Blue Grass Stakes or the Arkansas Derby this weekend. Several horses on the list, like Algorithms, are off the Derby trial, while others, like Yang Tse Kiang (FR), are not expected to compete at Churchill Downs. [Edited to add Isn't He Clever]
As has been the case since the conclusion of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Hansen has zero concerns about making it the the Derby given his huge collection of graded earnings. Sabercat, Secret Circle, Dullahan and Prospective are also safe at this point in time. Optimizer, Howe Great and Scatman find themselves with serious work to do to make it to Louisville. A second place finish, and the $200,000 in graded earnings that comes along with it, probably gets the job done for Optimizer and Scatman. Howe Great is a more precarious position as the Blue Grass is a $750,000 race with a $150,000 prize to second place finishers. That means if Howe Great were to finish second, at worst, he'd have a total of $240,000 graded stakes earnings, and that probably won't get him into the top 20. Like Bodemeister in the Arkansas Derby, Howe Great needs a win in the Blue Grass to break into the Top 20.
|2||Daddy Long Legs||$1,294,030|
|7||Take Charge Indy||$698,400|
|9||I'll Have Another||$601,000|
|10||Daddy Nose Best||$545,558|
|12||Yang Tse Kiang (FR)||$422,211|
|20||On Fire Baby (f)||$286,729|
|21||Went the Day Well||$282,000|
|29||Isn't He Clever||$188,000|
|40||Lucky Chappy (IRE)||$115,000|
|41||Jack's in the Deck||$105,000|
|43||Lady of Shamrock||$102,000|
|Teeth of the Dog||$100,000|
|State of Play||$100,000|
|49||Fly Lexis Fly||$99,481|
|56||Zip Top (IRE)||$85,244|