2012 Blue Grass Stakes and Arkansas Derby: Final Chance To Grab Graded Earnings

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.

Rank Horse Graded Earnings
1 Hansen $1,400,000
2 Daddy Long Legs $1,294,030
3 Union Rags $1,170,000
4 Creative Cause $836,000
5 Wrote (IRE) $756,630
6 Gemologist $703,855
7 Take Charge Indy $698,400
8 Sabercat $601,429
9 I'll Have Another $601,000
10 Daddy Nose Best $545,558
11 Secret Circle $470,000
12 Yang Tse Kiang (FR) $422,211
13 Dullahan $405,000
14 Liaison $393,000
15 Alpha $380,000
16 Prospective $365,452
17 Trinniberg $324,500
18 Done Talking $311,000
19 Drill $300,000
20 On Fire Baby (f) $286,729
21 Went the Day Well $282,000
22 Rousing Sermon $270,000
23 Mark Valeski $260,000
24 El Padrino $250,000
25 Excaper $240,736
26 Algorithms $240,000
27 Reveron $220,000
28 Reneesgotzip (f) $200,000
29 Isn't He Clever $188,000
30 Disposablepleasure $182,500
31 Optimizer $181,375
32 Castaway $162,000
33 Red Duke $150,823
34 Currency Swap $150,000
35 My Adonis $140,000
36 Brother Francis $135,000
37 Battle Hardened $127,000
38 Genten $123,826
39 Mr. Bowling $115,848
40 Lucky Chappy (IRE) $115,000
41 Jack's in the Deck $105,000
42 Longview Drive $102,834
43 Lady of Shamrock $102,000
44 Morgan's Guerrilla $100,000
Teeth of the Dog $100,000
State of Play $100,000
Scatman $100,000
48 Shared Property $99,700
49 Fly Lexis Fly $99,481
50 Stirred Up $96,000
51 Thunder Moccasin $90,000
Tiger Walk $90,000
Blueskiesnrainbows $90,000
Overdriven $90,000
Howe Great $90,000
56 Zip Top (IRE) $85,244
57 Empire Way $85,000
58 News Pending $80,000
59 Motor City $78,383
60 Z Dager $75,000
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