It's the "last chance for romance" for horses with hopes of running in the 2012 Kentucky Derby, with a pair of graded stakes this Saturday: the G3-Lexington at Keeneland (Post time: 5:13pm Eastern, TV: TVG), and the G2-Jerome at Aqueduct (post time: 5:00pm Eastern; TV: TVG and HRTV). Neither race on it's own, provides enough of a winning purse to guarantee the winner a spot in the starting gate at Churchill Downs. However, if you own a horse on the proverbial Derby Bubble, an extra 120,000 in graded earnings could make all the difference.
Looking at the Lexington, Castaway currently sits around #30 on the graded earnings list with $162,000. If he were to win Saturday's Lexington, he'd jump up to $282,000 and would be right on the #20 cutoff point. For the other Lexington contenders, the situation is less promising. Morgan's Guerrilla has $100,000 in current earnings and an extra $120k isn't enough to guarantee a spot in the Derby unless several horses ahead of him defect from the race. News Pending currently has $80,000 in earnings, which puts him in a worse position than Morgan's Guerrilla.
At the end of the day, Castaway is really the only horse in the Lexington that could win his way into the Derby. The other contenders could improve their positions but would still require other horses dropping out before the race..
Below are the entries, post positions and morning line odds for Saturday's Lexington Stakes at Keeneland.
|1||Morgan's Guerrilla||J. Leparoux||M. Maker||6/1|
|2||Summer Front||R. Dominguez||C. Clement||9/2|
|3||Johannesbourbon||G. Gomez||K. Gorder||8/1|
|4||Skyring||J. Court||D W Lukas||30/1|
|5||Golden Ticket||M. Cruz||K. McPeek||6/1|
|6||Holiday Promise||J. Alvarado||T. Pletcher||6/1|
|7||Castaway||S. Bridgmohan||B. Baffert||3/1|
|8||Hammers Terror||R. Albarado||M. Stidham||30/1|
|9||All Squared Away||J. Garcia||W.Ward||50/1|
|10||News Pending||K. Desormeaux||D. Romans||5/1|
|11||Gold Megillah||J. Velazquez||G. Motion||10/1|