Dialed In , who banked $600,000 for his last-to-first victory in the April 2 Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park, jumped from No. 17 to No. 2 on the Kentucky Derby 137 Graded Stakes Earnings List, and longshot runner-up Shackleford is positioned at No. 20. The list will likely determine the field for the “Run for the Roses” at Churchill Downs May 7.
Uncle Mo remains the Kentucky Derby favorite and leads the way with $1.26 million in graded stakes earnings. He’ll continue his march toward Churchill Downs with a final prep race in the April 9 Resorts World New York Casino Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct. After Dialed In ($840,000), the Top 5 is rounded out by Louisiana Derby winner Pants On Fire ($623,000), Arkansas Derby hopeful J P's Gusto ($541,500), and Soldat ($540,000), who finished a distant fifth in the Florida Derby.
Shackleford, who was the longest shot in the Florida Derby at odds of 68-1, entered the Kentucky Derby picture with a $200,000 second-place check, which raised his graded stakes earnings to $212,000. That places him at No. 20, although the connections of No. 6 Comma to the Top have stated they have no intentions of running in the Kentucky Derby (Note: Track officials opted to keep Comma to the Top on the list this week until the result of Saturday’s Florida Derby).
“We’ll see how everything shakes down and if the $212,000 will be good enough to get in,” Shackleford’s trainer Dale Romans said April 4 in a release. “We won’t run him again. He’ll be pointed to the Derby, and if he doesn’t get in, we’ll give the (May 21) Preakness (gr. I) a try.”
With less than five weeks before Kentucky Derby 137, the list remains in flux. No. 5 Soldat, No. 10 To Honor and Serve, and No. 15 Stay Thirsty failed to post serious threats in the Florida Derby and their future plans were not known at press time.
No. 7 Master of Hounds, based in Ireland, remains a possible Derby starter but could remain overseas for the European classics. A final Derby decision about No. 12 Animal Kingdom , who has raced exclusively on turf and synthetic surfaces, won’t be made until the colt has a workout over Churchill Downs’ dirt oval. No. 13 Astrology’s plans haven’t been finalized either. And 10 open graded stakes races for 3-year-olds remain to be run with plenty of money up for grabs.
In addition to the Wood Memorial, this weekend’s races include Santa Anita Derby (gr. I, 1 1/8 miles) and TVG Illinois Derby (gr. III, 1 1/8 miles). Also, the Transylvania (gr. III) will be April 8 on opening day at Keeneland over 1 1/16 miles on turf, and the Bay Shore (gr. III), a seven-furlong sprint, is set for April 9 at Aqueduct, although neither is expected to produce a Derby starter.
Here’s the official Kentucky Derby 137 Graded Stakes Earnings Top 30 through April 3 (with last week’s ranking on the Graded Stakes Earnings List plus graded stakes earnings, the trainer of the horse and their likely next start):
Rank. (Last Week) Horse, Graded Stakes Earnings, Trainer (Possible Next Race)
1. (1.) Uncle Mo, $1,260,000, Todd Pletcher (April 9 Wood Memorial)
2. (17.) Dialed In, $840,000, Nick Zito (May 7 Kentucky Derby)
3. (2.) Pants On Fire, $623,000, Kelly Breen (May 7 Kentucky Derby)
4. (3.) J P’s Gusto, $541,500, Joe Petalino (April 16 Arkansas Derby)
5. (4.) Soldat, $540,000, Kiaran McLaughlin (TBD)
6. (5.) Comma to the Top, $471,000, Peter Miller (April 9 Santa Anita Derby but May 7 Kentucky Derby doubtful)
7. (6.) Master of Hounds, $441,884, Aidan O’Brien (May 7 Kentucky Derby or European classics)
8. (7.) Twice the Appeal, $400,000, Jeff Bonde (May 7 Kentucky Derby)
9. (8.) Mucho Macho Man , $370,000, Kathy Ritvo (May 7 Kentucky Derby)
10. (14.) To Honor and Serve, $350,000 Bill Mott (TBD)
11. (9.) Decisive Moment, $301,000, Juan Arias (May 7 Kentucky Derby)
12. (10.) Animal Kingdom, $285,000, Graham Motion (final decision on May 7 Kentucky Derby after work over dirt)
13. (11.) Astrology , $281,893, Steve Asmussen (TBD)
14. (12.) The Factor , $270,000, Bob Baffert (April 16 Arkansas Derby)
15. (13.) Stay Thirsty, $260,000, Todd Pletcher (TBD)
16. (14.) Jaycito, $250,000, Bob Baffert (April 9 Santa Anita Derby)
17. (16.) Santiva , $240,254, Eddie Kenneally (April 16 Toyota Blue Grass)
18. (17.) Watch Me Go, $232,500 Kathleen O’Connell (April 9 Illinois Derby or April 16 Arkansas Derby)
19. (19.) Premier Pegasus, $228,000, Myung Kwon Cho (April 9 Santa Anita Derby)
20. (55.) Shackleford , $212,000, Dale Romans (May 7 Kentucky Derby or May 21 Preakness)
21. (20.) Nehro, $200,000, Steve Asmussen (April 16 Arkansas Derby)
22. (21.) Archarcharch, $180,000, Jinks Fires (April 16 Arkansas Derby)
23. (22.) Anthony's Cross , $162,000, Eoin Harty (April 9 Santa Anita Derby)
24. (23.) Brethren , $155,000, Todd Pletcher (April 16 Arkansas Derby)
25. (27.) Flashpoint, $140,000, Rick Dutrow Jr. (TBD)
26. (24.) Willcox Inn, $139,000, Mike Stidham (April 16 Toyota Blue Grass)
27. (25.) Silver Medallion, $124,334, Steve Asmussen (April 9 Santa Anita Derby)
28. (40.) Travelin Man, $120,000, Todd Pletcher (April 30 The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial)
29. (26.) Ruler On Ice, $96,000, Kelly Breen (April 30 The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial)
30. (27.) Joes Blazing Aaron, $90,000, Mike Maker (April 16 Toyota Blue Grass)