Zipse’s Kentucky Derby Daily – Day 31
It’s time to pay extra close attention to who will get in, and who will be left out of the Kentucky Derby party due to insufficient earnings, and no race will be more crucial than Saturday's Santa Anita Derby.
Checking the latest Graded Stakes Earnings list below, we can see that only horse (Comma to the Top) has already earned enough to advance to the Kentucky Derby without worry. Since trainer Peter Miller has indicated that his expierenced colt will not run in the Kentucky Derby, it means every horse running in the Grade 1 California prep, with First Saturday in May aspirations, will need to add some money to qualify for the 20-horse field.
The Favored for the Santa Anita Derby will be Premier Pegasus. Off his super performance in the San Felipe, Premier Pegasus is one of the favorites for the Kentucky Derby, but with only $228,000 in graded earnings and 19th on the current list, PrePeg could find himself on the outside looking in if he is shutout on Saturday. He does not need to win, but he must at least collect 3rd place money to ensure a spot. In a similar situation is likely second choice Jaycito, #16 on the list, who would probably be passed up if he can’t add to his current total. With only a 3rd or better needed, PrePeg and Jaycito have a lot less pressure than some of the other talented colts lining up for California’s most prestigious prep race.
Chief among them are the Sham Stakes hero, Anthony’s Cross, and the El Camino Real Derby winner, Silver Medallion. Despite those 2011 stakes wins, their graded earnings totals of $162,000 and $124,334 clearly leave them in a precarious position heading into Saturday. At #23 and #27 respectively, both colts may need to finish 1st or 2nd to earn enough to be one of the 20 horses running for the roses. As strong a field as it appears the Santa Anita Derby will attract, that is a bit of a daunting task. You may say, well if they can’t finish 1-2 on Saturday, they don’t deserve to be in Louisville, but history tells us there have been many Derby winners who did not finish in the top two in their final prep race.
Left with even more to do at Santa Anita are some potentially very good horses.
Mr. Commons was thought well enough to be included in the latest pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. The son of Artie Schiller could be any kind, but with zero in graded stakes earnings to date, it is highly unlikely that he would qualify for the Derby unless he wins on Saturday. Meanwhile other promising sophomores like Bench Points, and Indian Winter may have a few graded dollars in the bank, but they are also probably in the win or nothing predicament. Can you imagine if any of these colts run a huge race only to be nosed out for the win, thereby ending their Derby dreams?
As if the Santa Anita Derby needed any more excitement, the fact that so many of these horses are fighting for their Kentucky Derby lives makes the $1 million race all the more interesting. Let the games begin!