- Reader Matt writes:
Anybody concerned about Any Given Saturday's graded earnings? He absolutely can't have anything go wrong (ala Circular Quay in the Risen Star) in his last prep or he probably won't have enough to get into the starting gate at Churchill.The current graded earnings standings are here. Any Given Saturday currently stands 22nd, having earned $102,969 finishing second to Tiz Wonderful in the Kentucky Jockey Club last fall. There are a couple ahead that could drop out; King of the Roxy is hardly definite, and you'd think that Sedgefield would stick to turf or Polytrack. But there's also the danger of someone behind him jumping in front. The Florida Derby is worth $1 million, so a second, or even a third by a horse like Chelokee would put Any Given Saturday another notch down.
So Pletcher doesn't have quite as much leeway as Carl Nafzger does with Street Sense, or Doug O'Neill with Great Hunter in terms of using the race strictly as a Derby tuneup. (Although, considering that both of those will have only two preps, one would think that they need to get more than just a tuneup out of the race). Actually, you never want to see a horse finish out of the money in its last prep; but it would seem that Any Given Saturday must finish at least third to be assured of a spot. Nice catch by Matt; thanks for pointing that out.
- Reader Kevin is psyched about NO-TION-AL in the Florida Derby, and yeah, he could conceivably be that 4th choice in the betting, y'think? He has the most to prove in terms of class and Beyers; but he can certainly benefit from any action up front between Adore the Gold and the stubborn Stormello. And Notional is also working on the Cushion Track; most recently a six furlong move in 1:12.40 (2/21) on Saturday.