Mucho Macho Man banked $180,000 for his 1 ½-length win in Saturday’s Grade II, $300,000 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds and moved into a tie for seventh position on the Graded Stakes Earnings list that will likely determine the field for Kentucky Derby 137 on Saturday, May 7 at Churchill Downs.

The $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) has been restricted to 20 starters since 1975. Graded stakes earnings accumulated in races on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” have determined the field for the 1 ¼-mile classic since 1986.

The Top 3 finishers in the Risen Star are ranked in the Top 10. Macho Mucho Man, with $270,000 in graded stakes earnings, moved from No. 25 into a tie for No. 7 with Soldat. Runner-up Santiva earned $60,000 to bring his total to $240,254 and went from No. 14 to No. 9. Third place finisher Rogue Romance moved up two spots to No. 6 after earning $30,000 and increased his total to $288,000. Also, Decisive Moment maintained his position at No. 12 after adding $6,000 for finishing fifth.

Archarcharch garnered $150,000 for his one-length victory in Monday’s Grade III, $250,000 Southwest at Oaklawn Park to debut at No. 15. Runner-up J P’s Gusto added $50,000 to his already lofty total, which currently stands at $540,000, good for No. 3 on the list.

The Factor, winner of Sunday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Vicente at Santa Anita, debuted at No. 25 after winning the $90,000 first prize. Runner-up Sway Away doubled his graded stakes earnings from a $30,000 check and jumped from No. 35 into a tie for No. 28 with Wilkinson at $60,000. San Vicente third Premier Pegasus earned $18,000 and moved up one position to No. 27 at $78,000.

Meanwhile, Boys At Tosconova ($532,060), Clubhouse Ride ($210,000) and Tapizar ($65,000) were removed from the list and Kentucky Derby consideration. Boys At Tosconova was sent to a Kentucky farm for R&R to recover from a possible problem ankle; Clubhouse Ride was sidelined by a hairline right ankle fracture; and Tapizar was to undergo surgery to remove a bone chip in his knee.

Here’s the Kentucky Derby 137 Graded Stakes Earnings Top 20 through Feb. 22 (with last week’s ranking on the Graded Stakes Earnings List plus graded stakes earnings and the trainer of the horse):

1 (1.)       Uncle Mo, $1,260,000, Todd Pletcher

2. (2.)       Gourmet Dinner, $700,000, Steve Standridge
3. (4.)       J P’s Gusto, $540,000 ($50,000), Joe Petalino
4. (5.)       Comma to the Top (g), $456,000, Peter Miller
5. (6.)       Turbulent Dancer (f), $295,550, Mike Puype
6. (8.)       Rogue Romance, $288,000 ($30,000), Ken McPeek
7.   (25.)     Mucho Macho Man, $270,000 ($180,000), Kathy Ritvo
7.   (7.)       Soldat, $270,000, Kiaran McLaughlin
9.   (14.)     Santiva, $240,254 ($60,000), Eddie Kenneally
10. (9.)       Dialed In, $240,000, Nick Zito
11. (10.)     To Honor And Serve, $210,000, Bill Mott
12. (12.)     Decisive Moment, $206,000 ($6,000), Juan Arias
13. (12.)     Jaycito, $200,000, Bob Baffert
14. (15.)     Anthony’s Cross, $162,000, Eoin Harty
15. (New)  Archarcharch, $150,000 ($150,000), Jinks Fires
16. (16.)     Riveting Reason, $147,500, Myung Kwon Cho
17. (17.)     Blue Laser, $143,502, Mark Casse
18. (18.)     Willcox Inn, $139,000, Mike Stidham
19. (19.)     Silver Medallion, $124,334, Steve Asmussen
20. (20.)     Brethren, $120,000, Todd Pletcher
20. (20.)     Sweet Ducky, $120,000, Kelly Breen

Next 10: Stay Thirsty ($110,000), Astrology ($105,893), Lou Brissie ($99,043), The Factor ($90,000), Major Gain ($86,370), Premier Pegasus ($78,000), Sway Away ($60,000), Wilkinson ($60,000) and Surrey Star-IRE ($44,257). Dropped Out: Boys At Tosconova ($532,060), Clubhouse Ride ($210,000) and Tapizar ($65,000).

The Kentucky Derby 137 Graded Stakes Earnings List includes all 3-year-olds – colts, geldings and fillies – who were made eligible to this year’s Triple Crown at $600 per horse when the early nomination period closed Jan. 22. Horses will be removed from the list when a horse’s connections publicly confirm there are no intentions to compete in the Kentucky Derby.

Two Grade II stakes races are schedule on Saturday at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla. (10 weeks in advance of Kentucky Derby): the $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth at 1 1/8 miles and $150,000 Hutcheson at seven furlongs.

Graded Stakes Money Up For Grabs This Weekend












Feb. 26

Fountain of Youth (G2)


1 1/8 M








Feb. 26

Hutcheson (G2)


7 F








Among those who could appear in the Fountain of Youth are No. 2 Gourmet Dinner ($700,000), No. 7 Soldat ($270,000) and No. 11 To Honor And Serve ($210,000) as well as promising colts Casper’s Touch ($0) and Shackleford ($0). Gourmet Dinner was also under consideration for the March 12 Tampa Bay Derby. Meanwhile, No. 10 Dialed In ($240,000) will bypass the Fountain of Youth and likely use another race as a prep for the April 3 Florida Derby, according to trainer Nick Zito. Entries for the Fountain of Youth and Hutcheson will be taken Wednesday morning.

Other open ungraded stakes events for 3-year-olds scheduled for Saturday include Sunland Park’s $100,000 Borderland Derby at 1 1/16 miles (a prep for the Grade III, $800,000 Sunland Derby on Sunday, March 27); the $50,000 Turf Paradise Derby over 1 1/16 miles near Phoenix, Ariz.; and Laurel Park’s $50,000 Miracle Wood at seven furlongs. Also, Fair Grounds will host the $60,000 Gentilly, a 1 1/16-mile turf race restricted to Louisiana-breds.

The Turf Paradise Derby, which produced Kentucky Derby starters Startac (10th in 2001) and Lusty Latin (15th in 2002), is expected to attract No. 42 Indian Winter ($22,500), who was scratched from the San Vicente when trainer Jerry Hollendorfer felt the Santa Anita surface was favoring front-runners.

Elsewhere, No. 1 Uncle Mo ($1,260,000), the champion 2-year-old of 2010 and runaway winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last fall, appears likely to make his 3-year-old debut in the $100,000 Timely Writer, an ungraded, one-turn mile overnight stakes at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, March 12. Owner Mike Repole and trainer Todd Pletcher originally planned to run the colt in the Grade II, $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby at 1 1/16 miles on the same day.

“The Gulfstream Park surface is very similar to the surface that Mo’s training on every day at Palm Meadows,” explained Pletcher. “There’s also the advantage of a 20-minute van ride to Gulfstream as opposed to a four-hour ride to Tampa Bay. Mo’s been training exceptionally well since his return and I am very confident and comfortable with either the Timely Writer or the Tampa Bay Derby.”

Said Repole: “Our number one goal and focus is to do what’s best for Uncle Mo – to have a very healthy and successful 3-year-old campaign. Mo has more than enough graded earnings to qualify for the (Kentucky) Derby on May 7. In racing, there’s no one’s opinion I trust more than Todd Pletcher. Just knowing how excited he is about the way Mo’s training is very encouraging. With the race more than two and a half weeks away, hopefully, this will give Mo’s fans ample time to make arrangements to watch his 3-year-old debut.”