Vacancy At The Stakes Barn

The main problem with a race that takes less than two minutes to run occurs in the two weeks that lead up to the event.

It gets dry in the fortnight that runs between the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. At times it’s so dry that you just want to see a horse. Any horse, really.

The contenders for the 136th Preakness Stakes will show up next Wednesday or Thursday. The horses don’t spend a handful of weeks like they do in Louisville. That’s always bothered me. What makes Chuchill better than Pimlico? I’m guessing it’s prestige over location, but the lack of familiarity for the 3-year-olds must affect their mindset.

Then again, I don’t own or train any horses. Yet.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 20 horses were still shooting for the Black Eyed Susans next Saturday. Only 14 can make the final cut. Thanks to Pimlico’s VP of Communications Mike Gathagan, who pretty much runs the Preakness, for providing me with the graded stakes (or non-restricted stakes) earnings of entries. Here’s the current breakdown. There will be a test at the end.

Graded stakes earnings for the 20 Preakness candidates. The top seven qualify for a starting position in the race:

Animal Kingdom, $1,696,800, Dialed In, $840,000, Nehro, $800,000, Midnight Interlude, $600,000, Mucho Macho Man, $570,000, Shackleford $312,000, Astrology, $311,893, Santiva, $242,397, King Congie, $75,000, Flashpoint, $140,000, Mr. Commons, $120,000, Norman Asbjornson, $100,000, Ruler On Ice, $96,000, Dance City, $100,000, Sway Away, $111,500, Concealed Identity, $0, Casper’s Touch, $20,000, Isn’t He Perfect, $37,000, Harlan’s Hello, $2,000, Saratoga Red, $17,500.

Non-restricted stakes earnings for the 12 Preakness candidates who do not qualify for the field on graded stakes earnings. The top four qualify.

Santiva, $242,397, King Congie, $143,000, Flashpoint, $140,000, Mr. Commons, $120,000, Norman Asbjornson, $100,000, Ruler On Ice, $106,000, Dance City, $100,000, Sway Away, $111,500, Concealed Identity, $56,250, Casper’s Touch, $27,982, Isn’t He Perfect, $37,000, Harlan’s Hello, $2,000, Saratoga Red, $17,500.

Overall earnings for the remaining nine horses that do not earn positions in the field with graded stakes or non-restrictive stakes earnings. The top three qualify:

Norman Abjornson, $167,200, Ruler On Ice, $166,500, Dance City, $160,900, Sway Away, $126,600, Concealed Identity, $120,780, Casper’s Touch, $107,024, Isn’t He Perfect, $90,222, Harlan’s Hello, $43,094, Saratoga Red, $41,300.

In other words, Saratoga Red needs some help.

Get an instant “Dash of Dachille.” Follow him on Twitter at WBALDash.

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