By Dick Downey
The first and second place finishers in the Toyota Blue Grass and Arkansas Derby will secure spots in the Kentucky Derby, but beyond that there are a number of possibilities.
According to Churchill Downs, number 18 Vinceremos, number 19 Harry’s Holiday (20 points apiece) and number 22 Ride On Curlin (15 points) could join the Derby lineup with a third or fourth place finish.
Number 23 Coastline (13), number 24 Strong Mandate (11), Commissioner (10), Conquest Titan (9), Dance With Fate (8), Casiguapo (5) and Asserting Bear (5) each could join the fray with a third.
Big Bazinga (4) could be near the bubble projected by Churchill Downs officials by finishing third, and Coastline, Strong Mandate and Commissioner would be in the mix with a fourth. All third place finishers could be in the hunt.
Three to six horses can jump ahead of number 15 Candy Boy (30 points) in the standings.
The top two finishers in the Blue Grass and Arkansas Derby will be ahead of Candy Boy for sure -- but Arkansas Derby favorite Tapiture (42 points) is already ranked ahead of him and assured a spot in the Derby field.
Vinceremos, Harry’s Holiday or Coastline can pass him with a third in the Blue Grass. Ride On Curlin and Strong Mandate can pass him with a third-place finish in the Arkansas Derby.
Between four and eight horses can move ahead of number 16 Cairo Prince (24 points) and number 17 Uncle Sigh (24 points) and no one will split them.
The top two finishers in the Blue Grass and Arkansas Derby will pass both horses. Vinceremos and Harry’s Holiday can pass them by finishing third or fourth in the Blue Grass. Coastline, Dance With Fate, Casiguapo and Asserting Bear can pass them with a Blue Grass third. Ride On Curlin can also can pass them by finishing third or fourth in the Arkansas Derby. Strong Mandate, Commissioner and Conquest Titan will pass them with an Arkansas Derby third.