04/04/2010 11:00PM

Pleasant Prince tries to add cash in Blue Grass


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Ken Ramsey said he believes Pleasant Prince probably would have made the 20-horse cutoff for the 136th Kentucky Derby even without another race. But just to make sure, Ramsey has instructed trainer Wesley Ward to prepare the colt for a run Saturday in the Grade 1, $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.

Pleasant Prince, owned by Ramsey and his wife, Sarah, has $162,500 in graded earnings, most of them from the March 20 Florida Derby, in which he closed stoutly to finish second by a nose to Ice Box.

"Every year except for 2008, we'd be in with the earnings we've got already," said Ramsey. "So we're on the bubble, although you know that some horses ahead of us will pull out because they'll get hurt or sick or won't work well.

"If we run fourth in the Blue Grass, that's worth $37,500, and we're in. But of course we're shooting for number one. The horse worked a great five furlongs and couldn't be any better, so we're excited."

Pleasant Prince, a $30,000 yearling purchase who ran for claiming prices in the first two of his seven career races, drilled five furlongs Sunday in 58.40 seconds over the Keeneland Polytrack. He is one of at least eight 3-year-olds expected when Blue Grass entries are drawn Wednesday in the Limestone Cafe on the racetrack grounds.

Other likely starters for the 1 1/8-mile Blue Grass are Aikenite, Codoy, Giant's Tomb, Interactif, Odysseus, Make Music for Me, and Paddy O'Prado.

Odysseus, who arrived here Sunday following a flight from south Florida, had his first tour of the Keeneland track Monday when jogging a mile and galloping 1 1/2 miles under Dan Blacker, assistant to trainer Tom Albertrani.

TVG will have live coverage of the half-hour post draw starting at 11:30 a.m. Eastern.

The Ramseys have had one previous Derby starter, Ten Cents a Shine, eighth in the 2003 running. Besides Pleasant Prince, they also intend to run Dean's Kitten, winner of the March 27 Lane's End Stakes, in the May 1 Derby at Churchill Downs.

Dean's Kitten, trained by Mike Maker, will train up to the Derby at the Trackside training center just a few miles from Churchill.

"Mike will school him in the gate and the paddock and maybe gallop him once over the track at Churchill, but otherwise he's going to stay at Trackside the whole time," said Ramsey.