04/26/2007 12:00AM

Xchanger unlikely for Derby, unless he's sold


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Xchanger, winner of the April 21 Federico Tesio Stakes, is only "20 percent" likely to run in the Kentucky Derby unless he is sold in the coming days, trainer and part-owner Mark Shuman said Thursday.

Shuman said there are several parties interested in buying the Exchange Rate colt, who has sufficient graded earnings to gain entry into a Kentucky Derby field that is likely to be oversubscribed. He said he could not predict if a deal would be finalized.

"I've been in this business long enough that until you see the money, you don't believe" the sale will happen, he said.

Shuman said Xchanger is in top condition, but that his inclination would be to wait for the May 19 Preakness at Pimlico, where Xchanger won the Tesio.

"We could let them beat up on each other in the Derby, and come into the Preakness with a fresh horse off four weeks' rest," he said.

If Xchanger does not enter the Derby, that would open the door for another horse to get into the field, which is limited to the top 20 entrants based on graded earnings. Teuflesberg, winner of the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn this winter, ranked 21st among horses being considered for the race, as of Thursday afternoon, with Imawildandcrazyguy 22nd on the earnings list.

Two of those ahead of Teuflesberg and Imawildandcrazyguy - Lexington Stakes winner Slew's Tizzy, and now Xchanger - are questionable for the race.

Teuflesberg and Imawildandcrazyguy were entered for stakes races on Saturday, the former in the Derby Trial at Churchill and the latter in the Unbridled Stakes at Calder. The connections of both horses said they would be scratched if it appears they would get into the Derby.