04/11/2015 5:19PM

Divining Rod takes Lexington; unlikely to run in Kentucky Derby

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The 10 points Divining Rod earned for winning the Lexington Stakes might get him into the Kentucky Derby field, but his owner indicated the colt is unlikely to enter the May 2 race.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Divining Rod got a patient ride from Julien Leparoux before surging to victory Saturday in the 34th running of the Grade 3, $250,000 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland, possibly earning enough points to make the field for the Kentucky Derby – although that appears moot.

Divining Rod earned 10 points toward the May 2 Derby, giving him a total of 20 in the Churchill Downs system used to limit the field to 20 starters, although his owner said afterward he most likely will not run the colt even if a spot opens.

The Lael Stables of Roy and Gretchen Jackson bred and own Divining Rod.

:: ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays

“No, I don’t think so,” Roy Jackson said afterward when asked about the Derby, which Lael won in 2006 with its homebred, the great Barbaro. Twenty points is currently on or near the Derby bubble, depending on what transpires in the next couple of weeks.

Always in striking range while saving ground on both turns of the 1 1/16-mile Lexington, Divining Rod swung out for the drive and quickly put away a pair of dueling front-runners before finish three lengths ahead of them on the wire. Donworth nosed out Fame and Power for second, with Comfort another 1 3/4 lengths back in fourth in a field of seven 3-year-olds.

Divining Rod, a dark bay colt by the red-hot Tapit, returned $7.80 as second choice after finishing in 1:43.29 over a fast track.

Divining Rod “has become quite proficient,” said winning trainer Arnaud Delacour, a 40-year-old former assistant to Christophe Clement. He now has five career races, with his two previous starts, both at Tampa, resulting in a runner-up finish in the Sam F. Davis Stakes and a third behind Carpe Diem in the Tampa Bay Derby.

Before a meet-high crowd of 37,193, and on a bright, cool afternoon, Fame and Power, the 5-2 second choice, set the pace under Irad Ortiz Jr. while pushed along by Donworth, the 8-5 favorite. Leaving the final turn, those two were inseparable on the lead, but then Divining Rod swung out and darted past them with ease.

The $2 exacta (1-7) paid $25.80, the $1 trifecta (1-7-6) returned $40.90, and the 10-cent superfecta (1-7-6-2) was worth $10.58.

Lael also won the Lexington in 2006 with Showing Up, who wound up sixth behind stablemate Barbaro in the Derby.

It was the third Lexington triumph for Leparoux, following Derby Kitten in 2011 and Winning Cause in 2013.

The attendance was the third-highest in track history, behind 2012 Blue Grass Day (40,617) and 2014 Blue Grass Day (39,722).

donkewicz More than 1 year ago
Good effort by Comfort after a bad start and coming off a Maiden win.
Scott More than 1 year ago
I watched the race replay before reading the article and wasn't sure I seeing the familiar white "X" because of the angle of the camera and how the jockey was sitting. It's good to see Barbaro's owners back in the winner's circle.
Joel Firsching More than 1 year ago
That was a top notch quality field for a lexington stakes. Good move to move it three weeks from the lasix users derby and five weeks before the preakness. Maybe three of these will run in the preakness.
Ron Rios More than 1 year ago
no it was a unaccomplished field, but a very good betting race, which is what we need more of….
tommy More than 1 year ago
He's a very good stakes horse but will never place in a graded stakes race!!!! He will be lucky to show as he did in Tampa bay derby losing by 11 lengths !!
Jeffrey Richardson More than 1 year ago
this was a graded stakes...
Amy Hurley More than 1 year ago
Again, tommy is not letting facts get in the way of his "opinion." Poor guy. He should only hope that he could learn to pay more attention to details, if only to increase his odds for successful wagering.
Paul McAleavey More than 1 year ago
Amy, Tommy is a sort of special needs type of person, lol. He speaks in a very not in the know sort of way. We, who can read, know this was a graded stakes. However a couple comments by Joel he stated this was a top notch quality field. Between the7 horses 6 were eligible for non winners of one. It was hardly a good race. If he were being facetious I could at least give him a degree off credit for suggesting it wasn't a graded race if he instead said it was a weak race. The horses in the race were 80 ish beyer types and most will be in optional claimers for the rest of their lives.
Paul McAleavey More than 1 year ago
Then again I have read two articles where divining rod was number 21 on the list when he is not even listed and 20 points would be 24th.
tommy More than 1 year ago
If it were a graded stakes race, then where are The good horses?? The article says it's a graded stakes race, but I don't believe it with this weak field !!!
noocheroni More than 1 year ago
I would like to own a share in Tapit.
Scott More than 1 year ago
AGREED! He's so hot right now it's ridiculous. I still think his progeny are 9F's or less type horses, but that's not a problem, because most races in the states are run at those distances. The 10F and greater distances really don't happen that much. These days if there is a grade on the race and it's in the 9F range, you can almost bet that there will be no less than 1 and probably 2 or 3 of Tapit's running in it. The Razorback was won yesterday by Race Day and the third place finisher...Tapiture. Smoking hot!