04/19/2011 1:07PM

Jaycito's Lexington status in doubt

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Barbara D. Livingston
A bruised foot will keep Jaycito from starting in the Kentucky Derby.

It is looking increasingly doubtful that Jaycito will make his scheduled appointment in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland, in which he would have been one of the top choices.

The Lexington became an option for Jaycito after he missed the Santa Anita Derby on April 9 with a bruised right front foot. However, he has not worked since then. In fact, Jaycito has not worked since April 2, and has not raced since March 12, when he finished a distant second in the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita in his only start of this year. Jaycito has had only two works since the San Felipe.

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Jaycito originally had been scheduled to travel to Kentucky on Tuesday, but that has been delayed until at least Thursday. Bob Baffert, his trainer, on Tuesday said he would “make the call” on Wednesday regarding Jaycito’s participation in the Lexington.

However, Baffert already has told Martin Garcia, Jaycito’s rider, to be at Hollywood Park on Saturday, rather than Keeneland.

Jaycito currently has $250,000 in graded stakes earnings, which puts him in the field for the May 7 Kentucky Derby field. But should Jaycito not make the Derby, that would open another spot on the graded stakes earnings list, and there are several others currently in the top 20 whose status is not solidified, including J P’s Gusto, The Factor, and even Uncle Mo.

Because of all that uncertainty, the connections of Anthony’s Cross have re-evaluated their position on the Derby. Anthony’s Cross had been dropped from Derby consideration after finishing fifth in the Santa Anita Derby. But on Tuesday, his trainer, Eoin Harty, said Anthony’s Cross “will run in the Derby if he gets in.”

“I can’t eliminate him off one bad race,” Harty said. “He likes Churchill Downs. If you are ever going to take a shot, this is the year. He’ll have two more works for the Derby and be trained accordingly.”

Anthony’s Cross has $182,000 in graded stakes earnings.

The Derby field is limited to 20 runners. If more than 20 enter, as seems certain this year, the field is determined by earnings in graded stakes races.

- additional reporting by Steve Andersen

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