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Keeneland: Lexington Stakes unlikely to produce Kentucky Derby starter
By Marty McGee
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Keeneland racing officials are looking for a field of perhaps 10 3-year-olds to run Saturday in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes, but with the apparent defection of Reveron, none of those horses has a realistic chance to make the Kentucky Derby field.
Reveron, a Florida-based colt owned by Stipa Racing and trained by 59-year-old Agustin Bezara, is booked to ship straight to Churchill Downs in Louisville on Sunday. Keeneland had been listing Reveron as a prospect for the Lexington, but Bezara, who speaks very little English, said through an interpreter Monday from his Calder base that he will take his chances on what happens with the graded earnings list that governs Derby eligibility.
“Of course we want to run in the Derby,” he said.
Reveron, the longshot runner-up in the March 31 Florida Derby, has graded earnings of $220,000, which has him on the Derby bubble. Dismissed at 31-1 in the Florida Derby, Reveron gave closest chase to the front-running winner Take Charge Indy throughout the 1 1/8-mile race, finishing a length back in second. Union Rags, the 2-5 favorite, was another neck back in third.
The purse for the Lexington is $200,000, with $120,000 going to the winner and $40,000 for second. None of the following probable starters in the 31st Lexington stand to make enough to advance to the Derby: All Squared Away, Gold Megillah, Golden Ticket, Hammers Terror, Holiday Promise, Johannesbourbon, Morgan’s Guerilla, News Pending, Stirred Up, and Summer Front. Entries will be taken and drawn Wednesday.
In regard to its spot as a Derby prep, the Lexington has been relegated to irrelevance this year not only because there are so many Derby hopefuls with high earnings, but also because the Lexington purse is not what it once was. From 1998 to 2010, the purse ranged from $300,000 to $350,000 before being lowered to $200,000 for the 2011 running.
Besides the Lexington, only two other graded races that could conceivably get a horse into the Derby remain: the $200,000 Jerome at Aqueduct, also on Saturday, and the $200,000 Derby Trial on April 28 at Churchill.
KEENELAND really needs to find more ways of making an Impact towards the KENTUCKY DERBY . They really need to find a way of making something happen ( For The Home State Of The KENTUCKY DERBY ) . Many F A N S love to travel to KEENELAND for the meet . And with the Beautiful Thoroughbred Farms that we have in the area , this would even make more of an Impact to fans .
With Lexington Ky being my home sweet home , it would be so nice IF by chance the Toyota Blue Grass could be run one week earlier to give the Coolmore Lexington Stakes a three week spand before the Derby , or run the Coolmore Lexington Stakes the same day as the Toyota Blue Grass . I have brought this up many times to the racing office , but nothing has ever been done about my opinion . Ha Ha Haaa the purse only dropped . So , alot of good it does to voice opinions that may help . The saying goes - IF IT AINT BROKE - DONT FIX IT ........................ Well , this race really has no impact towards the Derby basicly because the lack of rest . Maybe a three week break may open up the doors abit more of window of oppertunity .
Here is the opportunity for Todd Pletcher to make a last minute entry with El Padrino. It would make for a very nice workout, and would put him over the bubble in earnings for a horse that really should be in the run for the roses.
Morgans Guerilla has 100,000. If he'd win he'd get to $220,000. That'd be the same as Reveron so think that'd be close.
If this one has become a race for the "best of the rest", well that's ok too. The season is young as are the careers of the horses. The Derby ain't the end of it all.
- 1.Posted 12/04/2013 11:20AM
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- 5.Posted 12/02/2013 02:02PM