04/15/2013 4:46PM

Keeneland notes: Pure Fun on for Lexington

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Benoit & Associates
Pure Fun is on the bubble for making the Kentucky Oaks.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Trainer Ken McPeek, who won the Blue Grass with Java’s War, has confirmed the Grade 1-winning filly Pure Fun for the main feature of the coming weekend, the Grade 3, $200,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes on Saturday.

McPeek wanted to see how Pure Fun came out of her Saturday work in company with stablemate Taken By the Storm and said Monday he is satisfied that “this is the way we should go.”

Although Pure Fun is on the bubble for making the Oaks, she could enhance her eligibility with a big run in the Lexington, which is worth 34 “wild card” points (20-8-4-2). Oaks points can be earned by a filly in races open to male runners, whereas points earned in filly-only races cannot be used by fillies toward the Derby.

Entries for the Lexington, which goes at 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack, will be drawn Wednesday. As of Monday, these were the known probables: Cerro, Examen, Hip Four Sixty Nine, Johnny Handsome, Pick of the Litter, Pure Fun, Title Contender, Where’s Dominic, and Winning Cause.

McPeek said Taken By the Storm will run Saturday in the Illinois Derby at Hawthorne.

Riders tall in saddles

With eight of 16 spring programs completed, Joel Rosario is the leading jockey at Keeneland with 14 wins. Rosario, a 28-year-old native of the Dominican Republic, is riding full-time here for the first time and is not expected to miss any of the eight remaining cards, said agent Ron Anderson.

Other jockeys enjoying a terrific first half of the meet were Julien Leparoux, whose eight winners include Java’s War in the Grade 1 Blue Grass and Centre Court in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley, and Alan Garcia, who is third in wins (seven) and mount earnings ($381,963) while also leading in return on investment ($5.83 for every $2 win wager) among riders with at least 2 wins.

** Mine That Bird, the 2009 Kentucky Derby winner, has taken up residence at the Kentucky Derby Museum as the official “horse in residence” through July 4.

The museum staff hosted an official welcoming Monday for Mine That Bird, who otherwise has been spending his days in retirement in New Mexico. The gelding won the 135th Derby at 50-1.

** Watsdachances, runner-up last fall for Brown in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, will be favored when she makes her 3-year-old debut in the Thursday feature at Keeneland, the Grade 3, $100,000 Appalachian Stakes. A field of 10 is entered in the one-mile turf race.

◗ Veteran jockey Pat Johnson, out since suffering a broken collarbone March 16 at Fair Grounds, is scheduled to return to action Wednesday by riding Super Divine in the seventh r

Joel Winicki More than 1 year ago
Examen wins this race for fun.
mrlouey More than 1 year ago
All connections want to do for Pure Fun is to give her another race under her belt. She should get in Oaks as she is 15th and only needs one defection. She loves CD and will run big going back to dirt...Lexington nothing other than race rather than workout and where she finishes is not factor
David Wilder More than 1 year ago
Winning Cause Is 2-2 At Keeneland and methinks the record will remain perfect if he draws into the field!
Irfan Durrani More than 1 year ago
pure fun is the winner