04/20/2011 12:25PM

Lexington draws field of six; Jaycito passes but still eyeing Derby

Benoit Photo
Silver Medallion can guarantee himself a berth in the Kentucky Derby with a Lexington win.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Jaycito was not among the six 3-year-olds entered to run Saturday at Keeneland in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes, but trainer Bob Baffert said he is hopeful the colt still will be able to run in the 137th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

“He just wasn’t quite ready for this,” Baffert said Wednesday morning from California. “We are still pointing for the Derby, though.”

Jaycito was scratched from the April 9 Santa Anita Derby with a bruised foot. Baffert tentatively had planned to have the colt flown into Kentucky this week for the Grade 3 Lexington, but “he’ll be on the next planeload from here,” he said.

KENTUCKY DERBY NEWS: Track all the 3-year-olds on the Triple Crown trail

Jaycito has $250,000 in graded earnings and is 19th on the latest earnings list. With his defection, the field for the $200,000 Lexington has only one real Derby possibility, and that is Silver Medallion, fourth as the favorite in the Santa Anita Derby. Silver Medallion, with $184,334 in graded earnings, is on the Derby bubble but would easily make the 20-horse cutoff by winning the Lexington. However, as things stand now, even if he earns $40,000 for running second, he would still be short of Santiva and Watch Me Go, who are 20th and 21st on the list with $242,397 and $235,500, respectively.

Silver Medallion will start from post 2 in the Lexington, long regarded as the best last-chance to make the Derby. Two other graded races for 3-year-olds also remain before the May 7 Derby: the $150,000 Jerome on Saturday at Aqueduct, and the $200,000 Derby Trial at Churchill on April 30.

Silver Medallion, trained by Steve Asmussen, figures to be the favorite in the Lexington, a 1 1/16-mile, “short-stretch” race that begins and ends at what otherwise is the sixteenth pole. The colt won the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby two starts back over the Tapeta surface at Golden Gate to account for the bulk of his earnings.

From the rail and with jockeys, this is the field for the 30th Lexington: Derby Kitten, Julien Leparoux; Silver Medallion, Javier Castellano; Prime Cut, Edgar Prado; Hurricane Lake, Calvin Borel; Taptowne, Corey Lanerie; and Casper’s Touch, Alan Garcia.

The Lexington will be the ninth of 10 Saturday races, with post time set for 5:23 p.m. Eastern.

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