04/10/2017 1:56PM

Lexington to have no impact on Kentucky Derby

Michael Burns
Tiz a Slam is among the probables for the Lexington Stakes on Saturday.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – With the connections of so many 3-year-olds with plenty of eligibility points clamoring to make the field for the May 6 Kentucky Derby, the Grade 3, $200,000 Lexington Stakes on Saturday will not produce a Derby starter.

The 1 1/16-mile Lexington is worth 17 points, including 10 to the winner, but none of the projected starters will have enough points to make the Derby. Probables include Convict Pike, No Dozing, Resiliency, Tiz a Slam, and West Coast.

West Coast, trained by Bob Baffert, exits a maiden victory in a three-horse field on March 12 at Santa Anita.

The Lexington, Ben Ali, Giant’s Causeway, and Jenny Wiley are the other Saturday stakes here.

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Big week for Kenneally

Eddie Kenneally enjoyed one of the finest weekends of his 24-year training career when Sailor’s Valentine pulled a 22-1 upset in the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes on Saturday. Kenneally also won a maiden race last Friday with Gladtobehere and a second-level allowance on Saturday with Schivarelli.

Sailor’s Valentine likely will run back May 5 in the Kentucky Oaks.

“She breezed really well before the race, so we had to take a shot,” said Kenneally, a 50-year-old native of County Waterford, Ireland. “Everything came together perfectly.”

It was the second Grade 1 win in the last 10 months for Kenneally, following Bradester’s win last summer in the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs. In 2006, he sent out the 3-year-old filly Bushfire to sweep three straight Grade 1 races: the Ashland, Acorn, and Mother Goose.

◗ All-sources wagering on the opening three days (Friday to Sunday) at Keeneland ran basically even with the comparable 2016 dates. According to figures from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, the aggregate handle was nearly $39.7 million, up less than 1 percent from last year. All-sources handle on the 11-race Blue Grass Stakes card Saturday was almost $20.6 million, down 1 percent.

◗ An oversubscribed field of 3-year-old turf fillies is entered in the Thursday feature, the Grade 3, $125,000 Appalachian Stakes. New Money Honey and Coasted, the one-two finishers in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf last fall, are part of an outstanding lineup.

◗ By winning the Grade 3 Beaumont Stakes on Sunday with Sweet Loretta, trainer Todd Pletcher reached quite a remarkable milestone. It was his 50th stakes victory at Keeneland, tying him for the most in track history with his former boss, D. Wayne Lukas. Bill Mott is third on the list with 41.

◗ Keeneland will be dark Sunday because of the Easter holiday. Racing will then resume the following Wednesday (April 19) for the only five-day week of the meet. Closing day is April 28.

– additional reporting by Nicole Russo