04/09/2004 11:00PM

Lexington hopefuls tune up


Minister Eric and Saratoga County, both of whom could run in next Saturday's $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes, recorded easy workouts Saturday morning at Keeneland.

Minister Eric breezed a half-mile in 49 seconds under exercise rider Paul Nilluang. Minister Eric, the runner-up to Action This Day in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile, was second most recently in an allowance race at Santa Anita. He still is eligible to the first-level allowance condition, which gives trainer Richard Mandella an option instead of the Lexington.

Saratoga County, who won Aqueduct's Gotham Stakes last month, worked five furlongs in 1:02.40 for trainer George Weaver. The Lexington would mark his first race around two turns.

Alex Solis is the regular rider for Minister Eric. Javier Castellano rides Saratoga County.

The Lexington, a Grade 2 race at 1 1/16 miles, is also expected to include Bride's Best Boy (Edgar Prado the rider), Capac, Fire Slam (Pat Day), Pomeroy (Mike Smith), Quintons Gold Rush (Jerry Bailey), Suave, and possibly Tiger Heart.