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Lexington Stakes: Winning Cause enters Kentucky Derby picture
By Marty McGee
LEXINGTON, Ky. – It’s always a case of the rich getting richer when Todd Pletcher sends out a winner, but the results of the Coolmore Lexington Stakes on Saturday at Keeneland provided an interesting twist to that familiar scenario.
Pletcher already had five horses ready to run in the 139th Kentucky Derby when another of his 3-year-olds, Winning Cause, jumped up and won the Grade 3, $200,000 Lexington with a good inside trip under Julien Leparoux. The colt earned 20 points toward eligibility for the Derby lineup and would seem to be in, if so desired – although Pletcher wasn’t about to immediately commit the colt to the May 4 race at Churchill Downs.
Just seconds after Winning Cause crossed under the wire a one-length winner over longshot General Election in the 1 1/16-mile Polytrack race, Pletcher was asked whether Winning Cause could be his sixth stable representative in the Derby.
“I’ve never thought he was good enough,” he said, smiling and shrugging his shoulders. “We’ll have to see.”
Winning Cause, by Giant’s Causeway, returned $15.60 as the fifth choice after finishing in 1:43.93. For Pletcher, it was his fifth winner in the Lexington from the last nine runnings.
After breaking from post 1 and saving ground in a field of 10 3-year-olds, Winning Cause took over from Cerro after turning for home in the 32nd Lexington and had enough to hold 34-1 General Election safe. Pick of the Litter was third, another neck back, with Cerro yet another neck back in fourth.
Sunbean, the 5-2 favorite, was fifth, while Pure Fun, the 7-2 second choice and the only filly in the field, ran seventh.
Pletcher said earlier in the week that he had not discussed the Derby for Winning Cause with the colt’s owner, Gil Moultray of Alto Racing LLC. After the Lexington, he said the topic would be addressed, although he did not seem to lean one way or the other on whether the colt would join Verrazano, Revolutionary, Overanalyze, Palace Malice, and Charming Kitten in his Derby army.
Only one more points race toward the Derby remains: the Derby Trial next Saturday on opening night of the Churchill spring meet. The Trial winner gets 20 points toward Derby eligibility.
The $2 exacta (1-10) paid $393.40, the $1 trifecta (1-10-2) returned $2,222.90, and the 10-cent superfecta (1-10-2-8) was worth a whopping $1,893.18.
Attendance on a cool, mostly sunny spring afternoon at Keeneland was 32,325.
• One race earlier Saturday, Sweet Cassiopeia ($6.20) ran her winning streak to five when pressing all the pace and going on to win the $100,000 Giant’s Causeway for filly-and-mare turf sprinters.
Joe Rocco Jr. was aboard Sweet Cassiopeia for trainer Bill Connelly. The 5-year-old mare is owned by Dan Considine and Steve Snowden and now has won half of her 18 career starts.
terrible outing by sunbean.....ride wasn't particularly good either
Not enough time to run this nice colt in the Derby. Pletcher has a barn full of Derby prospects, why run this horse so soon.? There are plenty of races for this horse. Namely the Travers. He certainly has the pedigree to be a real nice colt.
Hi! The video posted within this story is not working properly. Don't know if it is on my end or yours but the other videos worked nicely so what is wrong? It stops and then starts then stops and starts. Not fun to watch. Wow! Julien Laparoux wins again. He won two (2) stakes races last week, and he may be on Java's War for the Derby. Don't know as yet. Good for him! Thank you! Lise from Maine
I would like to thank everyone who bet on the filly. You were nuts to think she had a chance
Todd, enter 'Winning Cause' so I can put a line through him and its one less I have to deal with. I hate when trainers like McPeek predict an outcome.....Just run Baldy...
Nice prediction for that win McPeek.
no big surprise here i think the best horse won i liked sunbean and this horse but Winning cause on this surface was a better bet he is now 3 for 3 at keenland..as far as the derby is concerned i would not bet him. Not because of distance i felt he would do well going long based on his breeding despite 2 poor results going long early on in is career but based on the fact that i think this is strictly a synthetics and turf horse and a keenland horse for course.
Pletcher with 30% of the Derby field could be a bettors dream.Everyone either hates or loves the guy,no middle ground.You either box em all or toss em all out.
Horse racing has become a joke, the winner of a glorified allowance race on POLYCRAP aka the Lexington stakes gets 20 points towards eligibility for the K.Derby meanwhile the winner of the Illinois Derby a $750G race on dirt gets no points something stinks,what a joke.
betting public was somehow hoodwinked by sending La. bred and filly off as favorites!
- 1.Posted 12/05/2013 04:54PM
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- 5.Posted 12/08/2013 06:53PM