The “Road To The Kentucky Derby” travels to Keeneland today where 11 horses will go to the starting gate in the 32nd running of the $200,000 Lexington Coolmore Stakes (G3). A win in today’s race is worth 20 points and that could, perhaps, qualify the winner to enter the Kentucky Derby (G1) starting gate. Currently, Charming Kitten is ranked 20th with 20 Derby points and $206,000 in stakes earnings.
Trainer Ken McPeek will send the filly Pure Fun to the starting gate as the tepid 7-2 morning-line favorite. Pure Fun comes into the race with a 3-1-2 record in nine starts. In her debut as a 3-year-old in March, Pure Fun finished third in the Fathead Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway Park, earning a 95 Brisnet Speed Figure for that effort.
Pure Fun has room to improve in her second start of the season and another move forward will make her competitive in today’s race.
After finishing in eighth-place in the Louisiana Derby (G2), Sunbean (4-1) will start for the barn trainer Michael Maker and veteran Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens will be in the irons. I didn’t like Sunbean for the win in that race, but, I thought he would run better. Here’s the chart call:
SUNBEAN settled well back in the field, moved closer with a half-mile to run, advanced inside on the far turn, steadied while blocked at the quarter pole, continued blocked in upper stretch, steadied again nearing the furlong marker, altered course to the outside and also lost any chance.
Prior to that race, Sunbean had compiled a 3-1-0 record in four starts including an impressive 4¾-length victory in the Gentilly Stakes. A return to that form and a recent sharp four-furlong workout at Churchill Downs could have Sunbean ready to run a good race.
An interesting long shot in this race is Wings of Fortune (15-1) who is also trained by Maker. Wins of Fortune did not race as a 2-year-old. He finished fourth in his maiden debut last January, and since then he’s compiled a 1-1-0 record in three career starts.
Wings of Fortune has an interesting pedigree with Fusaichi Pegasus as his sire and Lear Fan as the damsire. The tail-female family of Wings of Fortune traces back to the Reine-de-Course mare Gay Hostess who was the dam of Classic Champion Thoroughbreds Majestic Prince and the third-dam of Real Quiet.
This is the time of year 3-year-old colts can make a lot of improvement and a recent bullet workout could have Wings of Fortune ready to run a good race.
Where’s Dominic, at 20-1 morning-line odds, is another interesting long shot trained by Michael Trombetta. In his last race, he finished fourth in the 9-furlong Private Terms stakes and the drop back to 8½-furlongs in today’s race could be more to his liking.
Prior to his last race, Where’s Dominic compiled a 2-1-1 record in four starts and a return to that form could make him competitive in the Lexington Coolmore Stakes (G3).
Honorable mention goes to General Election who I profiled in my 2013 Kentucky Derby Outlook. He has the breeding to be competitive in today’s race. But, so far on the Derby trail, he’s not lived up to my expectations.
The winner of the Lexington Coolmore Stakes (G3) will receive 20 points while second-place will yield eight points, the third-place finisher will receive four points, and the fourth-place finisher will receive two points. Here’s a look at the current top 20 list:
Kentucky Derby 2013 Leaderboard
(Updated April 20, 2013)
Individual Leaders ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1 = Orb, 150, Shug McGaughey III, $840,000
2 = Verrazano, 150, Todd Pletcher, $810,000
3 = Goldencents, 129, Doug O’Neill, $1,208,000
4 = Java’s War, 122, Ken McMcPeek, $651,772
5 = Overanalyze, 110, Todd Pletcher, $908,381
6 = Revolutionary, 110, Todd Pletcher, $720,000
7 = Lines of Battle, 100, Aidan O’Brien, $1,261,089
8 = Vyjack, 70, Rudy Rodriguez, $405,000
9 = Will Take Charge, 60, D. Wayne Lukas, $512,971
10 = Itsmyluckyday, 50, Eddie Plesa, Jr., $593,600
11 = Govenor Charlie, 50, Bob Baffert, $400,000
12 = Black Onyx, 50, Kelly Breen, $317,130
13 = Palace Malice, 50, Todd Pletcher, $200,000
14 = Normandy Invasion, 44, Chad Brown, $258,000
15 = Frac Daddy, 44, Ken McPeek, $240,596
16 = Mylute, 42, Tom Amoss, $363,365
17 = Oxbow, 36, D. Wayne Lukas, $316,000
18 = Super Ninety Nine, 30, Bob Baffert, $308,000
19 = Falling Sky, 20, John Terranova II, $157,500
20 = Charming Kitten, 20, Todd Pletcher, $206,000