2015 Lexington Stakes Preview

2015 Lexington Stakes Preview

The Grade 3 Lexington Stakes from Keeneland is one of two Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races on Saturday. The Grade 1 Arkansas Derby from Oaklawn Park is the other race on Saturday.

A field of 7 horses will be going one mile and one sixteenth over the main track at Keeneland. The purse for the Lexington Stakes is $250,000.

This race is considered a “wild card” race and does not offer nearly as many points as the other races recently. The winner will receive 10 points, second place will receive 4 points, third place will receive 2 points, and fourth place will receive 1 point.

The points will go towards the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard, but it appears that the winner of this race will need a lot of help to make the Kentucky Derby.

Post time for the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes is scheduled for 5:18 PM Eastern Time and is carded as the 10th of 11 races on Saturday. Free past performances can be found here.

1. Divining Rod (3-1 Morning Line) – He started his career in an off the turf event at Laurel Park and broke his maiden that day by 2 3/4 lengths. He was then shipped south for the winter and was third in his turf debut by 2 1/2 lengths. He tried the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis and had a very good run, finishing second by a neck after prompting the pace. In the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby, he tried to go gate-to-wire, but was no match for Carpe Diem and finished third. He will have pace pressure on the lead, but gets the key rail position from the start.

2. Comfort (5-1 ML) – He has raced three times in his career with all of those coming at Fair Grounds. He was fourth by 3 lengths in his debut at one mile on turf and then finished fourth again in his second start. He finally broke through in his third start with a 4 1/4 lengths win when switching to dirt. He will have a good running style for this race and is a threat here at a decent price. It is worth noting he is now with trainer Todd Pletcher (was with Pavel Vashchenko).

3. Quimet (8-1 ML) – He finished off the board in back-to-back races to start his career and his first start on dirt resulted in a half-length win. He missed by a length and a half in his fourth start and was then entered in a listed stakes race. He was crushed that day by Materiality and finished fourth by 16 lengths. He met Materiality again in the Florida Derby and did even worse; eighth by 36 lengths. He will need a lot to go his way on Saturday to have a slight chance even with the blinkers going on.

4. Tiznow R J (5-1 ML) – He opened his career with back-to-back third place finishes before winning his third start in stunning fashion by 13 lengths. He was then entered in the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes and finished a solid third by 2 1/2 lengths. He tried to improve on that race, but was a well beaten 7th in the Grade 2 Risen Star. A trek away from Louisiana brought him to the Grade 3 Sunland Derby, but that resulted in another poor finish; fourth by 17 lengths. He will need to improve to have a chance here.

5. Henry Jones (6-1 ML) – He began his career at Saratoga with two poor turf performances, but the switch to dirt woke him up. He won his first start on dirt at Churchill by a head and then finished third at Keeneland. A five and a half month break did not prevent him from scoring in his return by a length at Oaklawn Park. There are questions about whether or not he can the distance in addition to him probably being on or near the lead.

6. Fame and Power (5-2 ML) – He has raced exclusively in California up to this point. His debut at Del Mar was a good one in which he was second by 2 1/4 lengths, but threw in back-to-back clunkers in his following two races. After almost 2 months between races, he came back and missed by half a length at Los Alamitos. Another break sent him to the bench, but he managed to crush his foes by 4 1/2 lengths going gate-to-wire. He too has speed and will be on the front end, but has never raced beyond 7 furlongs.

7. Donworth (5-1 ML) – He has one race to his credit and it was a very good win by a neck going 7 furlongs at Gulfstream. He was able to overcome a bit of trouble and came off the pace to capture the race against 12 other foes. He is an interesting horse in a race full of speed.

Selections

This race is chock full of speed with the #1, #5, and #6 all looking like speed horses. #7 Donworth was very professional in his debut coming off the pace to win by a neck and his pedigree says he should relish two turns. #2 Comfort will have a similar running style and is trained by Todd Pletcher now. It is hard to ignore those two horses at a solid 5-1 morning line. #1 Divining Rod will go to the lead and hold on for as long as he can. He probably will not go gate-to-wire, but could hang on for a piece underneath. #6 Fame and Power is trained by Bob Baffert and cannot be discounted on that alone, but the concern is the amount of speed in here.

1. Donworth

2. Comfort

3. Divining Rod

4.Fame and Power

Check back on Saturday evening for a recap of the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes.

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