Tag Archives: Quimet

Divining Rod Captures Grade 3 Lexington Stakes

Divining Rod took over in the stretch to capture the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes (Keeneland Photo)
Divining Rod took over in the stretch to capture the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes (Keeneland Photo)

Divining Rod Captures Grade 3 Lexington Stakes

Needing a victory to have a chance to make the Kentucky Derby field, Divining Rod delivered under a perfect ride by Julien Leparoux. He won by 3 lengths over the favorite Donworth.

Out of the gate, Fame and Power went to the lead with Henry Jones and Divining Rod a length and a half behind. Donworth was also close in fourth. Tiznow R J was fifth, Quimet was sixth, and Comfort was settled in last by 5 1/4 lengths.

On the first turn Donworth was three wide and pushed to go up and sit of Fame and Power’s right flank. Divining Rod continued to sit in a perfect spot behind the leaders on the fence with Henry Jones next to him. Tiznow R J was fifth, Quimet was sixth, and Comfort was still last, but beginning to make a move to get closer to the field.

Midway through the far turn and entering the stretch, Donworth challenged Fame and Power for the lead, but waiting in the wings was Divining Rod. He came out entering the stretch and went past the two leaders who were no match for the winner. Donworth held on by a nose for second with Fame and Power coming in third.

Comfort rallied to be fourth, but was no threat to the top three. Henry Jones finished fifth, Tiznow R J was sixth, and Quimet finished last of 7. The entire chart can be found here via Equibase.

Divining Rod is by Tapit out of the Catienus mare Precious Kitten. He was ridden by Julien Leparoux and is trained by Arnaud Delacour. He paid $7.80 to win, $3.60 to place, and $2.40 to show. He completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.29.

For the win, Divining Rod earned 10 points to give him 20 points total towards the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard. Donworth earned his first 4 points, Fame and Power earned his first 2 points, and Comfort earned his first point.

Divining Rod has a chance to make the Kentucky Derby field with his total of 20 points though he is unlikely to enter the Derby.

“No, I don’t think so,” owner Roy Jackson said after the race. The draw for the Kentucky Derby will take place on April 29.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby has now concluded with the completion of the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes and the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby.

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.

Materiality Holds Off Upstart In The Florida Derby

Materiality holds off Upstart to win the Grade 1 Florida Derby (Photo: Kenny Martin, Coglianese)
Materiality holds off Upstart to win the Grade 1 Florida Derby (Photo: Kenny Martin, Coglianese)

Materiality Holds Off Upstart In The Florida Derby

In what ended up being a two horse race, it was Materiality that won the Grade 1 Florida Derby over Upstart by a length and a half.

Jack Tripp took the lead out of the gate with a good break, but was soon taken on by Materiality with Upstart a length back in third. Itsaknockout settled in fourth, Quimet was in fifth, My Point Exactly was in sixth, and Ami’s Flatter was seventh. Indianaughty was eighth and the trailer was Dekabrist by more than 11 lengths.

On the backstretch Jack Tripp was still prompted by Materiality and Upstart was three wide. Quimet was fourth, My Point Exactly was fifth, Ami’s Flatter was sixth, and Itsaknockout was back to seventh. The trailing duo remained Indianuaghty and Dekabrist.

On the far turn the race turned into a match race between Materiality and Upstart as the other horses failed to make up any ground.

Throughout the stretch it was Materiality on the inside who repelled every attack from Upstart. He eventually pulled away to win by a length and a half. It was over 12 lengths back to Ami’s Flatter in third and Itsaknockout finished fourth.

The rest of the field, in order of finish, was Dekabrist, Indianaughty, My Point Exactly, Quimet, and Jack Tripp. The results chart can be found here via Equibase.

Materiality is by Afleet Alex out of the Langfuhr mare Wildwood Flower. He was ridden by John Velazquez and is trained by Todd Pletcher. He ran the one mile and one eighth in 1:52.30 while paying $5.60 to win, $3.00 to place, and $2.40 to show.

Materiality went off as the second choice at 9-5 behind Upstart who was even money.

For the win, Materiality earned his first 100 points towards the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard. Upstart earned 40 points to bring his total to 76, Ami’s Flatter earned 20 points for a total of 40, and Itsaknockout earned 10 points for a total of 60.

The Florida Derby was the third Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race on Saturday. The first was the Group 2 UAE Derby and the other was the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby continues next week with the Grade 1 Wood Memorial from Aqueduct, the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby from Santa Anita, and the Grade 1 Blue Grass from Keeneland.

2015 Florida Derby Preview

2015 Florida Derby Preview

The final Road to the Kentucky Derby race on Saturday, March 28 will the Grade 1 Florida Derby. The other two races, the Group 2 UAE Derby and the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby, will have been settled by the time the Florida Derby goes off.

The Florida Derby will be at a mile and an eighth with 9 three year olds racing for a purse of $1,000,000. As with the other 2 Derby Preps on Saturday, the top four finishers will receive points towards the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard. The winner will receive 100 points, second place will receive 40 points, third place will receive 20 points, and 10 points will be awarded to the fourth place finisher.

The Grade 1 Florida Derby is carded as the 14th and last race on the Gulfstream Park card on Saturday with a scheduled post time of 6:48 PM Eastern Time. Free past performances can be found here.

1. Ami’s Flatter (8-1 Morning Line) – He started his career late in 2014 with a win in his debut at Woodbine going 7 furlongs. A move down south to Gulfstream saw him enter the Mucho Macho Man and finish second by 1 3/4 lengths. He was then shipped to Tampa for the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis, but he ran an even fourth. Despite that fourth place finish, he was sent back to Tampa for the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby where he ran a solid second behind runaway winner Carpe Diem. If the track is playing kind to off the pace types, he could sneak into the exacta.

2. Jack Tripp (20-1 ML) – He started his career on turf, but the turf career was short-lived after he finished sixth beaten 5 3/4 lengths. He then went to dirt for his next two races at Keeneland where he was second and then broke his maiden in his third start by 5 lengths. Since then he has been entered in four straight optional claiming races, but he has yet to finish better than third. Pass on his chances in this race.

3. Indianaughty (20-1 ML) – He started his career across the Atlantic in Great Britain with a third place finish over the polytrack at Kempton Park. He won his second start by 5 lengths at Linfield, again on polytrack. He was subsequently sent to South Florida and he made his turf debut a winning one by a head. Buoyed by that good performance, he was entered in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby and he failed to make an impact after battling for the lead. It is hard to endorse him here after that last race.

4. Itsaknockout (2-1 ML) – He has stayed here in South Florida for his first three races. He won his debut by a nose and then won an optional claiming event by 5 1/4 lengths. After those two wins, he went into the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth and finished second by 2 3/4 lengths. However, he was awarded the victory controversially after Upstart was disqualified and placed second. He will be sitting just off the pace in this race once again is one of the obvious choices to win.

5. Quimet (20-1 ML) – He started his career with back-to-back turf races, but failed to do much in those events and was given a nearly three month break. He came back to run on dirt at Gulfstream and won his comeback race by half a length in a $50,000 maiden claiming event and then finished second by 1 1/2 lengths in an optional claiming going a mile and an eighth. He then ran in the Islamorada Handicap, but was decimated by 16 lengths while finishing fourth. It is hard to like his chances in this spot unless all the favorites do not fire.

6. My Point Exactly (30-1 ML) – His first race came here at Gulfstream with a 5 furlong dash. He finished seventh by 6 1/4 lengths and then was switched to dirt where he was sixth by 7 1/2 lengths. He broke through in his third start when he was given a route of ground. He won the mile race by 10 lengths and was then shipped to Louisiana Downs for the listed Sunday Silence Stakes. That race was on turf and he prevailed by a neck. He has not been seen since that race on September 6 and will probably need this race.

7. Materiality (7-2 ML) – The second Todd Pletcher entrant comes in this race undefeated, just as his other horse Itsaknockout. He broke his maiden by 4 1/4 lengths on January 11 going six furlongs in the slop and was then given nearly two months off. The short break did not adversely affect him as he won the Islamorada Handicap by 5 3/4 lengths. He did that in his first start around two turns as well and is a serious threat to the top two choices.

8. Dekabrist (30-1 ML) – The most experienced runner in this race with 13 starts, he has gotten plenty of experience in stakes races. He was entered in the Grade 3 Lecomte on January 17, but finished eighth by 12 lengths and was then entered three more times between January 23 and February 28. He did not hit the board in those three races and he will probably be lucky to finish in the top half of the field in the Florida Derby.

9. Upstart (8-5 ML) – The morning line favorite has six career starts to his resume and he won his first two in New York bred races. He then entered the Grade 1 Champagne and finished second by 2 1/2 lengths. He parlayed that into a start in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile where he finished third. Since then, he was moved to Gulfstream and he won the Grade 2 Holy Bull by 5 1/2 lengths. He won the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth over Itsaknockout, but the stewards judged Upstart to have bothered him in the stretch and placed him second. He is a deserving favorite and must be included in any tickets.

Selections

This is a three horse race for the win and place. #9 Upstart has been ultra consistent in his career (6 starts, 3 wins, 2 seconds, and a third) while #4 Itsaknockout and #7 Materiality are both undefeated. It is hard to envision any of these three not winning and two of these horses not getting in the exacta. The only other real threat is #1 Ami’s Flatter if the pace is hot and the track is playing fair or kind to closers.

1. Upstart

2. Materiality

3. Itsaknockout

4. Ami’s Flatter

Check back on Saturday night for a recap of the Grade 1 Florida Derby.