An oversized field of 15, including one also-eligible, was entered for Saturday's $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II), which will be the final prep to determine who will be in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
With such a large field for the 1 1/16-mile race, and a likely stampede heading into the first turn, post positions take on an ever bigger role, and the horse who took the worst of the draw was Gotham Stakes (gr. III) winner Saratoga County, who will break from post 14 under Javier Castellano. New Element, with Mark Guidry named to ride, drew post 15 and was placed on the also-eligible list.
Buckram Oak Farm's Tiger Heart, second to Eddington in a Gulfstream allowance race, drew the rail. Craig Perret will ride for trainer Kenny McPeek. Tiger Heart has good natural speed and will have to take advantage of the inside post by breaking sharply and getting into the fight early.
If Saratoga County got any kind of a break in the draw, it is having come-from-behind horses, Totally Platinum and El Prado Rob, from the Bob Baffert and Nick Zito stables, respectively, directly to his inside.
One horse who definitely is looking for graded earnings in order to make it into the Derby field in Quintons Gold Rush, who drew post 10, with Jerry Bailey up. The son of Wild Rush battled on the lead in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and held tough in the stretch to finish fourth, beaten only three lengths. The rangy chestnut was recently turned over to trainer Steve Asmussen, who will saddle him for the first time.
Another colt who needs a big effort to make the Derby field is Suave, third in the Illinois Derby (gr. II). The son of A.P. Indy
is more of a stalker, who is not particularly fond of crowds and prefers to do his best running out in the clear. He will break from post 5 under Cornelio Velasquez.
Song of the Sword, who with $100,000 in graded earnings is already likely to make the cut, is in the race strictly for experience. The Illinois Derby (gr. II) runner-up has had only four career starts and owner Ernie Paragallo and trainer Jennifer Pedersen felt his would give the experience he needs to be ready for the Derby. The son of Unbridled's Song
drew post 2 and will be ridden by Norberto Arroyo.
Other horses with good early speed are Pomeroy (post 4), Fire Slam (post 6), and Boomzeeboom (post 7). Of these, Pomeroy, second in the Gotham in his 3-year-old debut, is the most likely to go on to the Derby if he can collect enough earnings.
The Lexington also will be D. Wayne Lukas' last fleeting hope of having a starter in the Derby, as he saddles Race For Glory for jockey John McKee. The son of Cape Town
finished seventh in the Jan. 24 Sunshine Millions Dash in his seasonal bow and exits a sixth-place finish in a Keeneland allowance on April 2.
The field for the $325,000, 1 1/16-mile Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II)
Horse, trainer, jockey, weight
1 -- Tiger Heart, Kenny McPeek, Craig Perret, 116
2 -- Song of the Sword, Jennifer Pedersen, Norberto Arroyo, 116
3 -- Gamblin, Niall O'Callaghan, Robby Albarado, 116
4 -- Pomeroy, Patrick Biancone, Mike Smith, 116
5 -- Suave, Paul McGee, Cornelio Velasquez, 116
6 -- Fire Slam, David Carroll, Pat Day, 116
7 -- Boomzeeboom, Vladimir Cerin, Corey Nakatani, 116
8 -- Dashboard Drummer, Allen Iwinski, Ramon Dominguez, 116
9 -- Race for Glory, D. Wayne Lukas, John McKee, 116
10 -- Quintons Gold Rush, Steve Asmussen, Jerry Bailey, 116
11 -- Bride's Best Boy, Barclay Tagg, Edgar Prado, 116
12 -- El Prado Rob, Nick Zito, Shane Sellers, 116
13 -- Totally Platinum, Bob Baffert, Calvin Borel, 116
14 -- Saratoga County, George Weaver, Javier Castellano, 116
15 -- New Element, Ronny Werner, Mark Guidry, 116