Trip to Derby May be on Line in Coolmore Lexington

Trip to Derby May be on Line in Coolmore Lexington
Photo: AP/Ed Reinke
Griffinite, left, shown winning the Lafayette Stakes, will seek a repeat in Saturday's Coolmore Lexington Stakes.
Ten 3-year-olds, some of which may be looking for a berth in the May 5 Kentucky Derby, will square off Saturday in the $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland.

The Lexington, a grade II event, was won in 1999 by Charismatic, who went on to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. He then finished third in the Belmont Stakes even though he suffered a career-ending injury.

Morning-line odds weren't yet available, but a few of the horses expected to draw action are Distilled, winner of the Illinois Derby in wire-to-wire fashion at Sportsman's Park April 7; Keats, who ran into early trouble that probably cost him his best chance in the Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park March 24; and Griffinite, who won the Lafayette Stakes at Keeneland April 11. Griffinite worked three furlongs in :35 4/5 at Keeneland Thursday. The time was co-fastest of the day among 30 horses working the distance.

Also entered is multiple stakes winner Bonnie Scot, who finished sixth in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland April 14. Bonnie Scot's latest win came in the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway in March.

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who trained Charismatic, will send out Turnberry Isle in the Lexington. The colt is said to have been doing well since his return from Florida this winter.

Global Gait, who experimented on the turf last time out in California for trainer Bob Baffert, returns to the dirt in the Lexington and will add blinkers, according to information provided by Equibase.

Here's the complete field, from the rail out: Griffinite, Craig Perret, 116 pounds; Bonnie Scot, Greta Kuntzweiler, 118; Stable Secret, Mark Guidry, 116; Turnberry Isle, Pat Day, 118; Camden Park, Edgar Prado, 116; Keats, Larry Melancon, 116; Distilled, Jerry Bailey, 116; Bay Eagle, Jon Court, 116; Mr. John, Corey Nakatani, 116; and Global Gait, Robby Albarado, 116.

At Churchill Downs, Keats worked four furlongs in :49 3/5.

After Saturday's program, Keeneland will offer only four more days of live racing: Sunday, and the following Wednesday through Friday. Churchill Downs will open April 28 with the featured Derby Trial Stakes.

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