The $200,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland Saturday, April 21, could have implications on starting berths in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) at Churchill Downs May 5.
With the starting field limited to 20 horses and preference given based on earnings in graded stakes, the Lexington's first-place purse of $120,000 could elevate some into Derby consideration.
According to Keeneland stakes coordinator Scott Jones, the likely starters for the Lexington include Southwest Stakes (gr. III) winner Castaway ($162,000 in graded earnings), Illinois Derby (gr. III) runner-up Morgan's Guerrilla ($100,000), Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (gr. II) runner-up News Pending ($80,000) and Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) runner-up Golden Ticket ($70,000).
Others considered as probable for the 1 1/16-mile race on the main track are All Squared Away, Gold Megillah, Hammers Terror, Holiday Promise, Johannesbourbon and Summer Front. Also possible for the Coolmore Lexington are Arm Force and Macho Bull.