Lane's End winner Hard Spun may not run in the Derby.<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Lane's End winner Hard Spun may not run in the Derby.
Order This Photo

Anne M. Eberhardt

Hard Spun Likely to Skip Blue Grass Stakes

Following the defection from the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) of Any Given Saturday, it now looks as if the 1 1/8-mile test at Keeneland also will lose Lane’s End (gr. II) winner Hard Spun, who will either go straight to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. II) or point for the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) and Preakness (gr. I).

Owner Rick Porter of Fox Hill Farm said Hard Spun is “99%” certain to pass the Blue Grass, unless there are additional defections “that entice us.”

If Hard Spun were train up to the Derby, it would give him six weeks between races, and there is a good possibility the son of Danzig will skip the Run for the Roses altogether and go the Lexington – Preakness route. But Porter and trainer Larry Jones will weigh all their options and make a decision shortly.

If Hard Spun does run in the Lexington Stakes, he will face Dogwood Stable’s Soaring By, who captured a nine-furlong allowance race at Gulfstream last weekend.

“We’re taking it one race at a time,” said Dogwood president Cot Campbell. “Off of his impressive win at Gulfstream last weekend – following an abortive trip in the Louisiana Derby, when he broke through the starting gate – the Lexington Stakes is definitely indicated. The mile and a sixteenth distance will suit him and we need to test him against stakes-caliber horses.”

Soaring By, trained by Todd Pletcher, has had two wins from four lifetime starts, and earnings of $64,200.