While he's unlikely for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Collected put on a show in the $150,000 Lexington Stakes (gr. III) Saturday at Keeneland that suggests he could factor in this year's Triple Crown races.
Video: Lexington S. (G3)
Speedway Stables' Collected tracked longshot One More Round through most of the 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds before he pounced at the eighth pole and surged to a four-length victory. One More Round held second, a half-length ahead of a closing Synchrony. Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden to victory by Javier Castellano, Collected completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.33 on a fast track.
"What an impressive horse. I really liked the way he did it. He broke well out of the gate, and he wanted to dictate the pace today," Castellano said. "I tried to sit a little bit behind the pacemaker. Turning for home, I really like the way he accelerated. When I asked, he really responded. I was really satisfied today."
Castellano believes Collected could go longer.
"I think so," Castellano said. "The way he galloped out past the wire, I was very impressed."
Swipe, favored in his first start since finishing second to Nyquist in last year's Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), moved into third through six furlongs in 1:11.73 but failed to continue and finished sixth.
With the win, Collected picked up 10 Road to the Kentucky Derby Points to give him a total of 21, which is still several spots out of the top 20. The Derby limits its field to 20 horses and uses the qualifying points to determine the runners should more than 20 be entered.
After the race his connections said they were leaning toward the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) in five weeks for the son of City Zip.
"I think that would be the most logical step, given the distance," said Peter Fluor of Speedway Stable. "We'll see how he comes out (of this race), but that would be a thrill for us."
The well-traveled Collected secured his third stakes win of the season Saturday, after opening the year with a clear victory in the Sham Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita Park, a fourth as the favorite in the Southwest Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park, a bounce-back win in the Sunland Park Festival of Racing Stakes at Sunland Park.
Collected paid $6.40, $4, and $3 across the board. One More Round returned $28.40 to place and $13.80 to show, while Synchrony paid $5 to show.
Bred in Kentucky by Runnymede Farm and Peter Callahan, Collected is the first stakes winner for his winning Johannesburg mare Helena Bay. Speedway landed Collected for $170,000 at last years Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. March sale, where he was consigned by SGV Thoroughbreds, agent.