Exhi leads throughout in Lexington upset
The exacta paid $296.40, the trifecta $1,896.40, and the 8-4-2-12 superfecta was worth $19,858.20. The order of finish was completed by Prince Will I Am (Victory Gallop), Kettle River (Congaree), Distorted Dave (Distorted Humor), Heavenville (Offlee Wild), Krypton (Rock Hard Ten), 4-1 favorite Connemara (Giant's Causeway), Call Shot (Tale of the Cat) and Lonesome Street (Broken Vow).
Exhi was a maiden winner on turf in his third career start at Belmont Park, then ran sixth in the Bourbon S. (G3) over the Keeneland turf in October. Beaten a combined 31 lengths in his next two outings, the sophomore tried Polytrack for the first time in the Rushaway and passed the wire a length in front under Russell Baze. Though the Lexington winner's share of $180,000 is likely insufficient to get Exhi into the starting gate of the Kentucky Derby (G1) two weeks from now, it did elevate his career bankroll to $284,198 from a line of 8-3-2-1.
Produced from the Group 2-placed stakes winner Soldera (Polish Numbers), the Kentucky-bred counts as a full sibling the unraced juvenile filly Soldata and as a half-sibling the yearling filly La Polonaise (Smart Strike). Exhi's third dam was Canadian Horse of the Year Fanfreluche (Northern Dancer), who shared 1970 champion three-year-old filly honors in the U.S. with Office Queen. She produced Canadian Horse of the Year L'Enjoleur (Buckpasser) as well as Canadian champions La Voyageuse (Tentam) and Medaille d'Or (Secretariat), and the Grade 2 winner D'Accord (Secretariat). Other notables from this family include English highweight Bint Allayl (Green Desert), French highweight Holy Roman Emperor (Ire) (Danehill), and Grade/Group 1 winners Aube Indienne (Fr) (Bluebird), Flying Spur (Danehill), Encosta de Lago (Fairy King) and Majestic Roi (Street Cry [Ire]).
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