July 22, 2024

My Boy Jack must overcome post 12 in Lexington

A juvenile turf stakes winner, My Boy Jack recorded his first stakes tally on the main track in the February 19 Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn Park (c) Coady Photo

My Boy Jack displayed a fine late kick winning the Southwest (G3) and recording a close third in the Louisiana Derby (G2), but he’s precariously placed at 20th on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard presently and connections don’t want to miss the Kentucky Derby due to an insufficient 32-point total. As a result, he’s shipped to Keeneland and tops a 12-horse field in Saturday’s $200,000 Lexington Stakes (G3).

The 1 1/16-mile test offers a combined 34 points (20-8-4-2 scale) and a top two finish will likely guarantee My Boy Jack a spot in the 20-horse Kentucky Derby line-up. But the Keith Desormeaux-trained colt must overcome the far outside post at a tricky 1 1/16-mile distance with a short stretch. Jockey Kent Desormeaux retains the mount on the son of Creative Cause.

My Boy Jack isn’t the only performer of note entered as the Lexington marks the return of Greyvitos, who was sidelined by an ankle issue after winning December’s Springboard Mile at Remington Park, the final Kentucky Derby qualifier of 2017. A gray colt by Magnum Moon, Greyvitos has captured back-to-back stakes starts for Adam Kitchingman, breaking his maiden in the 7-furlong Bob Hope (G3), and the front-runner will return from the 118-day hiatus with new rider Joel Rosario.

Pony Up, a turf maiden winner last fall but no factor in the Holy Bull (G2) two starts ago, switches back to the main track for Todd Pletcher following a neck second in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) on Turfway Park’s Polytrack. Seven Trumpets showed decent class recording a close second in the Jerome earlier this year and will try to rebound for Dale Romans after a pair of unplaced efforts in the Southwest and Sunland Derby (G3).

Battle at Sea faces a class check but is expected to add to the pace following a pair of back-to-back wins over Louisiana-bred rivals, including a convincing wire-to-wire score in the Crescent City Derby on the Louisiana Derby undercard. But he loses the services of Jose Ortiz to Honor Up, who will make his first start against open foes for Bill Mott off an 11-length maiden romp at Aqueduct in mid-December.

Other runners include Telekinesis, a sharp debut scorer and third most recently versus allowance foes for Mark Casse; and Jeff Ruby fourth-placer Zanesville, an easy allowance winner on dirt two back for Tom Amoss.