It’s one of the final stops on the 2019 Road to the Kentucky Derby series, but only two of the 10 colts entered in Saturday’s $200,000 Lexington (G3) at Keeneland have sufficient qualifying points at the moment to potentially make the field for the Churchill Downs classic with a victory in the 1 1/16-mile race.
The 20 points available to the winner of the Lexington should be enough for either Anothertwistafate or Sueno, who respectively have 30 and 28 points, to get into the Derby field. Anything less than a victory, however, will find them looking beyond the first Saturday in May for their next race.
Anothertwistafate earned his points courtesy of a seven-length win in the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate, followed by a photo-finish loss in last month’s Sunland Park Derby (G3) in his dirt debut. He’s the likely favorite over Sueno, who’s placed in the Sham (G3), Southwest (G3), and Louisiana Derby (G2) in his last three starts.
“His races have been spaced out and he is carrying good flesh,” trainer Blaine Wright said of Anothertwistafate, who has been based at Sunland Park after a quarantine restriction prevented his return to his Golden Gate base.
Former Derby candidates Knicks Go and Harvey Wallbanger are also in the lineup. Knicks Go registered a 70-1 upset of the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) over this track and trip last October, but has been well beaten in three starts since running second to Game Winner in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). Harvey Wallbanger posted an upset of his own in the February 2 Holy Bull (G2) at 29-1, but finished up the track in the Florida Derby (G1) two weeks ago.
Zenden made a solid two-turn debut in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), finishing only three lengths behind Tacitus after setting the pace. Deep-closing Roiland‘s best finish in the three Derby preps held at Fair Grounds was a third in the Risen Star (G2), while Louisiana-bred Shang steps up in class after winning four of five against state-bred company. The Brad Cox-trained Owendale was a disappointing eighth in the Risen Star, but seems capable of far better.