Thursday, April 15, 2010

Coolmore Lexington Stakes


Saturday April 17, 2010
Estimated Local Post Time: 5:15 pm
Name: Coolmore Lexington Stakes Grade: II
Purse: $300,000
Distance/Restrictions: 1 1/16 Miles, Synthetic, 3 Year Olds, STAKES

Distorted Dave
Call Shot
Prince Will I Am
Lonesome Street
Kettle River
Chief Counsel

The Coolmore Lexington Stakes is by far the most “wide-open” race I’ve looked at this season. I can easily see six different horses winning this race – and narrowing it down to even the top three is a formidable task.

In honor of the baseball season I start with the 1, 2, 3 horses that are OUT – as far as my pre-race analysis goes.

Strike One – Is the #1 horse Krypton, who has been given very encouraging odds on the morning line of 6/1 – however outside of his favorable post position I haven’t seen anything in this horse's history to indicate that a victory is likely.

Steeerike Two – (#4) Bushwhacked – hasn’t shown any promise with this kind of distance, I think the Trainers are just hoping for a miracle here.

Strike Three and sit down – (#12) Chief Counsel. With a better starting gate look he might have been a factor, but his outside post will probably be too much to overcome.

Before we move on to the more favored horses I have a definite LONG SHOT ALERT, and that would be 30/1 Prince Will I Am. The negative is that he got blown out in the Fountain of Youth and finished 8th – however five of the horses who finished in front of him are practically guarantees in the Kentucky Derby including this year’s shining star Eskendreya.

Now consider the following upsides to this horse:

· Calvin Borel (Mr. Upset himself) will be aboard as his jockey

· This horse has a tendency to bounce and should be ready for an upswing - (8th / 2nd / 9th / 1st)

· He finished ahead of last week’s Bluegrass Stakes winner Stately Victor in a January Allowance race.

· He’s been training for 1 1/8th miles and will be subtracting a 1/16th of a mile for this race.

· He has a great post position

· And finally his competition isn’t “all that”.

At 30/1 I think he’s worth consideration.

Now that we’ve looked at the longshot let’s take a look at the 4/1 favorite UptownCharlieBrown. Uptown is a local favorite here in Keeneland and his story (attached below) is one that will certainly make you root for this horse – however despite this horse’s solid starting gate position I think there are horses in this field who possess more than enough talent to beat him. As a fan I’m pulling for him, as a bettor I think there are better options.

Distorted Dave flies in from California fresh off a 1 1/16th mile allowance victory in Santa Anita. I think he’s outclassed in this one.

Call Shot is another interesting prospect in this race as his morning odds are currently 10/1. Call Shot just finished 3rd against two tough competitors (Radiohead and Homeboykris) in a recent 1 mile allowance race – however that was his first race after a three month layoff. I’m looking at his horse because I don’t think we’ll know how developed this horse is until after this race is finished. With fresh legs, and having shaken off the rust with his recent race – he could be a surprise.

Exhi and Lonesome Street (sounds like an Elvis song to me) – finished 1st and 2nd in the Rushaway Stakes – I think if either of these horses get a quick jump out of the gate and a little luck down the stretch they could certainly be a factor – I don’t think either of these two will pull off a victory, but landing in the top three wouldn’t surprise me.

Another “relative” long shot that I like in this race is 12/1 Heavenville. Very similar to Arkansas Derby winner Line Of David – Heavenville seems to be improving with each new challenge. He’s another horse that is coming off a few months rest, and he’s done well on both Turf (2nd place) and Dirt (1st place Crescent City Derby). He finished 1st here at Keeneland when he was a two year old (almost a year ago – 4/09/09 ) – bet against him with caution.

Connemara – (5/1) would probably be the favorite in this race if he had a better post position and if he weren’t carrying more weight than everybody else (121 lbs) with the exception of Exhi (also 121). His recent outings include 3 trips to the Winners Circle, 1 place, and in his last race 1 show. Against this field I think he’ll need a little luck to win it – but in the end I don’t think he’ll finish any worse than 3rd.

Finally Kettle River makes the trek from California and attempts to shake off a very poor Sham Stakes outing. Kettle River (still makes me hungry for Kettle Popcorn every time – not the brand Kettle but the cooking process of Kettle Popcorn…everytime! I could eat a whole bag right now) – I digress, Kettle River went into the Sham Stakes with all kinds of promise following two straight victories – and then he just failed to show up in the biggest race of his career.

Many think the Sham Stakes isn’t worth reviewing and that it was just a weird race (and I agree) – he’s going off at 5/1 as well – and I really liked this horse and he might have it in him to bounce off of that terrible Sham outing, however I’m not crazy about this being his first race out of California. I’ll pass on the popcorn….I mean Kettle.

As a bettor I think you have to consider putting a couple of dollars on Prince Will I Am, Call Shot and/or Heavenville – because this is the perfect race for an upset to happen. The favorite (UptownCharlieBrown) hasn’t been racing particularly well – and the next two favorites Connemara and Kettle River certainly don’t instill complete confidence.

My far more conservative $1 Tri-fecta would be – Connemara / Heavenville and UptownCharlieBrown – however….

Closing Speed likes – #6 - 30/1 Prince Will I Am and Calvin Borel for the long shot baby!

For more on Sentimental Favorite UptownCharlieBrown –

Isn't he cute -

And the musical selection for the weekend…..the King - except no substitutes!

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