Saturday April 23rd 2011
Name: Coolmore Lexington Stakes Grade: III
Distance/Restrictions: 1 1/8 Miles, Dirt, 3 Year Olds, STAKES
The Coolmore Lexington Stakes and next week's Derby Trial will serve as “last call” for an opportunity to run in this year’s Kentucky Derby. The winner of this race will earn $120,000 in graded stakes, which would put (#2) Silver Medallion in the top 15 three year old earners and afford him the opportunity to run for the roses.
For Silver Medallion this could end up being a test of stamina – he finished a disappointing 4th two weeks ago in the Santa Anita Derby….if he wins here and they decide to make a run in the Kentucky Derby that will be three races in a month – which once upon a time wasn’t that rare – but that’s a lot of racing for today’s three year old.
It’s also possible that Silver Medallion is using this race to prep for the Preakness Stakes, a month from this Saturday. Either way they're looking for a win here in the Coolmore for the opportunity to advance to greater stakes.
The two horses that I think pose the biggest threats to Silver Medallion are (#1) Derby Kitten who will be making a transition from turf to synthetic dirt – this horse loves to crash the party late and he’ll have a sweet starting spot for this outing.
(#3) Prime Cut arrives from Louisiana where he defeated a very heavy favorite in a recent allowance victory. Prime Cut will sit a few lengths off the pace and then make a move near the final turn. He showed me a lot of maturity in his last race, and a lot of power in the final furlongs.
I’m not a big fan of (#4) Hurricane Lake in this race – he’s only been successful in 1 mile races….and when you consider his only victory at a mile was a fairly slow 1.38.93, it’s hard to get interested in this 6/1 horse.
(#5) Taptowne has a great predigree, sired by Tapit who was the grandpony?? of A.P. Indy…..but unlike his predecessors Taptowne has never managed to win a race. Does anyone else see this name and immediately begin humming Taptowne ladies sing this song…do da do da….
Finally (#6) Casper’s Touch who hasn’t been terribly successful against top of the line horses (finished 7th in the Fountain of Youth), but then again these aren’t top of the line horses, and Casper’s Touch is fresh off a victory here at Keeneland in a 7 furlong allowance. He’s currently the 2nd favorite behind Silver Medallion – and that’s probably because he’s the most familiar with this track.
Despite Casper’s home field advantage – I’m concerned he won’t succeed in this 1 1/16 race with strong finishers flying in the home stretch.
I like Prime Cut to edge out Silver Medallion, with Derby Kitten finishing 3rd.
Closing Speed likes 3/2/1
1959 Johnny Cash - Camptown Ladies -