Tips and Analysis for the Lexington Stakes, the last Kentucky Derby Prep Race

Tips and Analysis for the Lexington Stakes, the last Kentucky Derby Prep Race
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The Lexington Stakes is the last prep race for the Kentucky Derby, or more accurately, a last gasp to make the Derby field.

With the Kentucky Derby field restricted to 20 starters, a handful of horses who have earned qualifying points but are below the top 20 are hoping to use the Lexington to secure a spot in the Derby field. The 1-1/16 mile race at Keeneland offers a total of 34 qualifying points (the top preps offered 170 points), with 20 points to the winner. It appears as if about 40 points will be needed to qualify for the 148th Kentucky Derby.

The Lexington is run three weeks before the first Saturday in May, which will require a relatively quick turnaround. Based on recent history, the Kentucky Derby winner likely won’t be coming out of the Lexington. The last horse to win both races was Charismatic in 1999.

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Current 2022 Kentucky Derby Qualifier Standings

Rank HorsePoints Earnings
1 Epicenter 164 $940,000
2 Rich Strike 114 $663,500
3 White Abario 112 $769,650
4 Mo Donegal 112 $561,500
5 Tiz the Bomb 110 $1,012,610
6 Cyberknife 100 $752,000
7 Crown Pride 100 $671,544
8 Taiba100 $450,000
9 Simplification 74 $482,150
10 Smile Happy 70 $499,410
11 Slow Down Andy 60 $475,000
12 Barber Road 58 $589,700
13 Un Ojo 54 $655,00
14 Early Voting 50 $277,500
15 Morello 50 $220,000
16 Messier 40 $390,000
17 Zozos 40 $200,000
18 Summer Is Tomorrow 40 $200,000
19 Charge It 40 $188,000
20 Tawny Port 40 $122,000

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Lexington Stakes Distance, Purse, Date

2022 Race Date: Saturday, April 16

Track: Keeneland, Lexington, Kentucky

Inaugural Race: 1936

Distance: 1 1/16 miles

Surface: Dirt

Status: Grade 3

Purse: $400,000

2021 winner: King Fury

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Lexington Stakes Preview

A field of 11 is entered in the Lexington, headed by Tawny Port, who likely has already earned a spot in the Kentucky Derby.

Tawny Port began the week 21st in the Derby points standings (top 20 earn entry), but several horses above him are already off the Derby trail.

Three of Tawny Port’s four career races were over synthetic tracks and trainer Brad Cox wants to better judge how he fares on the dirt.

Others who can reach the Derby with a strong performance are In Due Time and Ethereal Road.

In Due Time was second in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Ethereal Road surprisingly wheels back just one week after finishing a well-beaten seventh in the Blue Grass Stakes at this same Kentucky track.

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Position HorseTrainer RiderOdds
1 Midnight Chrome John Servis Jose Ortiz20-1
2 In Due Time Kelly Breen Paco Lopez 3-1
3 We All See It Eddie Kenneally Luis Saez15-1
4 Ethereal Road D. Wayke Lukas Victor Espinoza 10-1
5 Howling Time Dale L. Romans Joseph Talamo15-1
6 Skate to Heaven Robertino Diodoro David Cohen 30-1
7 Major General Todd Pletcher Irad Ortiz, Jr. 4-1
8 Strava Dallas Stewart Tyler Gaffalione 20-1
9 Tawny Port Brad Cox Florent Geroux5-2
10 Dash Attack Ken McPeek Flavien Pratt10-1
11 Call Me Midnight Keith Desormeaux James Graham6-1

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Picks and Analysis for 2022 Lexington Stakes

In Due Time finished second in the Fountain of Youth, a race in which his rider, Paco Lopez, received a 14-day suspension for careless riding which resulted in a two-horse spill around the far turn at Gulfstream Park. In Due Time has tactical speed and is fast enough to win here and earn a trip to Louisville. Lopez is back aboard.

Tawny Port is the logical horse in this field. His three best finishes (two wins and a second) were on Turfway Park’s synthetic track, but he also ran a decent fifth on the dirt in the Risen Star Stakes, a Grade 2 race that has produced multiple next-out winners. Top connections. Short price seems likely.

We All See It is stepping up in class and worth a look at double-digit odds. Comes off impressive allowance win; positive rider change.

Call Me Midnight was a 28-1 winner in the Lecomte Stakes in January, then a well-beaten sixth in the Louisiana Derby. Late-running colt needs a fast pace to run at, but not sure he’ll get it here.

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Final Recap

The Lexingtron Stakes at Keeneland is the final Kentucky Derby prep races as the Triple Crown hopefuls prepare for the first run.

Since you are interested in the sport of kings, you should check out our horse race betting page. It contains a lot of great information, and we will be tightly focused on the Road Kentucky Derby every step of the way, so you should come back to visit us.

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