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Las Vegas, NV - The "Road to the Kentucky Derby" makes a stop at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky this Saturday, April 12. The Toyota Blue Grass Stakes will offer up one of the final chances for three year olds to gather points toward qualification into the Run for the Roses in less than a month's time. The hopefuls will go 1 1/8 miles on Keeneland's main track for a very nice purse of $750,000.
The Blue Grass Stakes has drawn an overflow field of 14 plus one Alternate Entry to go in race 11 on Keeneland's stacked Saturday card. Post time is 5:45 PM. Here is a brief look into the credentials of all 15 possible contenders for this all-important "Road to the Kentucky Derby" points Grade 1 stakes.
Bobby's Kitten 3-1 - Chad Brown trained colt broke maiden August 23 in wire-to-wire fashion in his second career start at Saratoga after a third in his debut July 27 also at Saratoga. He went on to an impressive 6 1/4 length score in the Grade 2 Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont Park October 6 and finished a decent third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. Last time out was another win - a one mile Allowance score in gate-to-wire fashion at Tampa Bay Downs March 8 making it three wins and two third place finishes in five career starts. He makes his first start on Polytrack and his fist start off grass as the favorite Saturday. Javier Castellano gets the mount from post 5.
Medal Count 9-2 - Dale Romans trained colt is coming off a win just last week in the Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes on this track April 4 after a fifth in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream February 22, an Allowance Optional Claiming score January 12 and an eleventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. That followed an equally disappointing fifth in the Grade 3 Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland in October and a MSW score in his career debut - at Ellis Park September 1. Medal Count hadn't been great in his graded stakes action but his effort on this track last week certainly opened some eyes. He is the second choice on the morning line. Robby Alvarado will be in the saddle from gate 13.
Gala Award 5-1 - Todd Pletcher pupil broke maiden January 20 in his second career start after a second in a similar race in his debut December 7 - both results coming at Gulfstream. Last time out he made a successful jump into graded stakes company with a win in the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes March 1. Although lightly raced he has shown terrific form - enough to be named the third choice on the morning line. John Velazquez rides from the outside post Saturday.
Coastline 8-1- Mark Casse trained colt won two of his first three career starts including the minor Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs in October with a second over that span and looked decent in his step up in competition. Last time out was a decent third behind Harry's Holiday in the Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park March 22 after an OK fourth in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park February 17, a third in the minor Smarty Jones also at Oaklawn and a disappointing eighth in the Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot in November. Coastline has just a pair of thirds in his last four starts overall but still checks in as the fourth choice on the morning line. He has a win and a third place finish in two starts on synthetic track and will have Stewart Elliot aboard from post 11.
Vinceremos 8-1 - impressive Todd Pletcher trained colt is coming off a good second behind upset winner Ring Weekend in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby March 8 after a terrific win in the Sam F. Davis Stakes on this track February 1 in his third career start. He debuted with a second and broke maiden January 4 at Gulfstream before his stakes debut. Vinceremos has two wins and two seconds in four career starts and is maybe his new trainer Todd Pletcher's best chance in this race. He tries synthetic for the first time Saturday with Edgar Prado in the reins from gate 12.
Harry's Holiday 10-1 - Michael Maker trained colt is coming off a good second in the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park March 22 after a third behind Solitary Ranger and Poker Player in the minor John Battaglia Memorial March 1 and his first stakes score - the 96ROCK Stakes also here February 1. He has three wins, two seconds and a third place finish in seven career starts and looked very good last time out in his graded stakes debut. Rosie Napravnik will get the call from post 4.
Pablo Del Monte 12-1 - Wesley Ward pupil won his first two career starts - a MSW and an Allowance at Keeneland before stepping up and finishing fifth in the Grade 3 Generous Stakes on grass at Hollywood Park November 30. Last time out was a decent third in the Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream February 1 after a fourth in the Gulfstream Park Derby January 1 in his dirt debut. Victor Espinoza will be in the saddle from post 3.
Dance With Fate 12-1 - Debuted July 14 at Hollywood Park and finished an ugly eighth in a MSW but bounced back with a win in a MSW August 11. He had a good second behind Bond Holder in the Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes September 28 after a troubled second behind Tamarando in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity September 4 and went on to a disappointing eighth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. He bounced back with an Allowance Optional Claiming score by 1 3/4 lengths at Santa Anita January 24 and most recently was a good second in the Grade 2 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate February 15. Dance With Fate is an intriguing entry for the 12-1 shot for the Blue Grass and will have Corey Nakatani aboard from post 8.
Toyota Blue Grass Stakes betting at Keeneland Race Course with OffTrackBetting.com
Asserting Bear 15-1 - Reade Baker trained colt finished a disappointing eighth after pressing the pace in the Grade 2 Summer Stakes at Woodbine September 14 but looked better after that in minor stakes action - a second in the minor Kingarvie Stakes December 7, a win in the Coronation Futurity in November and a third in the Cup and Saucer Stakes in October - all results at Woodbine. Last time out was fourth in the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes March 22 after a fifth in the Sam F. Davis Stakes February 1. He has eight career starts with two wins, a second and a third place finish.
Extrasexyhippzster 15-1 - has six career starts for trainer Michael Trombetta with three wins. Last time out was a career worst performance - an eighth in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct March 1. He had two straight wins before that in minor stakes action however - in the minor Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel Park January 25 and in the Dock Rickles Stakes December 21 at Aqueduct. Extrasexyhippzster will be looking for a strong bounce back Saturday and is 15-1 on the morning line. Julian Pimentel has the mount from post 2
Coltimus Prime 20-1 - has four career starts with a win and a second place finish. Last time out was an ugly ninth in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby in his first race away from Woodbine after a second in the minor Display Stakes December 8 and after breaking maiden November 17 in his second career start. Alan Garcia will be aboard from the six-hole Saturday.
Big Bazinga 20-1 - shipped in from Woodbine and finished seventh in the Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot November 23 after two good career starts. They were a second in the Grade 3 Grey Stakes October 6 after a MSW score September 8. He most recently finished fifth in the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes March 23 after a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream February 22 and an eleventh in the Grade 2 Holy Bull on that same track January 25. Big Bazinga looked good early in his career but has failed to develop the way many envisioned. He is 20-1 on the morning line and will have Brian Hernandez in the saddle from gate 9.
Casiguapo 30-1 - debuted with a respectable third in the minor Frank Gomez Memorial Stakes June 22 at Calder and went on to break maiden for trainer Mario Morales -on that same track July 20. He had an OK fourth in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park October 5 after a very good graded stakes debut - a second behind Strong Mandate in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga September 2. Last time out was a career worst effort however - a fifth in an Allowance Optional Claiming February 2 after a good second in the Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot November 23. Casiguapo enters in so-so form and will have Rajiv Maragh in the reins from post 7.
So Lonesome 50-1 - is coming off a disappointing ninth in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream March 1 after a win in the minor Virgo Libra Stakes in his first turf start at Aqueduct November 16. He also had an OK third in the minor Bertram F. Bongard Stakes at Belmont Park in October and a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming in September. So Lonesome has two wins, a second and a third place finish in five career starts and will start from gate 10 with Joe Rocco in the saddle.
Divine Oath 12-1 - Also Eligible entry and Todd Pletcher trained colt has two career starts with two wins - an Allowance Optional Claiming and a MSW - both at Gulfstream.
Race 11 on Keeneland Race Course's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:45 PM.
|1||Asserting Bear||E. Wilson||R. Baker|
|2||Extrasexyhippzster||J. Pimentel||M. Trombetta|
|3||Pablo Del Monte||V. Espinoza||W. Ward|
|4||Harry's Holiday||R. Napravnik||M. Maker|
|5||Bobby's Kitten||J. Castellano||C. Brown|
|6||Coltimus Prime||A. Garcia||J. Nixon|
|7||Casiguapo||R. Maragh||M. Morales|
|8||Dance With Fate||C. Nakatani||P. Eurton|
|9||Big Bazinga||B. Hernandez, Jr.||K. Vassilieva|
|10||So Lonesome||J. Rocco, Jr.||T. Bush|
|11||Coastline||S. Elliott||M. Casse|
|12||Vinceremos||E. Prado||T. Pletcher|
|13||Medal Count||R. Albarado||D. Romans|
|14||Gala Award||J. Velazquez||T. Pletcher|
|15||Divine Oath||J. Leparoux||T. Pletcher|
|Race Tracks||Time (EST)|