My Boy Jack, winner of the Southwest Stakes (G3) and most recently third in the Louisiana Derby (G2), tops a field of 12 3-year-olds entered Wednesday for Saturday's 37th running of the $200,000 Lexington Stakes (G3) at Keeneland.
The race is the final one in Kentucky on the Road to the Kentucky Derby (G1) and offers 34 points on a 20-8-4-2 basis to the top four finishers.
The Lexington Stakes, run at 1 1/16 miles on the main track, will go as the ninth race on Saturday's 11-race program with a 5:34 p.m. ET post time. First post time Saturday is 1:05 p.m.
||Battle At Sea
||Navy Armed Guard
||My Boy Jack
The Road to the Kentucky Derby points game is becoming old hat to the stable of trainer Keith Desormeaux.
Last year, Sonneteer was on the bubble before making his way into the 20-horse field for Desormeaux. Now, the contender is My Boy Jack, who arrived at Keeneland Wednesday night from his Southern California base.
Owned by Don't Tell My Wife Stables and Monomoy Stables, My Boy Jack is the morning-line favorite for Saturday's 37th running of the $200,000 Stonestreet Lexington (G3). The race offers 34 points toward the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) on a 20-8-4-2 basis to the top four finishers.
My Boy Jack has 32 points and is just below the current line for the race that is limited to 20 starters with one spot already reserved for the European runner Gronkowski.
"If he had run second in the Louisiana Derby (G2), we would not be worrying about this," said Julie Clark, assistant to Desormeaux, referring to the 40 points My Boy Jack would have picked up for running second. "He made that big move wide on the turn and (jockey) Kent (Desormeaux) couldn't just stop his momentum."
My Boy Jack had picked up two points with a third-place finish in the Sham (G3) at Santa Anita in January and 10 for winning the Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn Park in February.
"Going to the Southwest worked out well but it didn't have a lot of points," Clark said. "This was his longest ship coming here, but the good thing is he is not going to ship (cross country) again as he will go to Churchill Downs after the race and get settled in over there."
My Boy Jack walked through the Paddock Thursday morning and then galloped 1¼ miles under Morilio Garcia, an exercise that will be repeated Friday.
The last points race toward the Derby is Saturday's Arkansas Derby (G1), which carries 170 points on a 100-40-20-10 basis.
Sonneteer, who was a maiden when he ran in the Kentucky Derby in which he finished 16th, earned his 30 points last year with a runner-up finish in the Rebel (G2) and a fourth-place effort in the Arkansas Derby. Sonneteer returned to California after the Arkansas Derby and then flew back to Kentucky the Saturday before the Derby.
"We knew a few days before entries were taken that we were getting in," Clark said of Sonneteer, who wound up in the 20th spot on the leaderboard.
My Boy Jack can erase any of that suspense Saturday.
Triple B Farms' Greyvitos, who will face 11 other 3-year-olds in Saturday's $200,000 Stonestreet Lexington (G3), walked the stakes barn shedrow Thursday morning while wearing a blanket that said, "Greyvitos - Lilac Fire Survivor."
The son of Malibu Moon, trained by Adam Kitchingman, has faced his share of adversity over the past months. In December, he was evacuated from the Lilac Fire that engulfed San Luis Rey Training Center in Southern California, and early this year he underwent minor knee surgery. Despite the challenges, Kitchingman remains hopeful about the colt's chance of making the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), with the next option being the Preakness (G1).
"The fire didn't affect him, except for shipping around from place to place," Kitchingman said. "That's always a challenge, how they're going to react; a new environment, new conditions, just trying to keep him healthy. The toughest thing was probably going through knee surgery and bringing him back."
In November, Greyvitos won the Bob Hope (G3) at Del Mar, and the following month picked up 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby for his victory in the Remington Springboard Mile (L). The Stonestreet Lexington will be his first race of 2018. The stakes is the final points race in Kentucky on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, awarding a total of 34 points to the top four finishers: 20-8-4-2.
"He hasn't missed a beat; he's worked every five or six days, galloped every day and has been wanting to do more," Kitchingman said. "We're still going to be on the bubble of whether we get into the Derby. I'm just happy that he's back and doing well."
Greyvitos arrived at Keeneland Wednesday evening, walked Thursday and will visit the track for the first time Friday.
"He's pretty full of himself, so we'll probably gallop; just go once around to take a little bit of the edge off of him," Kitchingman said.
The Stonestreet Lexington marks the first time Kitchingman will run a horse he has trained himself at Keeneland.
"It's not going to be easy, but I'm happy with how he's training and I think he's pretty fit," he said. "It's every trainer's dream to go to the Derby. He's done everything right. It's been an adventure, to say the least."