2024 Lexington Stakes Contenders at Keeneland

Horse Betting Online

Edited Keeneland Press Release
Updated: April 10, 2024

Last Derby Prep G3 Lexington Field Headed By Hades

Hades (D.J. Stable and Robert Cotran), winner of the Holy Bull Stakes (G3) in February at Gulfstream Park, headlines a field of 10 3-year-olds entered for the 42nd running of the $400,000 Stonestreet Lexington Stakes (G3) going 1 1/16 miles (8.5 furlongs) on the main track at Keeneland Racecourse on Saturday, April 13.

The Stonestreet Lexington , which will go off as race 10 of 11 with a 5:48 p.m. EDT post time, is the final race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and offers 42 points on a 20-10-6-4-2 scale to the first- through fifth-place finishers. The Kentucky Derby is limited to the top 20 point earners and invitees.

2024 Lexington Stakes Field & Odds

Race 10 at Keeneland on Saturday, April 13 - Post 5:48 PM

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Secret Chat 15-1 Joel Rosario
118 Lbs
Roderick Rodriguez
2 The Wine Steward 5-2 Luis Saez
118 Lbs
Michael Maker
3 Dilger (IRE) 12-1 Tyler Gaffalione
118 Lbs
Saffie Joseph, Jr.
4 Footprint 10-1 Brian Hernandez, Jr.
118 Lbs
Kenneth McPeek
5 Hades 7-2 Jose Ortiz
120 Lbs
Joseph Orseno
6 How's Ur Attitude 30-1 Adam Beschizza
118 Lbs
John Ennis
7 Everdoit 30-1 Axel Concepcion
118 Lbs
Kevin Rice
8 Encino 5-1 Florent Geroux
118 Lbs
Brad Cox
9 Liberal Arts 4-1 Irad Ortiz, Jr.
118 Lbs
Robert Medina
10 Lucky Jeremy 8-1 Gerardo Corrales
118 Lbs
William Morey

Trained by Joe Orseno, Hades has accumulated 30 points toward the Kentucky Derby. In his most recent start, Hades finished fifth in the Curlin Florida Derby (G1) Presented by Hill 'n' Dale Farms at Xalapa on March 30. Jose Ortiz has the mount from post 5.

Another Grade 3 winner in the gate will be Stephen and Evan Ferrado's Liberal Arts. Trained by Robbie Medina, Liberal Arts won the Street Sense (G3) at Churchill Downs last fall and in his most recent start was placed eighth in the Arkansas Derby (G1) on March 30. Irad Ortiz Jr. has the mount from post 9.

Traditionally one of the last Kentucky Derby (G1) prep races, the Lexington provides one final opportunity for horses in need of qualification points to earn their way into the Run for the Roses. And even when the Lexington fails to produce a Kentucky Derby starter, it typically serves as an important steppingstone toward the the second jewel of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes (G1).

Dilger (IRE) Will Star Emotions in Grade 3 Lexington Stakes

Mike Ryan's Dilger (IRE) will kindle plenty of emotion when he goes to the post for the 42nd running of the $400,000 Stonestreet Lexington (G3) on Saturday. The 3-year-old colt is named for Gerry Dilger, a cherished Central Kentucky breeder, owner and bloodstock agent who died at age 61 in 2020.

"Gerry is in my mind every day," said Ryan, who bred Dilger under his Demers Bloodstock banner and named him for his close friend. "He was a terrific human being, wonderful friend and great family man. He was respected and admired by everyone. We were friends and business partners for 40 years, and he left a void in my life. I asked the Dilger (family) if I could name him in Gerry's honor, and they were delighted. I thought it would be appropriate to name a horse that I really liked who would run in our own colors in Gerry's memory."

Starting from post 3 under Tyler Gaffalione for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr., Dilger enters the Stonestreet Lexington off a nose victory at Gulfstream Park on March 16 in a maiden race. Gaffalione was aboard.

"He has a lot of talent," Ryan said about Dilger. "We are trying to figure out if he wants to go two turns; he is bred to go two turns. He likes to have a horse (in front) to run at. That is when he is at his best."

By leading European-based sire Lope de Vega, Dilger is from the family of 2022 Toyota Blue Grass (G1) winner Zandon. Ryan, as agent, purchased Zandon at Keeneland's 2020 September Yearling Sale.

Gerry Dilger, a native of County Clare, Ireland, came to the U.S. at 19. In 1994, he established Dromoland Farm in Lexington, which soon evolved into a leading breeder and consignor. In the name of Santa Rosa Partners, he and Ryan bred 2017 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming, sold by Dromoland at Keeneland September.

The following year, Dilger was honored with the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders' Association's annual Wild Geese Award, presented to an individual who has excelled outside of his or her native Ireland while "flying the Irish flag with pride on a global stage."

Now he also is remembered through the Gerry Dilger Equine Scholarship, which was established soon after his death for young people interested in careers in the Thoroughbred industry.

On Saturday, Dilger's widow, Erin, and two of their three children, Claire and Joseph, are expected to be at Keeneland. Ryan and the Dilgers' other child, Grace, will be unable to attend.

"The Stonestreet is in our hometown," Ryan said. "My family will be there, and the Dilgers will be there. There will be lots of sentiment and emotion like the day (the colt) won at Gulfstream."

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