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2014 Coolmore Lexington

Coolmore Lexington at Keeneland

Ami'sHolidayThe Grade 3 $200,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes is the 9th race on the card for Saturday at Keeneland. Set at 1 1/16 mile, this year’s edition of the Coolmore Lexington will host a field of 11 three year olds. The Lexington has seen some major horses grace its winner’s circle since its inauguration back in 1936 including Risen Star, Hansel and Charismatic. The Lexington is meant to be a Kentucky Derby Points race, providing points for horses that might be on the bubble for this year’s Kentucky Derby. This year’s race would give out 10 points to the winner, 4 to second, 2 to third and 1 to 4th. The only horse in this field with any points and a slim chance of making the Kentucky Derby field is Ami’s Holiday, who gained 10 points with his win in the Grey Stakes at Woodbine last year. I find it odd that there are not more. There are at least 20 possible horses that could have entered this race and possibly get in (although it’s a longshot). Even the horses right on the bubble with 20 points could place 3rd or even 4th and secure a spot, yet the only one who has entered is Ami’s Holiday. If Ami’s Holiday was to win and hit the 20 point mark, it is still doubtful that he would get in. Still, stranger things have happened. Let’s take a look.

Lexington Stakes

DivineOathThe 5/2 morning line favorite is Mr Speaker, trained by Shug McGaughey and ridden by Jose Lezcano. Mr Speaker won the Grade 3 Dania Beach at Gulfstream back in December by 2 ¾ lengths, but followed that up with a 7th place finish in the Grade 2 Holy Bull and a second place finish in the Grade 3 Palm Beach. Divine Oath is close on his hooves on the ML at 3 to 1. He’s undefeated in 2 starts and will probably go off as the favorite here, in my opinion. Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Javier Castallano, Divine Oath should be the one to beat in this race. For value, I’m looking at Solitary Ranger at 6 to 1 on the morning line. Although he failed in the Grade 3 Spiral running 9th, I am willing to overlook that race. I see him taking an uncontested lead here and not looking back. Some of his past races have been impressive wins and if he can show that form in the Lexington, he’ll have a great shot at winning this one. For a long shot, I’m rooting for Ami’s Holiday at 10 to 1 on the morning line. Call me crazy, but I like the idea of a horse fighting the odds to get into the big race. It may not happen, but if it does it will make one heck of a story! Personal feelings aside, Ami’s Holiday put up an impressive race in the Grey (although it was a short field) and I believe he has the potential to pulling off a huge upset here. Good luck everybody!

 

 

 

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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at HandicapHorseRacing.com and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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