COOLMORE LEXINGTON STAKES | PURSE: $200,000 | 3-YEAR-OLDS | GRADE 3 | 1 1/16 MILES
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Derby implications? Um, not this year. A 70-1 shot named All Squared Away was a stunning winner Saturday of the Grade 3, $200,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland in a race that, unlike most prior years, will not yield a starter for the Kentucky Derby.
With Julio Garcia riding for trainer Wesley Ward, All Squared Away prevailed by 1 1/2 lengths over Summer Front, the 2-1 favorite in a field of 11 3-year-olds, with Hammers Terror a neck back in third.
All Squared Away, a Kentucky-bred gelding by Bellamy Road, returned $143.20 as the longest shot in the field after finishing the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:42.55 over Polytrack. He banks $120,000 but does not figure to make the 20-horse cutoff for the 138th Derby on May 5 at Churchill Downs.
On a drizzly and chilly afternoon, and before an ontrack crowd of 23,823, All Squared Away got a good stalking trip in fourth behind a trio of front-runners before finally surging past one of those, Hammers Terror, with less than a sixteenth of a mile remaining. Summer Front was up late to be second under Ramon Dominguez, while Hammers Terror, an 18-1 shot, had three-quarters of a length on Gold Megillah in fourth.
"I knew the horse wanted to go a route race," Garcia said afterward.
"Since I got him, he's just thrived here at Keeneland," said Ward, who took over the training of the horse from California-based Peter Miller, who was the trainer of record when All Squared Away finished sixth at 69-1 as a supplementary entry in his last race, the March 24 Vinery Spiral on Polytrack at Turfway Park. All Squared Away had won just once in his seven starts prior to the Spiral, all of them in California and four of those for a claiming price.
Miller, in the name of Altamire Racing Stable, is a co-owner in the gelding, along with the Wire to Wire Racing of Bob Rodriguez.
Only two horses entered the Lexington with a realistic chance of making the Derby, and both ran poorly, with Castaway finishing ninth and Morgan's Guerrilla running last.
The $2 exacta (9-2) paid $842, the $1 trifecta (9-2-8) returned $3,999.80, and the dime superfecta (9-8-2-11) was worth $4,759.95.