Cindy's Horse Racing Website Index

Triple Crown Prep Results

Date: 04/17/2004

With two weeks to go before the Kentucky Derby, horses without enough graded stakes earnings to get into the big race are clearly on the bubble. The Grade 2 Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland is the last realistic chance for such hopefuls to get into the field, which is limited to 20. A full field of 14 entered the starting gate in this $325,000 event at 1 1/16 miles, before a record attendance of 31,035 at Keeneland. Sent off as the lukewarm 4-1 favorite was Song of the Sword, runner-up in the Illinois Derby last out. Also in the field were Lecomte Stakes winner and 9-2 second choice Fire Slam, and "wise guy" horse Boomzeeboom, the 5-1 third choice off a two-race winning streak, but in his first start against stakes company.

Quintons Gold Rush winner of the Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland.
23-1 longshot Dashboard Drummer got the early lead over 6-1 fourth choice Quintons Gold Rush, leading the field through a quarter in 23.32 and a half in 47.29 before weakening gradually, eventually finishing fifth. Jerry Bailey, aboard, Quintons Gold Rush, inherited the lead through six furlongs in 1:12.00, at which time the closers began to make their moves toward the leader on the far turn Norberto Arroyo Jr. sent favored Song of the Sword three wide at the top of the stretch for his rally after trailing the field in eighth early on, and then coming back to the inside hung in deep stretch and could not catch the leader. Fire Slam, stalking the pace in fifth through the initial half mile, also came on strong taking a wide turn, but wasn't good enough. Quintons Gold Rush cruised down the lane to an easy victory, extending his lead to two lengths by the 1/8 pole and finishing 2 3/4 lengths clear of Fire Slam in 1:43.82 over the fast track It was another neck back to the favorite in third.
Results chart

Jerry Bailey
Winning jockey Jerry Bailey said, "It was an impressive win. There's no way to predict with a 14-horse field and this many speed horses. He got into the second position with ease and the fractions were moderate. He was running well within himself. He's got a long stride and that really works to his benefit. We were able to open up into the lane and that is a big advantage here." Bailey would not commit to any horse for his Derby mount, saying "That's why I pay [agent] Ron Anderson 25%. We have some other options including Read the Footnotes. We'll probably make up our minds in a couple of days."

Winning trainer Steve Asmussen said, "He ran a great race. He's a tremendously talented horse. We haven't had him long enough to do much with him. It was our plan to run him here and then evaluate our Derby options." Asmussen has only been Quintons Gold Rush's trainer for two weeks, since his loss in the Santa Anita Derby. Mike Mitchell trained the colt previously.

Fire Slam winning the Lecomte Stakes at the Fair Grounds.
Pat Day, aboard runner-up Fire Slam, said, "This horse is more of a seven-furlong type horse. He got forced wide. It was not the best of trips and he flattened out in the last sixteenth of a mile."

Norberto Arroyo Jr, aboard beaten favorite Song of the Sword, said, "He broke badly and I think that really cost me. When we got to the turn we were in good position and I had plenty of horse but the horse in front of me stopped and by the time I was able to angle out, it was too late." Trainer Jennifer Pedersen added, "He's never run a bad race. Did you see the way he finished? If we have the earnings, we're in the Derby."

Two other minor Kentucky Derby preps were also held today: The California Derby at Bay Meadows and the Federico Tesio at Pimlico. At Pimlico, local favorites Water Cannon and Pawyne Princess, duelled the entire 9 furlongs with Water Cannon getting the win by a neck in 1:50.50. At Bay Meadows, Trieste's Honor got up to win over pacesetter Capitano by neck in 1:47.95. Neither race is expected to have an impact on the Kentucky Derby, but watch the Tesio horses when it comes time for the Preakness.
Federico Tesio chart
California Derby chart

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