The top three finishers from Saturday’s Stonestreet Lexington Stakes are either at Churchill Downs or soon will be, according to their connections.
Owendale, who notched his first stakes victory with a 13/4-length triumph, might head back to Churchill Monday to join trainer Brad Cox’s string there, according to Tessa Bisha, who runs Cox’s barn at Keeneland.
“He was one of the first 2-year-olds we got here last year about this time,” Bisha said of Owendale. “He has always had the talent, and I think the big thing yesterday is the rider let him settle.”
Via text, Cox said the Preakness is a possibility for Owendale.
Anothertwistafate picked up eight Derby points with his runner-up effort to boost his Derby points total to 38. He needs defections to make the Kentucky Derby starting gate.
“He ate up good and cooled out fine, and that’s the main thing,” trainer Blaine Wright said Sunday morning. “He will spend a couple more days here and then go to Churchill maybe Tuesday or Wednesday. We planned to go to Churchill no matter what, so now we will take a wait-and-see approach.”
Under Javier Castellano, Anothertwistafate raced on the inside and was boxed in from the half-mile pole to the quarter pole.
“He did not have the best of trips,” Wright said. “I don’t think he likes being inside. The rider tried to tip him out at the head of the stretch, but the leader drifted out, and he had to go back inside.”
There's a backup plan if the Kentucky Derby doesn't work out. He has an automatic berth in the Preakness Stakes from winning the El Camino Real Derby.
“If he doesn’t get in, we still have the Preakness,” Wright said. “He has done a lot of shipping, and I think the best thing now would be to get to one place and settle in.”
Sueno finished another 1 1/4 length back in third and picked up four Derby points to increase his total to 32.
“He got back to Churchill last night, and he came out of the race great,” said Julie Clark, assistant to trainer Keith Desormeaux. “Now we will keep our fingers crossed.”
Two years ago at this time, another Desormeaux runner, Sonneteer, was basically in the same position as Sueno. He was 26th in points after finishing fourth in the Arkansas Derby. A week before the Kentucky Derby, he was 22nd when he shipped to Churchill from Southern California, and he made it into the field.