The Coolmore Lexington- Grade III
KEE Race 3 1 1/16M Dirt
Purse $200.000 For
Three Year Olds
While this is technically a Derby Prep, awarding 20 points to the winner, a scan of the field reveals that none of these entrants are likely to qualify even with a win. That being said there is still $200.000 up for grabs and, other big three year old races that these are trying to position themselves, so let’s see who is going to come out of these looking for bigger things.
1 Stainless Metal, trained by John Henry
Has won only once in 9 lifetime starts while spending the early part of his career running on the turf. Was switched to the dirt to run in the Allison Derby and after a very close second was sold for $80.000. He was put back on the turf by his new owner but a bad draw in the Black Gold led to a poor showing. He then had a very impressive mile dirt work which led to another sale, this one for $190.000, and his new owner entered him in the LA Derby to try and get him qualified for the Derby. That effort did not go well but he has continued to work well and seems to fit in with these.
2 Controlled Lion, trained by Our Athletes
Has spent 2018 trying to qualify for the Derby but has been unable to hit the board in his three starts. Both of his victories have been at 5.5 furlongs and his miles works have not been that strong, so I am concerned that he prefers sprinting. Will need to take a big step forward to win here and I think others have a better chance.
3 Charleys Agent, trained by Mb Stables
Another that has been running in qualifiers running a good second in the Withers but following that up with a very dull effort in the Tampa Derby. Has put in a couple of very fast works since his last race so could still be improving. Trainer usually knows where to spot these types so must consider him a big threat.
4 Spooky Mist, trained by Crocker Ggs
Lightly raced colt with only 5 career starts. He is coming into this off of an impressive win in a nwx1 at 1 1/8 which was a bit of a surprise given his sprint-oriented conformation. I am going to need to see a similar performance against this better competition before I can recommend.
5 Flying Pegasus, trained by Nakamura Stables
Another with only 5 starts to his name and without a win since last April. His speed ratings have been consistently lower than most others in the field as have his longer works. Built to like shorter distances so I expect to see him back sprinting after this.
6 Chailemagne, trained by Gdp Inc.
Has won 3 of 9 lifetime including an impressive victory in the American Fabius at 7F where he earned a 97-speed rating. Has been steadily stretching out over his last three races and it appears distance should not be a problem. With his current form and good works should be a top contender.
7 Processing Class, trained by Toppedout
What would a three-year-old stakes race be without an appearance by Processing Class who has managed to go to the post an amazing 20 times in his young life. While he has managed to win four of those outings they were all at the free track, so his lifetime earnings are only $18.000. Did run decently in some of the bigger preps and I expect from this post he will go to the front and take them as far as he can.
8 Creep City II, trained by D J C Racing Stables
The last entry in the field has won 3 of 8 starts including the ELP juvenile last August. Like several others in the race he seems to be built for shorter distances and has struggled a bit when raced long. He was recently gelded which often leads to an improved performance, but I will wait to see before recommending.
With this field being surprising light on proven commodities it is a hard one to handicap. Processing Class will probably go to the lead and, while I think he fits better here than in his recent races, I still do not think he can take them all the way. I believe Stainless Metal and Charleys Agent can sit very good trips while Chailemagne will be closing late. My call is that Stainless Metal wins a photo with Chailemagne second and Charleys Agent third.