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The Racing Dudes team reacts to Tawny Port winning the Lexington Stakes (G3) at Keeneland, then discuss who they like moving forward, including any potential longshots. Join our replay watch-along to get our instant LIVE reactions to the final 2022 Kentucky Derby (G1) prep race worth 20-8-4-2 points to the top 4 finishers, then tell us your thoughts about the race in the Comments section!
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The track press release:
Click here for a replay of the race and the post-race interview with winning connections.
Florent Geroux (winning rider)
“He needed the race. (The Feb. 19 Risen Star-G2 at Fair Grounds) was his only (previous) start on the dirt (and the race) was definitely the key (prep for) the Kentucky Derby (G1). It looked like every horse who ran in there all came back and ran some very strong races, so we were hoping to do the same thing. (Tawny Port did) that today, in a very powerful way at the high end on the dirt. Looks like the distance should be no problem, and I hope the connections will take a swing at (the Derby).”
Brad Cox (winning trainer)
“He responded today. There was a little bit of a question mark with how well he would handle the dirt. He ran well at the Fair Grounds. Florent came back and had positive comments after that race, and I thought, ‘Well, you know, right now, maybe you try to go in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3 on April 2 at Turfway Park.).’ So that’s what we did, and he ran a real respectable race. Then we found ourselves nominated to this race and it worked out today.”
On whether Tawny Port will go to the Kentucky Derby (G1)
“We’ll see how he comes out of (today’s race). I’d like to congratulate (owners) John and Elizabeth Fort (of Peachtree Stable). This was John’s idea, to come back in two weeks immediately after the Jeff Ruby. He said, ‘We need to look at this race,’ and I said, ‘Well, I nominated him.’ We watched him and he seemed to have a great energy level and his weight’s great. He’s a good-looking colt – really good-looking. (John Fort) picked him out.”
Irad Ortiz Jr. (rider of runner-up Major General)
“He ran really good. He broke a little better today. He’s still learning. In the stretch, he was looking a little bit – waiting for some company. He put me right there without using too much, so I took it and went from there. There were some slow fractions so I had a good chance. When I asked him to go, he gave me a great effort.”
Kelly Breen (trainer of third-place finisher In Due Time)
“I still think he is a top horse. He was extremely sharp coming into the race. We thought he would be a little closer (to the pace) but (jockey) Paco (Lopez) had to use him a little early in the race. We will regroup and see what (the owners) say (about pointing to the Kentucky Derby).”
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