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LEXINGTON, KY – The Michael Stidham-trained Proxy, still in search of his first stakes victory, headlines Saturday’s $300,000 Stonestreet Lexington Stakes (G3).
With a sizeable field of 10, the Lexington will go off as race 9 on Saturday’s star-studded 11-race program and will be contested over the 1 1/16-mile oval. Local approximate post time for the race will be 4:30 PM ET, with first post for Keeneland beginning Saturday at 1:05 PM ET.
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Proxy is still looking to pick up his first stakes win after running well in all 3 Kentucky Derby preps at Fair Grounds this season, including hitting the board in the Lecomte Stakes (G3) and the Risen Star Stakes (G2). He’s run no worse than fourth in 6 straight starts and drew post 7 with John Velazquez up for the ride.
The main challenger to the favorite could be Swiftsure, who won 2 straight for trainer Steve Asmussen. He broke his maiden easily at Fair Grounds before defeating allowance company at Oaklawn Park last time out. Irad Ortiz Jr. will be atop as he exits post 2.
Trainer Bob Baffert’s presence will be felt with Bezos, who ships from California after breaking his maiden last time out. He was heavily hyped on debut, but he hasn’t lived up to that billing quite yet. Drayden Van Dyke has the mount for Baffert, with the horse breaking from post 3.
The full field from the rail out: Noble Reflection, Swiftsure, Bezos, It’s My House, Unbridled Honor, Hockey Dad, Proxy, Ultimate Badger, King Fury, and Starrininmydreams.
Kentucky Derby Contenders Pedigree Analysis: Proxy
#2 Swiftsure – This seems to be the up-and-coming prospect who could be ready to run a big one here. After breaking his maiden at Fair Grounds, he shipped to Oaklawn Park and dominated allowance runners by multiple lengths. He must stretch out in distance for this race, which is the biggest question mark, but his early speed should be dangerous on this track and help him get the added distance.
#7 Proxy – Will this horse finally pick up his first stakes win? He certainly is the class of the field and this is a very logical spot for him. He ran very well at Fair Grounds all season long and posted a very nice workout over this track on April 4. We took a small shot against him on top because he hasn’t shown the ability to finish a race of this caliber just yet, but he’s a horse you must use, even if defensively.
#6 Hockey Dad – This horse has been on a roll lately, winning 3 of 4 and finishing third last time out in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway Park. A victory here earns his way into the Kentucky Derby, so this is a very important start. His consistency makes him a playable alternative to the favorites.
#3 Bezos – When it comes to hype, nobody had more over the winter at Santa Anita than this horse. He lost badly on debut, but he broke his maiden going two turns last time out. The race was solid visually, but neither the time nor speed figures were that fast. We’ll see if he improves in his second start around two turns.
#9 King Fury – It will be interesting to see this horse returns for his 3-year-old debut. He had his moments as a 2-year-old, winning the Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs and running against the best in the crop after that race in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). If he improved at all over the winter, then he could make a little noise in this logical spot.
#4 It’s My House – It’s hard to get a read on him, but there’s no doubt that he has some talent, as he’s won 2 of 4 starts. His highest speed figures came on synthetic at Golden Gate, but last time out, he picked up a small stakes win on the dirt at Turf Paradise. He can hit the board here with the right trip.
#1 Noble Reflection – This horse seems to be spotted well here after breaking his maiden impressively at Oaklawn Park last time out. He’s lightly-raced, with his only other start coming at Del Mar, but he seems to have some upside. He should also be a solid price in a spot that looks fairly wide open past the favorites.
#10 Starrininmydreams – Dallas Stewart gives him another chance here after 2 poor efforts at Fair Grounds. He showed promised as a 2-year-old, but this year has not gone well. We’ll need to see a major form reversal from him to have a chance.
#5 Unbridled Honor – After breaking his maiden at Tampa Bay Downs, he gave the Tampa Bay Derby (G3) a shot and ran a decent third. That race has not come back strongly, though, and this field is possibly more difficult.
#8 Ultimate Badger – Dale Romans gives it one more shot with this horse who hasn’t won since a Churchill Downs allowance last year. He’d be a pretty big surprise in this spot.
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