LEXINGTON, KY – Rupp Racing’s Owendale crashed the party of horses trying to earn a few extra Kentucky Derby points when he came flying wide around the far turn before taking off to win Saturday’s Stonestreet Lexington Stakes (G3) at Keeneland.
Breaking from post 8 under Florent Geroux at 12/1 odds, Owendale raced off the rail near the rear early while Hawaiian Noises posted opening fractions of :24.33 and :48.23 before Knicks Go took the lead heading into the far turn. Still running toward the back as he raced into the far turn, Ownedale ran four-wide with gusto and swept past much of his competition.
Emerging onto the front stretch with a sudden lead, Owendale drew off early and held his advantage through to the wire, crossing with a 1 3/4-length advantage in a final time of 1:44.14 for the 1 1/16-mile event over the fast main track.
“(I lost) a little (ground) but gained momentum,” Geroux said. “The horse was running really quick and it was time to go. I just tipped him out, tapped him twice.”
The 7/5 favorite Anothertwistafate was bothered at the start and could not take advantage of an inside trip off of the far turn to do better than second by 1 1/4 lengths. Sueno was stuck in traffic in the far turn and waited too long to get going, getting up for third in the end. Knicks Go weakened steadily and barely necked out fourth over Shang, who headed Roiland for fifth. Harvey Wallbanger, Zenden, a spent Hawaiian Noises, and Chase the Ghost completed the order of finish.
The Lexington is part of the Road to the 2019 Kentucky Derby prep race season. Owendale earned 20 points for the win, with Anothertwistafate receiving 8 for second, Sueno 4 for third, and Knicks Go 2 for fourth.
With his win, Owendale prevented all other Lexington runners from earning enough points to guarantee a spot in the Kentucky Derby gate. Anothertwistafate’s 38 points have him currently as the third alternate. Sueno (32), Owendale (20), and Knicks Go (20) are all unlikely to make the gate without a rash of defections.
Owendale’s win was his second in his past three starts, having finished a disappointing eighth in the Risen Star Stakes (G2) last out at Fair Grounds. The 3-year-old son of Into Mischief, bred by Stonestreet and purchased for $200,000 as a yearling, now carries a record of 8-3-1-1 with $187,225 earned.
“Last race, we felt like he ate too much dirt, and he kind of backed out down the backside and then had too much to do,” said Cox assistant Ricky Giannini. “Today, he ate the same amount of dirt. I think he’s just maturing and turning into a good horse. He’s always trained like it, and today, he put it all together and got the job done.”
Owendale returned $27.40 to win, $10 to place, and $5.60 to show. Anothertwistafate brought back $3.40 to place and $2.60 to show, while Sueno paid $2.80 to show.