The top three finishers from Saturday's $200,000 Stonestreet Lexington (G3) are either at Churchill Downs or soon will be, according to their connections.
Rupp Racing's Owendale, who notched his first stakes victory with a 1¾-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, who had five works here last spring before going to Ellis Park to begin his racing career. “He has always had the talent, and I think the big thing yesterday is the rider (Florent Geroux, who was aboard for the first time) let him settle.”
The victory earned Owendale 20 points toward qualifying for the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), a total that is good for 29th on the leaderboard. The Derby is limited to the top 20 point earners and invitees that pass the entry box.
Via text, Cox said the Preakness (G1) is a possibility for Owendale.
Peter Redekop's Anothertwistafate picked up eight Derby points with his runner-up effort to boost his Derby points total to 38, good for 23rd on the final leaderboard.
“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,” Wright continued. “We planned to go to Churchill no matter what, so now we will take a wait-and-see approach.”
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 of his first Keeneland starter. “I don't think he likes being inside. The rider (Javier Castellano) tried to tip him out at the head of the stretch, but the leader drifted out and he had to go back inside.”
Should Anothertwistafate run in the Derby, he would represent the second starter for Redekop, whose Cause to Believe finished 13th behind Barbaro in 2006.
“If he doesn't get in (the Derby), we still have the Preakness,” Wright said of Anothertwistafate, who gained an automatic berth into the May 18 race by winning the El Camino Real Derby (L) at Golden Gate Fields on Feb. 16. “He has done a lot of shipping, and I think the best thing now would be to get to one place and settle in.”
Silverton Hill's Sueno finished another 1¼ lengths back in third and picked up four Derby points to increase his total to 32, a figure that ranks 24th on the leaderboard.
“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 (G1). A week before the Kentucky Derby, he was 22nd when he shipped to Churchill from Southern California.
“We had some other horses we were bringing, and we felt there was a good chance he would get in,” Clark said of Sonneteer. “It would not have made sense to stay in California if he could have gotten in.”
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