Speedway Stable's Collected was the runaway winner of Saturday's 35th running of the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes, drawing away to win by four lengths for trainer Bob Baffert. The sophomore son of City Zip covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.33 over Keeneland's fast main track, earning 10 more points on the road to the Kentucky Derby. His new total of points stands at 21, currently placing him 24th in the standings, meaning he will not make the field on the first Saturday in May without several defections.
“I was very impressed with (the effort),” said part-owner Peter Fluor. “(Trainer) Bob (Baffert) did a very good job getting him ready. Lot of good horses in the race.”
Sent out for the early lead under Javier Castellano, Collected took back to second off of longshot One More Round through a first quarter in :23.57. Sensing that the leader was trying to slow the pace a bit, Castellano moved collected up to pressure One More Round through a half in :47.47. Those two were two lengths in front of the rest of the field, led by Direct Message with post-time favorite Swipe tracking just behind him. Entering the final turn, Collected backed off a bit once more, allowing One More Round to draw out to a length lead once again.
Approaching the head of the lane, Collected exploded along the outside to draw even with One More Round, then blew past that rival, drawing away to win by four lengths while wound down at the wire. One More Round did hang on for second, and Synchrony got up from the rear of the pack to be third. Direct Message wound up hanging around for fourth.
“What an impressive horse,” said Castellano. “I really liked the way he did it. He broke well out of the gate, and he wanted to dictate the pace today. I tried to sit a little bit behind the pacemaker. Turning for home, I really like the way he accelerated. When I asked, he really responded. I was really satisfied today.”
Bred in Kentucky by Runnymeade Farm and Peter Callahan, Collected was a $150,000 purchase at the Keeneland September sale, then pinhooked through the Ocala Breeders' 2-year-old in training sale for $170,000 by SGV Thoroughbreds.
The colt stamped himself an early classic contender with a win in the Sham Stakes in January, after which Baffert shipped him to Oaklawn to contest the Southwest Stakes. Finishing a disappointing fourth in that race, Collected was shipped back to California. Baffert re-routed him to the listed Sunland Park Festival of Racing Stakes, which he won with ease on March 20. While he is not likely to make the Kentucky Derby field, Collected's part-owner Peter Fluor indicated that he may be pointed for the Preakness.
Collected's career record now stands at four wins from six starts, with earnings of over $430,000.
Watch the race replay here:
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