Photo: Nedim Slijepcevic
With a sweeping rally through the far turn, 12-1 shot Owendale circled his competition and ran to a win in Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland, where runner-up Anotherwistafate and third-place Sueno may have seen their 2019 Kentucky Derby dreams dashed.
Owendale, a Brad Cox-trained son of Into Mischief, completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.14, topping the 7-5 top choice Anothertwistafate, who fell 1 3/4 lengths short in his final Derby prep.
Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings campaigns Owendale exited an eighth-place finish in Fair Grounds’ Risen Star (G2) but earlier this season did announce himself with an allowance optional claiming victory in a field that included well-regarded 3-year-olds Gun It and Cornacchia.
Anothertwistafate, the dominant El Camino Real Derby winner on synthetic, moved to 19th on the Derby leaderboard but will inevitably be passed by later Saturday on points when the Arkansas Derby (G1) runs.
— Keeneland Racing (@keenelandracing) April 13, 2019
According to TVG’s Britney Eurton, Blaine Wright, who trains Anothertwistafate, said the colt will remain in Kentucky in hopes of getting a spot in the Derby. Or, Anothertwistafate could factor later in the Triple Crown series. His last victory at California’s Golden Gate Fields guaranteed him a fees-paid trip to the Preakness Stakes.“I wish I had a better trip,” said jockey Javier Castellano, who rode Anothertwistafate. “I was in tight all the way, and the two horses in front stopped early. But I kept coming and saved ground. The winner got the jump and in the meantime I was bottled up inside on the rail looking for room, and I didn’t have any room.”
Rallying off modest fractions of 24.33 and 48.23 for the opening quarter and half mile, Owendale went from third to last midway through the turn to the lead just past the top of the stretch, traveling widest of them all under jockey Florent Geroux.
Geroux said strategy changed when the gates opened, as connections had hoped Owendale would sit closer.
“I gave up some ground, but the horse was running,” Geroux said. “When I felt like it was time to go…I just tipped him out, gave him two taps, and from there he was moving so fast.”
Behind Sueno, Knicks Go, the previous Keeneland Grade 1 winner, filled out the board after factoring in the pace.