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Exhi Looks Strong in Ben Ali

Despite making his season debut, multiple stakes winner Exhi figures to be well-backed in a short field entered for the $150,000 Ben Ali (gr. III) April 23 at Keeneland.

Only five older horses were drawn for the 1 1/8-mile Ben Ali, the first of two graded stakes on Keeneland’s 10-race card. Post time is scheduled for 4:18 p.m. EDT.

Wertheimer and Frere’s homebred Exhi will likely draw favoritism in large part due to his success on Polytrack. The 4-year-old Maria’s Mon colt won four consecutive races on Polytrack last year, including the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland. He ended his sophomore campaign with a good second in the Oct. 30 Greenbrier Fayette (gr. II) at Keeneland.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Exhi wintered at Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida before recently being shipped to Kentucky. He worked five furlongs in a bullet :59 4/5 on a muddy Churchill Downs main track on April 17. Javier Castellano will have the mount.

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