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Wilkinson Enters Triple Crown Picture

For the most part, the bigger names on this year’s Triple Crown trail have yet to be seen on the track in 2011. That leaves the way open for other promising colts to begin jockeying for a shot at one of the major prep races and, if all goes well, a trip to Louisville.

While Wilkinson hasn’t yet earned his ticket to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), chances are that he has punched his ticket for the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) with a game and professional win in the Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) at the Fair Grounds.A homebred who races for Gaillardia Racing, the colt finished willingly up the inside–something that some colts are reluctant to do–to score by a head.

Assuming that Wilkinson continues on the Derby trail via Louisiana, one thing his connections aren’t likely to worry about is the colt’s ability to stay out nine furlongs and then run down the long Fair Grounds stretch. A son of 1999 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Lemon Drop Kid, Wilkinson has plenty of stamina sources on the distaff side of the pedigree as well.

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Private Prize beat Wilkinson by 3 lengths at Churchill downs, in a MSW race...going away.

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