Collected Cashes in the Lexington Stakes

April 18, 2016 12:45pm
Collected Lexington 615 X 400


Is it too early to start talking Preakness?


In the battle of back class versus sharp recent form, it was all recent form today at Keeneland. While plenty of eyes were glued to the returning Breeders’ Cup Juvenile runner-up, it was the Bob Baffert-trained Collected who came in as the in-form horse for the Lexington Stakes, and it showed. The son of City Zip pressured the early pace all the way, before taking over early in the lane and rolling to an easy four-length victory in the Grade 2 event.

 

While Swipe was going through an extended stretch away from the races, Collected scored in two stakes races in his last three attempts, including a fast victory in the Sunland Park Festival of Racing Stakes most recently. Today, breaking from the far outside post position as the 2-1 second choice under Javier Castellano, Collected needed to call upon every bit of his early speed to get a good position heading into the first turn of the 1 1/16 mile race.


After a break that was not particularly fast, Castellano urged his mount on into the run for the first turn. By the time the field of ten banked left, he was second on the outside of the longshot One More Round, and in excellent position. From there, he continued in that position down the backstretch through early fractions of :23.57 and :47.47.

 

As they turned for the short stretch configuration for 1 1/16 miles at Keeneland, it was crystal clear that this was Collected’s race to win. One More Round had little resistance to Collected’s thrust coming out of the turn, and from there it was just a simple cruise to the wire for the Speedway Stables owned colt. The final margin of four lengths does not tell the full story of how dominating Collected was this afternoon.

 

“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.”

 

Back well behind the stylish winner, One More Round, at 40-1, held off the rallying Synchrony for the place, while Swipe could do no better than a sixth place finish as the race favorite.

 

With the victory, which was completed in 1:43.33 over the fast main track at Keeneland, Collected raised his career record to 6-4-1-0, with earnings of $433,700.

 

The ten Kentucky Derby 2016 qualifying points earned today for the Lexington victory, raised Collected’s total to 21. A total that looks likely to fall short of a spot in the starting gate on the first Saturday in May. While today’s victory probably will not lead to the Derby in 21 days, it was one that makes you think that Collected would have a better shot than many of the horses that will end up in the race. Two weeks after that, of course, comes racing’s Middle Jewel, and that might be the spot where Collected is pointed next. The way he won today, Collected should fall into the interesting ‘new shooter’ category, if it is indeed the Preakness next for the three-time stakes winner.

 

It will have to be back to the drawing board for the race favorite, Swipe, who seemed to have little in the tank for the Keeneland stretch run. Rider Flavien Prat spoke of the disappointing effort after the race. “It was a comfortable trip,” said Prat.” I don’t know, that’s the first time I rode him but he was making noise on the backside and after that he wasn’t the same horse.”


 

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Meet Brian Zipse

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, American Pharoah and Justify. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. His new racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, created the popular racing show, HorseCenter and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as hosting HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.

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