Trainer Bob Baffert Pointing Collected Towards Preakness
Collected was far the best Saturday at Keeneland, pulling away by four lengths to win the $150,000 Lexington Stakes. The Bob Baffert-trained 3-year old tracked the pace early and shifted into the four path entering the lane. He reeled in the leader One More Round entering the stretch before taking command swiftly and drawing off in the final stages to win by four lengths.
“What an impressive horse. He broke well out of the gate, and he wanted to dictate the pace today,” jockey Javier Castellano said.“ “Coming for home, I really liked his acceleration…The way he galloped out past the wire, I’m really impressed.”
Collected was the 2-1 second choice behind Swipe, and he finished the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.33. Collected paid $6.40, $4 and $3 for his fourth victory in six starts. The 40-1 long shot One More Round held on for second and returned $28.40 and $13.80, and Synchrony paid $5. The $2 exacta paid $164.80 and a $2 trifecta 10-1-5 returned $1,193.40.
After the race Collected’s connections said they were leaning toward the Preakness Stakes in five weeks for the City Zip colt.
“I think that would be the most-logical step given the distance,” owner Peter Fluor said of the Preakness. “We’ll see how he comes out, but that would be a thrill for us.” Collected received 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points for the victory, but he sits just outside the top-20 in the Derby points standings.
The all-time largest Lexington Stakes crowd of 38,863 was the third largest in history outside of Breeders’ Cup on a sun-drenched day at Keeneland.