Swipe Meets Collected at Keeneland
By Dick Downey
Swipe, runner-up to Nyquist four times last year, will open his 3-year-old campaign Saturday in the Lexington Stakes. Collected looks to garner formidable support as well after shipping in from Santa Anita.
Trained by Keith Desormeaux, Swipe picked up 12 points toward the Kentucky Derby with second-place finishes in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland and the FrontRunner Stakes. Flavien Prat has the mount Saturday and will break from post 4. He rides at Keeneland for the first time on this card.
Other Lexington entrants with Derby points are Collected (11), Riker (10) and Synchrony (2).
Collected, trained by Bob Baffert, won the Sham in January. In his most recent start, he won the Sunland Festival of Racing in front-running fashion. That race substituted for the Sunland Derby after equiine herpes virus shortened the Sunland Park meet. Javier Castellano has the mount on Collected and will leave post 10.
Baffert has downplayed any Kentucky Derby aspirations for Colllected, a son of City Zip, but he hasn't ruled out a possible start in the Preakness Stakes.
Riker will try dirt for the third time after back-to-back sixth-place finishes on the surface. He won his first four starts on the synthetic at Woodbine and then tried Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He faded after setting the pace. After a layoff, Riker ran off the board in the Tampa Bay Derby. He'll break from post position 8 and be ridden by Florent Geroux.
Synchrony was on the Derby Trail early this year, but that plan changed after he ran sixth in the Southwest Stakes. Trained by Donnie Von Hemel, Synchrony will be ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan and break from post position 5. He's interesting because he broke his maiden at Keeneland last fall.
The field for the Lexington, with riders and weights from the rail out, is: One More Round (Jose Lezcano, 118 pounds), Direct Message (Luis Saez, 118), Lomcevak (Jesus Castanon, 118), Swipe (Prat, 118), Synchrony (Bridgmohan, 118), Big Squeeze (Chris Landeros, 118), Call the Colonel (Julien Leparoux, 118), Riker (Geroux, 118), Yo Carm (Robby Albarado, 118) and Collected (Castellano, 120).
The Lexington, run at 1 1/16 mile on the main track, will go as the ninth race on Saturday’s 11-race program with a 4:59 p.m. post time. The race serves as the final Kentucky race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby offering 17 total points on a 10-4-2-1 scale to the first- through fourth-place finishers.
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