Collected by Four in Lexington
By Dick Downey
With Collected collecting the winner's share of Kentucky Derby points in the Lexington Stakes, the chance of anything from the race making the run for the roses was greatly diminished, if it ever existed at all.
Bob Baffert recently said he doesn't envision Collected, a son of City Zip, trying the Kentucky Derby. Maybe the Preakness, he said, and after today's race co-owner Peter Fluor confirmed that plan.
Collected had 11 Derby points going into the Lexington and emerged from it with 10 more. Four, two and one went to the next three finishers.
Collected, who's won four of six starts, has been well managed by connections. After breaking his maiden and finishing second on turf in the Cecil B. DeMille Stakes, he won the one-mile Sham Stakes, finished fourth in the 1 1/16-mile Southwest after failing to break sharply, won the 1 1/8-mile Sunland Festival of Racing Stakes on a speed-favoring track and won the 1 1/16-mile Lexington.
He's been on or close to the lead in all those wins. In the Lexington, Javier Castellano and Collected popped right out of post 10 and positioned themselves second behind 40-1 shot One More Round around the first turn. That's the way things stood until Collected reeled in One More Round at the top of the stretch and went on to win by four lengths. He was timed in 1:43.33.
Following One More Round under the finish line in third was Synchrony. He was followed by Direct Message, Yo Carm, 2-1 favorite Swipe, Lomcevak, Riker, Call the Colonel and Big Squeeze.
Swipe, who finished second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at the track, was closer than many expected in the early going -- fourth at the first call and third at the second one -- but he faded from there and may have needed the race after being off since Breeders' Cup.
Collected contested splits of 23.57, 47.47 and 1:11.73. Collected was on the lead after a mile in 1:36.82 and finished the final sixteenth-mile in 6.51. As the second betting choice, Collected returned $6.40, $4.00 and $3.00.
Bred in Kentucky by Runnymede Farm and Peter J. Callahan, Collected was sold at the 2014 Keeneland September Yearling Sale for $150,000. He was subsquently purchased for $170,000 at the Ocala March 2015 Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale. He's out of the Johannesburg mare Helena Bay (GB).
Outside of Breeders' Cup, it was the third-largest crowd in Keeneland history -- 38,863 witnessed the events on a sun-drenched day. It was the largest Lexington Stakes crowd in history.
Peter Fluor, partner in Speedway Stables, winning owner of Collected - “I was very impressed with. Bob did a very good job getting him ready. Lot of good horses in the race. I think (the Preakness) would be the most logical step, given the distance. We’ll see how he comes out, but that would be a thrill for us.”
Javier Castellano - “What an impressive horse. 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.” Could Collected like longer distances? “I think so. The way he galloped out past the wire, I was very impressed.”
Jose Lezcano, rider of runner-up One More Round - “It was a perfect trip. He sprinted to the front and gave me a good race; the other horse was on me the whole way around. The fractions were very comfortable. He gave me a good race.”
Shaun Bridgmohan, rider of third-place finisher Synchrony - “I had good position all the way. I thought he ran good today. This horse, he has it in him. He’s only going to get better from here on. That was a very positive race. I think he’s a very nice horse. He made up some ground and came flying. He was trying and just got beat for second.”
Luis Saez, rider of fourth-place finisher Direct Message - “I had a good trip. He was perfect, in very good position. But when we came to the half-mile, the winner and the other horses kept going and we couldn’t compete with them. He ran big though.”
Flavien Prat, rider of sixth-place finisher and beaten favorite Swipe - “It was a comfortable trip. 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.”