My Boy Jack had a pretty good day at Keeneland today. He got up in the closing strides of the Stonestreet Lexington Stakes to win, he garnered 20 Kentucky Derby points, and that was enough to get him an assured spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.
Trained by his Keith Desormeaux and ridden by his brother Kent , the confirmed closer broke from post 12 and was 10 1/4 lengths off a pace of 23.28 and 47.11 seconds set by Greyvitos and Joe Rosario for the first half-mile. They were closely tracked by Telekinesis and Gracida. After six furlongs in 1:12.02, Greyvitos led by two lengths, and he continued to hold an advantage into the short stretch for 1 1/16-mile Keeneland races. He was still pursued by by Telekinesis, but My Boy Jack had begun bearing down on them after a wide trip around the turn.
Just above the furlong marker, Javier Castellano urged Telekinesis by a tiring Greyvitos, who was making his first start off a long layoff. By then, My Boy Jack was almost on even terms with both of them and caught Telekinesis in the shadow of the wire to prevail by a head in a time of 1:44.22. Pony Up made a late run to get by Greyvitos by a half-length for third place, beaten 2 1/2 lengths.
Seven Trumpets finished fifth, followed by Zanesville, Honor Up, Navy Armed Guard, Gracida and Arched Feather.
My Boy Jack, owned by Don't Tell My Wife Stables and Monomoy Stables, LLC, had 34 Derby points going into the Lexington and was on the bubble to make the Run for the Roses. His new total of 52 is more than enough to get in. The remaining points of eight, four and two to the next three finishers won't come into play in the Derby.
Today's win followed My Boy Jack's close third-place finish to Noble Indy and Lone Sailor in the Louisiana Derby on March 24. All three of those horses have earned Kentucky Derby berths.
From the $200,000 purse, $120,000 goes to the winner. My Boy Jack, who was 3-5 when the tote board opened, was sent off as the 3-2 favorite and returned $5.00, $3.20 and $2.40.
The winner was bred in Kentucky by Brereton C. Jones and sold at the Keeneland September 2016 yearling sale for a modest $20,000. A son of Creative Cause, My Boy Jack is out of the Mineshaft mare Gold N Shaft.
Winning jockey Kent Desormeaux: “He was very, very comfortable in his stride and that was pretty much a repeat of his last start. Fortunately, I didn’t grab a hot dog at the quarter pole and that made the difference.... We always tend to get a true, honest pace in the Kentucky Derby, and I think he’ll enjoy that.”
Kirk Godby of Don’t Tell My Wife Stables: “Unbelievable. Everyone knows we came here to get points, and he got the job done today. We’re just thrilled. When I saw Kent bring him out down the backstretch and we were within six or seven lengths, I felt pretty good about it. I was just hoping he had the gas to get home in the short stretch.”
Mark Casse, trainer of runner-up Telekinesis: “I was very proud of him. He is playing catch-up. This is only his third start, so for him to run as well as he did, I think he is a superstar.”
Javier Castellano, rider of Telekinesis: “My trip was perfect. I was in a beautiful position – it was what I was looking for. I cut the corner and saved a lot of ground. I tried to get the jump, but the other horse came way from the outside. Unfortunately, the other horse has been running more lately. My horse has great potential for only running three times.”
John Velazquez, rider of third-place finisher Pony Up: “The first part he seemed like he was a little bit sluggish. The first eighth of a mile was like, 'Come on, buddy, we need to be a little bit closer here.' Then, geez, the last part he came running. I needed to be a little bit closer the first part. But he ran well.”
Joel Rosario, rider of fourth-place finisher Greyvitos: “He broke sharp and it seemed like he had a lot of energy. He looked good the whole way, it just looked like in the last part they ran by me. I kept trying but he got a little tired in the last part.”
Robby Albarado, rider of fifth-place finisher Seven Trumpets: “He ran well. It was a nice bunch of horses he ran with out there today, but he’ll catch up to them.”