Anothertwistafate Tough Second
By Dick Downey
Photo by Keeneland
The Stonestreet Lexington Stakes at Keeneland was won by Owendale, who received his first 20 Kentucky Derby points -- not enough to get in the race in all probability, but maybe enough that Anothertwistafate won't get in.
Anothertwistafate was a troubled second in the Lexington and received eight Derby points, pushing his total to 38 and putting him at number 19 on the Derby points leaderboard for the time being. The Arkansas Derby was set to be run later in the day, and that result could change the leaderboard.
Sueno finished third, good for four points and a total of 32, just below the bubble for now. Knicks Go, who finished fourth, picked up two points and now has 20.
After the gates opened, Hawaiian Noises, ridden by John Velazquez, and Knicks Go, ridden by Albin Jiminez dueled for the early lead through fractions of 24.33 and 48.33. Those two were still leading into the far turn, with Anothertwistafate and Javier Castellano in closest pursuit.
In the turn after six furlongs in 1:12.88, Hawaiian Noises abruptly fell back, and Anothertwistafate, who had been boxed in, put away Knicks Go. Suddenly, Owendale and Florent Geroux came wide and shot past horses -- they were in eighth pace after six furlongs, 3 1/4 lengths off the pace -- and were soon on the lead.
Owendale quickly separated himself from the field and won by 1 3/4 length in a time of 1:44.14. Anothertwistafate was alone in second, followed 1 1/4 length back by the late-running Sueno and another five lengths to Knicks Go. They were followed across the finish line by Shang, Roiland, Harvey Wallbanger, Zenden, Hawaiian Noises and Chase the Ghost.
Following the race, trainer Blaine Wright said Anothertwistafate would remain at Keeneland and train up to the Kentucky Derby while connections keep an eye on the points leaderboard.
Should Anothertwistafate be excluded from the Derby, or should connections simply decide to bypass the race, he has a win-and-you're-in place in the Preakness gate by virtue of his victory in the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields back in February.
Meanwhile, Owendale's owner, Rupp Racing, will receive $120,000 from the $200,000 purse. Owendale's bettors, for each $2 wagered, received $27.40 to win, $10.00 to place and $5.60 to show.
To read more about Owendale, his history and connections, click here. He was bred by Stonestreet, sponsor of the race.
Ricky Giannini, assistant to winning trainer Brad Cox, winning trainer of Owendale: “I wish I could tell you (what happened in the Risen Star). Last race, we felt like he ate too much dirt, and he kind of backed out down the backside and then had too much to do. Today, he ate the same amount of dirt. I think he’s just maturing and turning into a good horse. He’s always trained like it, and today he put it all together and got the job done.”
Florent Geroux, winning rider: Did you lose ground? "A little, but gained momentum. The horse was running really quick, and it was time to go. I just tipped him out, tapped him twice. (The plan) changed a lot when the gates opened. He didn’t break so well, (Knicks Go) went out and (Zenden) looked at me. Things change a lot – sometimes you need to go to Plan B very quick. He ran a very good race.”
Javier Castellano, rider of 7-5 favorite and runner-up Anothertwistafate: “I wish I had a better trip. I was in tight all the way, and the two horses in front stopped early. But I kept coming and saved ground. The winner got the jump, and in the meantime I was bottled up inside on the rail looking for room, and I didn’t have any room.”
Corey Lanerie, rider of third-place finisher Sueno: “I found myself tracking (Anothertwistafate), and we both ran into traffic on the turn, so I had to wait longer than I wanted to coming into the stretch. I think it cost me a little bit. Did it cost me the win? I’m not sure. But I would have liked to have had some momentum when (Owendale) went by me. I still had the brakes on. Kind of unfortunate for the horse.”
Albin Jimenez., rider of fourth-place finisher Knicks Go: “I tried to take him back a little bit and get him to relax, but he was so fresh. But he did good.”