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Quintons Gold Rush strikes in Coolmore Lexington

Bill Straus/Keeneland photo

Quintons Gold Rush collected his first stakes win and a ticket to the Kentucky Derby (G1) when he surged to a 2 3/4-length victory in the $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (G2) on Saturday at Keeneland Race Course.
The son of Wild Rush, making his first start under trainer Steve Asmussen, pressed from outside as Dashboard Drummer set the pace in the field of 14 through a half mile in :47.29. Quintons Gold Rush drove to the front entering the far turn and drew off in the stretch for jockey Jerry Bailey. The chestnut colt out of Hollywood Gold, by Mr. Prospector, covered the Lexingtons 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.82 over a fast track.

"It was an impressive win," Bailey said. "The big question mark was who could clear the first turn the best without getting shuffled back. There's no way to predict with a 14-horse field and this many speed horses. He broke well. He got into the second position with ease and the fractions were moderate. He was running well within himself. He's got a long stride and that really works to his benefit. We were able to open up into the lane and that is a big advantage here."

Lecomte Stakes (G3) winner Fire Slam finished second, followed by 4-to-1 favorite Song of the Sword a neck back in third. Trainer Jennifer Pedersen said Song of the Sword would move on to the Kentucky Derby if his graded stakes bankroll of $132,500 is enough to make the field.

Owners Padua Stables and Jay Manoogian moved Quintons Gold Rush to Asmussen after he finished fourth, beaten three lengths following a wide trip, in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 2 for previous trainer Mike Mitchell. That followed a fourth-place finish in the one-mile San Rafael Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita on March 6 in his stakes debut. He has won two of five career starts and has earned $295,500.

"He ran a great race," Asmussen said. "He's a tremendously talented horse."

Please see chart courtesy of Equibase at

In other Kentucky Derby training notes from Churchill:

Juvenile champion Action This Day galloped 1¼ miles, while stablemate Minister Eric walked the shedrow. The duo, trained by Richard Mandella, arrived from Keeneland Race Course on Friday.

Blue Grass winner The Cliffs Edge and Grade 1 winner Birdstone each galloped 1½ miles for trainer Nick Zito. The Cliffs Edge is scheduled to work five furlongs on Monday.

Louisiana Derby (G2) and Arkansas Derby (G2) runner-up Borrego galloped 1 5/8 miles and could work on Monday.

Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) runner-up Master David jogged one mile and galloped 1 3/8 miles.

Pro Prado, who finished third in the Arkansas Derby, galloped 1¾ miles. The son of El Prado (Ire) is on the bubble for Kentucky Derby entry with $105,685 in graded stakes earnings. John McKee would have the mount if he is entered.

"We are going to need a defection or two," trainer Bob Holthus said. "If we dont get in, we may wait for the Preakness [Stakes (G1)]."

Rock Hard Ten, whose Derby status is also uncertain because of graded stakes earnings, schooled in the gate and galloped 1½ miles. The son of Kris S. could work seven furlongs on Sunday morning.

Lanes End Stakes (G2) winner Sinister G galloped at Belmont Park. He is scheduled to work on Friday or Saturday and then ship to Churchill on April 28.

Triple Crown beat: Wimbledon, Preachinatthebar work in company

Grade 2 winners Wimbledon and Preachinatthebar worked five furlongs in company at Churchill Downs on Saturday for trainer Bob Baffert in preparation for the Kentucky Derby (G1) on May 1.
Wimbledon, who finished fifth in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 2 after scoring in the Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds on March 7, worked on the outside and pulled away from Preachinatthebar at the top of the stretch, completing the move in a bullet :58.40 breezing under rider Dana Barnes.

San Felipe Stakes (G2) winner Preachinatthebar was working on six days rest after finishing seventh, beaten 30½ lengths, in the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) at Keeneland Race Course on April 10. He was clocked in :59.40 breezing under Sal Gonzalez Jr., the fifth fastest of 59 times at the distance.

"Preachinatthebar's next work will be much better," Baffert said. "I told [Gonzalez] to just sort of cruise and don't worry about the other horse. But the other horse seemed to be enjoying it pretty much, so that was a good sign. They were a devastating feeling for me, especially Wimbledon. But he really doesn't like Santa Anita. He never did like that track and that's why I took him to Louisiana. He was a different horse there and this track was a lot like the Louisiana track today. He's never worked like that in California, so I was pretty excited about the work."

Florida Derby (G1) winner Friends Lake worked five furlongs in 1:03 at Payson Park. The son of A.P. Indy galloped out six furlongs in 1:17. He is scheduled to ship to Churchill on Tuesday,

"When he came back, he wouldnt blow out a match," trainer John Kimmel said. "That was a good work for here. Most of the other works were in the 1:05 range, so I would equate his to about a minute elsewhere. He will gallop Thursday and Friday and then breeze Saturday [at Churchill]."

Trainer Kiaran McLauglin is considering Mustanfar for the Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 5. The son of Unbridled finished fourth in the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) at Keeneland Race Course on April 10 and is unlikely to make the field for the Kentucky Derby (G1) with $87,500 in graded stakes earnings.

"I think we were fourth best in the best [Kentucky Derby] prep," McLaughlin told Daily Racing Form. "We think it is very doubtful that we will get into the Derby, but he'll stay at Keeneland until May 1. We'll look at the Belmont, because I think a mile and a quarter and up is his thing."

Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) winner Read the Footnotes is scheduled to work at Palm Meadows Training Center on Wednesday, before shipping to Churchill on Friday and working again on April 26.

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