Tipsheet: 2023 Lexington Stakes

April 13th, 2023

An intriguing and well-matched field of 11 three-year-olds will travel 1 1/16 miles on the Keeneland main surface in Saturday’s $400,000 Lexington Stakes (G3). The final 2023 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series event of the season will reward the top-five finishers with qualifying points on a 20-8-6-4-2 basis.

Lexington Stakes Picks

  • #6 Disarm
  • #11 Arabian Lion
  • #5 First Mission
  • #3 Demolition Dude

Lexington Stakes Wagers

  • $30 win: #6 Disarm
  • $10 exacta: box 6-11
  • $2 trifecta: key 6 with 3, 5, 11

Lexington Stakes Contenders

#1 BASEBALL BEATER (20-1): Neil Pessin's Flatter gelding comes off a ninth-place finish in the paceless Louisiana Derby (G2) last time. The one-run closer gets a good draw on the rail and also figures to receive more pace to run at, so improvement is likely. Corey Lanerie takes the reins.

#2 REINVEST (30-1): This Quality Road sophomore is two-for-two but gets a real class test in this spot for Tim Hamm. The gelded bay aced his route debut most recently, but he will need a nice step forward to upset this cast under Joe Talamo.

#3 DEMOLITION DUKE (6-1): Missed by a neck in the allowance ranks last time out following a sharp maiden tally for Brad Cox. The Good Magic colt is bred to handle this distance with ease, and he wouldn’t be a surprise while making his second route run on Saturday. Flavien Prat picking up the mount is a positive.

#4 TRANSECT (30-1): The Paulo Lobo pupil was two-for-two on the synthetic prior to finishing well back in the Gotham S. (G3) in his stakes debut. The $300,000 son of Gun Runner adds blinkers for this tilt and has trained well as of late. He will likely flash some early foot with Gerardo Corrales in the stirrups.

#5 FIRST MISSION (3-1): Godolphin's homebred was a powerful maiden winner while making his second lifetime run at Fair Grounds and looks like a nice prospect for Cox. The Street Sense colt, who was a solid runner-up sprinting on debut, earned a hefty 100 Late Pace number last time out and rates an obvious chance despite the class rise. Luis Saez will be in the silks.

#6 DISARM (7-2): The talented Steve Asmussen trainee has run a pair of very good seconds from as many starts this campaign and might peak third time off the bench as he looks to secure a Kentucky Derby start. The Winchell homebred possesses a fine turn of foot and will be difficult to hold off late if he moves forward on Saturday. The top pick will have Jose Ortiz in the controls.

#7 DENINGTON (20-1): Kenny McPeek's pupil will make his 10th lifetime start on Saturday and will be as fit as any contender in the field. By Gun Runner, the sophomore has yet to prove himself with graded stakes foes, however.

#8 EMPIRESTRIKESFAST (4-1): A dark bay son of Empire Maker, he was a game first-out winner at Gulfstream Park and was flattered when the horse he beat ran a close third in the Wood Memorial S. (G2) last weekend. The Pin Oak color bearer posted a trio of solid morning drills in the interim, and he merits respect with Frankie Dettori in the saddle.

#9 PRAIRIE HAWK (15-1): The Tampa Bay Derby (G3) fourth has yet to hit the board from two graded stakes tries to date, and the inconsistent son of Curlin would be a bit of a surprise to me in this contest. The well-related sort will be forwardly placed early on with John Velazquez up.

#10 CURLY LARRY AND MO (50-1): The outsider has run on the green in four straight events and has yet to prove his class on the main oval in advance of this difficult assignment. The speedy son of  Mo Town will be in the mix early, but I don’t like his chances to be there late beneath Reylu Gutierrez.

#11 ARABIAN LION (7-2): The $600,000 son of Justify has been outrun in two straight tries at the graded level, but he has been training in rapid fashion leading up to this outing. He was a sharp runner-up in an allowance run on the course as a juvenile, and I expect him to be a major player throughout the heat while always in the mix. Irad Ortiz taking the call is a bonus.