Dale Romans will saddle two Kentucky Derby runners if News Pending wins the Coolmore Lexington. Romans' Toyota Blue Grass winner Dullahan already has his spot among the Kentucky Derby field. In the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes, News Pending finished second, four lengths behind Union Rags. In his next start, the Grade 1 Florida Derby, he was never able to move beyond seventh place after a slow start. Interestingly, he hasn’t had a published work since before the Florida Derby. Assuming there’s no issue there, if he can stick close to the pace, he could be dangerous.
A win by Golden Ticket would put him on the Derby’s also eligibles list. He finished second in his last race, the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby, ¾ of a length behind Prospective, who finished sixth in last week’s Toyota Blue Grass. Cozzetti finished three lengths behind Golden Ticket in the Tampa Bay Derby and just missed a third place finish in last week’s Arkansas Derby. In two starts at Keeneland last fall Golden Ticket finished third and fourth.
Although it won’t mean a bid to the Kentucky Derby, there are plenty others in this field that have the potential of gobbling up the money. The undefeated Summer Front makes his season debut and comes in with two bullet works. In a nearly 10 length win, Johannesbourbon broke his maiden at first asking and has shown some sharp works at Keeneland. Skyring may have finished seventh in the Illinois Derby, but is by turf champion English Channel and should do better on turf or synthetic. Todd Pletcher’s Holiday Promise finished second to Went The Day Well in the Vinery Racing Spiral and comes in with a couple sharp works on the Keeneland track. Hammers Terror has been in the money in four of five lifetime starts and may improve in his second start after a short break. All Squared Away will make his first start for trainer Wesley Ward, but has not won since breaking his maiden in January. Lastly, Gold Megillah finished 1 ¼ lengths behind Flashy Dresser, who went on to win the Robert Hilton Memorial at Charlestown, and ¾ of a length behind Gung Ho, who ran a game third in the Toyota Blue Grass.
The race is the 9th on Keeneland’s Saturday card with a scheduled post time of 5:13 p.m. It can be seen on TVG.
Photo: Courtesy Kentucky Derby