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Blog - GAMBLING

Pure Fun won the Hollywood Starlet Stakes in December at Betfair Hollywood Park. (Photo courtesy of Benoit & Associates)

The Kentucky Derby is less than 15 days away and still there is a chance for horses sitting outside the top 20 to earn their way into the starting gate. It's a slim chance, but the Coolmore Lexington Stakes at 1 1/16 miles is one such way.

A field of 11 was entered for the Lexington, all looking to be the first horse since Charismatic to win the Lexington and go on to Derby glory just two short weeks later.

The favorite is drawn to the outside and happens to be the only filly to compete against the boys all prep season long. Pure Fun is a very consistent daughter of Pure Prize trained by Kenny McPeek. The chestnut's biggest win - and lone stakes score - came on the synthetic surface at Betfair Hollywood Park last fall. She fell a little flat in her season debut but has trained well enough since and should improve out of that effort.

Among her biggest foes is Sunbean , a bay son of Brahms who has been transferred to the Mike Maker barn. The Brittlyn Stables homebred has reason to improve. He suffered a horrendous trip in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby in his first time against true stakes runners, and he gets the services of Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens.

Also in the field are the Todd Pletcher-trained Winning Cause, who is undefeated over this surface; improving speedster Cerro  from the same connections as 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom; minor stakes winner General Election; and allowance winners River Rocks and Examen .

My selections:

Sunbean 

Cerro 

Pure Fun

Winning Cause

$200,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes

Saturday, Keeneland, Race 9, 5:13 p.m. ET)

3-year-olds, 1 1/16 miles (all weather track)

PP

Horse

Jockey

Weight

Trainer

1

Winning Cause (KY)

J.R. Leparoux

118

T A Pletcher

2

Pick of the Litter (KY)

J.L. Castanon

118

D L Romans

3

River Rocks (FL)

J. Graham

118

W M Catalano

4

Hip Four Sixtynine (KY)

G. Saez

118

B C Barnett

5

Where's Dominic (KY)

E.S. Prado

118

M J Trombetta

6

Sunbean (LA)

G.L. Stevens

120

M J Maker

7

Examen (KY)

G.K. Gomez

118

T F Proctor

8

Cerro (IRE)

J. Rosario

118

H G Motion

9

Wings of Fortune (KY)

C.H. Borel

118

M J Maker

10

General Election (KY)

J.Rocco Jr.

118

K Gorder

11

Pure Fun (KY)

R. Napravnik

118

K G McPeek

Equipment Change: Number 5, Where's Dominic, Blinkers On

Image Description

Molly Jo Rosen

Growing up halfway between Hollywood Park and Del Mar, Molly Jo Rosen spent more time at the "horse beach" than the sandy ones. One ride on a pony named Coco at 18 months old had her hooked, and she spent 15 years as a showjumper before a routine birthday trip to Del Mar came with the realization that racing was the life she wanted.

Since then, Molly Jo has traveled across the country working on the best backstretches, frontstretches and farms in the industry. She has held positions with TVG, Churchill Downs, Three Chimneys Farm, and Puglisi Racing, among others.

Now managing member of the Post Parade Racing ownership group, Molly Jo also runs 2yoSales.com (providing data to leading trainers on the juvenile sales), co-hosts the popular podcast Post Parade with The Filly and The Clocker, and can be heard Sundays on "The Fast Track" on Fox Sports 1340 am.

Molly Jo serves her blend of pony punditry at FocusedFilly.com.

Image Description

Molly Jo Rosen

Growing up halfway between Hollywood Park and Del Mar, Molly Jo Rosen spent more time at the "horse beach" than the sandy ones. One ride on a pony named Coco at 18 months old had her hooked, and she spent 15 years as a showjumper before a routine birthday trip to Del Mar came with the realization that racing was the life she wanted.

Since then, Molly Jo has traveled across the country working on the best backstretches, frontstretches and farms in the industry. She has held positions with TVG, Churchill Downs, Three Chimneys Farm, and Puglisi Racing, among others.

Now managing member of the Post Parade Racing ownership group, Molly Jo also runs 2yoSales.com (providing data to leading trainers on the juvenile sales), co-hosts the popular podcast Post Parade with The Filly and The Clocker, and can be heard Sundays on "The Fast Track" on Fox Sports 1340 am.

Molly Jo serves her blend of pony punditry at FocusedFilly.com.

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