Coolmore Lexington Picks: Comfort Gets Call in First Start for Pletcher

A field of seven battle in Saturday’s $250,000 Coolmore Lexington at Keeneland. (Photo credit: Keeneland .com)

A field of seven will line up in Saturday’s $250,000 Coolmore Lexington (G3) at Keeneland with the Todd Pletcher trained Comfort getting the call as he makes his stakes debut and first start for the barn.

The Lexington was moved back to three weeks before the Kentucky Derby (G1) this year and is back on conventional dirt, but will not have an impact on the Derby field.

Only two runners in the field have earned points toward entry into the Run for the Roses. Divining Rod has 10, and Tiznow R J has earned seven, but even picking up 10 more points for a win the Lexington will not be enough to crack the top 20.

Trainer Bob Baffert, who has the top two betting choices for the Kentucky Derby at Bovada in American Pharoah and Dortmund sends out the 5-2 morning line favorite Fame and Power in the Lexington. The colt came off nearly a three-month break to beat maidens on March 8 in his fifth career start.

Divining Rod is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line. The colt is coming off a third in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) behind the winner Carpe Diem, who returned to win the Toyota Blue Grass in his next start and is the 11-2 third choice in early Kentucky Derby wagering.

Comfort is listed at 5-1 on the morning line and makes his first start for Pletcher after being privately purchased by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners after an impressive maiden score at Fair Grounds in February.

The co-feature on Saturday at Keeneland is the $300,000 Jenny Wiley (G1) for fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on turf. The Chad Brown trained Ball Dancing is the 2-1 morning line favorite. Seven will go to the post with Emotional Kitten a late scratch.

The Lexington along with the Jenny Wiley will be broadcast live as part of the Jockey Club Tour on Fox at 4:30 ET on Saturday on Fox Sports 1.

My Best Plays for Saturday will include my strongest plays from Aqueduct, Keeneland and Oaklawn Park including the major stakes action.

Let’s head out to Keeneland for Saturday’s featured race of the day:


Keeneland Race 10 The Coolmore Lexington G3 Post time 5:18 ET

2 Comfort   5-1

1 Divining Rod   3-1

4 Tiznow R J   5-1

6 Fame and Power   5-2

Analysis: Comfort returns off a two-month break and makes his first start for the Todd Pletcher barn, the connections purchasing this colt privately after his maiden score at Fair Grounds in his first start on dirt. The colt raced on grass in his first two career outings. a couple of fourth place finishes. Pletcher is 24% winners with newcomers to the barn and this colt still appears to have plenty of upside. He should get a good trip sitting off what could be a lively early pace.

Divining Rod was beaten just a neck two back in the Sam F. Davis (G3), five lengths clear of the rest of the field. The colt regressed last out in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) where he dueled for the early lead and weakened in the stretch to finish third. The winner Carpe Diem came back to win the Toyota Blue Grass (G1) in his next start last Saturday at Keeneland. The main concern is that there is plenty of early speed in here and his price may end up on the light side.

Tiznow R J ran a decent third in the LeComte (G3) in his stakes debut but was not able to run back to that effort in his last two starts, a seventh in the Risen Star (G2) and a distant fourth in the Sunland Derby (G3). He faces a bit easier group here.


WIN: #2 to win at 7-2 or better.

EX: 1,2 / 1,2,4,6

TRI: 1,2 / 1,2,4,6 / 1,2,4,6,7


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