Tipsheet: 2022 Lexington Stakes

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

April 14th, 2022

A well-matched field of 11 three-year-olds will run 1 1/16 miles on the dirt at Keeneland in Saturday’s $400,000 Lexington S. (G3). The final 2022 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series event will reward the top four finishers with qualifying points on a 20-8-4-2 structure toward the Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs on May 7.

Lexington Stakes Picks

  • #2 In Due Time
  • #9 Tawny Port
  • #4 Ethereal Road
  • #7 Major General

Lexington Stakes Wagers

  • $15 win and place #2 In Due Time
  • $5 exacta key box 2 with 4, 7, 9
  • 50-cent trifecta 2, 9 with 2, 4, 7, 9 with all

Lexington Stakes Contenders

#1 MIDNIGHT CHROME was a decent third in a turf allowance event at Gulfstream in his seasonal debut and moves to the dirt in his second off the break. The John Servis pupil has been well beaten in both of his main-track runs to date, and others offer more appeal to me. 

#2 IN DUE TIME was a very good runner-up in the Fountain of Youth S. (G2) and rates as the one to beat for Kelly Breen. The Not This Time colt has shown steady progression to this stage of his development, and I love the realistic placement in this spot from a heady outfit. The colt could control things from the opening bell under regular pilot Paco Lopez.

#3 WE ALL SEE IT earned a game first-level allowance win at Fair Grounds last time out, but he will need a big step forward to be an upset contender late for Eddie Kenneally.

#4 ETHEREAL ROAD didn’t fire when seventh in the Blue Grass S. (G1) last week and wheels right back for this assignment. The talented D. Wayne Lukas trainee possesses a solid turn of foot on his best day, and I envision the fit sophomore to make a run in the lane on Saturday as a win threat. Victor Espinoza inherits the mount.

#5 HOWLING TIME flashed brilliance in his first two lifetime performances, but the Dale Romans trainee has yet to rediscover that form as of yet. The dark bay son of Not This Time will need to get better in a hurry to have a say in the outcome of this tilt.

#6 SKATE TO HEAVEN ran a lifetime best when breaking through the maiden ranks last time out at Oaklawn Park. The Robertino Diodoro charge shows a pair of useful morning drills in the interim, but he faces a tall class hike and would be something of a surprise to me. David Cohen rides.

#7 MAJOR GENERAL never fired in his seasonal debut in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) for Todd Pletcher, but he should show marked improvement in his second run off the bench in this offering. The Constitution colt will race with blinkers for the initial time, and the top-three player will be forwardly placed from the break on Saturday. Irad Ortiz will be in the silks.

#8 STRAVA was third in his route debut behind subsequent Grade 1 hero Cyberknife for conditioner Dallas Stewart. The expensive son of Into Mischief was a first-out winner on the course in the fall, and he has exotics appeal in his second lifetime route attempt on Saturday. The bay will also be wearing blinkers for the first time for this.

#9 TAWNY PORT finished a clear runner-up in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) on the Tapeta and will move to the dirt in this event. The talented son of Pioneerof the Nile was fifth in his lone dirt try to date, but he gets a pass as he ran into three of the current leading Kentucky Derby contenders in that race, the Risen Star S. (G2). The Brad Cox trainee will track the pace from the second or third flight beneath Florent Geroux.

#10 DASH ATTACK bagged the Smarty Jones S. three back, prior to finishing out of the money in two subsequent graded stakes tilts for Kenny McPeek. The Munnings colt has earned both of his career tallies over "off" surfaces, so he moves forward if there is moisture in the ground on Saturday. Flavien Prat picks up the mount.

#11 CALL ME MIDNIGHT is a one-run closer who lands on the outside in a race with little early pace in the mix. The Keith Desormeaux pupil will be as fit as any horse in the cast while making his sixth route start in succession, but I feel that others are much more likely.