Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky hosts the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (G2), the major local prep for the Blue Grass Stakes and ultimately the Triple Crown. A full field of 12 three-year-olds went to post for this 1 1/8 mile Polytrack feature, with West Side Bernie sent off as the 2-1 favorite off a third place finish in the Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park. In to challenge him included 5-2 second choice Bittel Road, shipping in from California where he was fourth in both the Robert B. Lewis and the CashCall Futurity, and 6-1 third choice Jack Spratt, 8th in the Fountain of Youth on dirt at Gulfstream after winning the Dania Beach on the turf.
Orthodox was sent to the front by jockey Jesus Castanon, and he set an uncontested pace of 23.71, 47.84, and 1:12.43 over the fast track while as many as 2 1/2 lengths clear of Proceed Bee, who in turn was as many as 3 lengths ahead of the rest of the field. Orthodox tired after 7/8 mile, fading to eventually finish 11th, allowing Proceed Bee to take over the lead in mid stretch. 9-1 Hold Me Back, who was 11th down the backstretch after a slow start, split horses on the turn and came 5 wide into the stretch for the drive. Under urging by jockey Kent Desormeaux, Hold Me Back took over the lead at the 1/16 pole and drew away to win by 1 3/4 lengths over Flying Private in 1:49.63 for the 9 furlong trip. It was another 4 lengths back to Proceed Bee in third. Favorite West Side Bernie raced back in seventh early, saving ground around both turns, but showed no rally late to finish a disappointing sixth.