On Saturday at Turfway Park, a field of 10 three-year-olds contested the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (G2), a major Kentucky Derby prep 5 weeks before the first Saturday in May. Connemara sent off as the 8-5 favorite, exiting a win in the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields after finishing 2nd in the California Derby. In to challenge him included 7-2 second choice Northern Giant, third in the Risen Star last out, and 6-1 third choice Dean's Kitten, exiting a second place finish in the Palm Beach on the turf at Gulfstream. Conditions were ideal for racing, with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 60's.
Ranger Heartley was sent to the front by jockey Michael Baze setting early fractions of 24.48, 48.57, and 1:12.68 over the fast synthetic track while as many as 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Vow to Wager in second. Entering the stretch, Ranger Heartley tired and faded to last, as Dean's Kitten, who stalked them in third the whole way, moved up to take the lead at the 3/16 pole. Northern Giant put in a late rally from 5th but was no match for Dean's Kitten, who drew off through the final furlong to win by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:50.59. It was another 3 1/4 lengths back to late-running favorite Connemara third.
Results Chart from Daily Racing Form