The $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (G2) is the last graded Kentucky Derby prep, run just 2 weeks before the first Saturday in May over a distance of 1 1/16 miles, one lap of the Keeneland main track. Eleven 3-year-olds entered, with Tomcito the 7-2 favorite exiting a third place finish in the Florida Derby last time out. In to challenge were 4-1 second choice Racecar Rhapsody, fourth in the Lane's End, and 9-2 Atoned, fourth in the Tampa Bay Derby.
Samba Rooster went to the lead immediately and set a pace of 22.78, 45.21, and 1:09.48 while as many as 4 lengths clear of St. Joe who stalked in second. Entering the stretch, St. Joe tired and dropped back, as Samba Rooster continued to lead, getting the mile in 1:35.47. Behindatthebar, who raced as far back as 10th early, passed horses on the far turn and closed well, catching the pacesetter in the final strides to win by 1 length in 1:42.14. It was just 1/2 a length back to Riley Tucker third, while favorite Tomcito raced in 8th early but lacked any late kick, finishing sixth.
Thank you to EquiSportPhotos.com for the photos!