LEXINGTON, Ky. -- There were three California-based horses entered Saturday in the Grade 3, $150,000 Lexington Stakes, with Swipe being the primary focus as fans peeked ahead at the Kentucky Derby.
But it was the other two California runners, Collected and longshot One More Round, who swept the top two spots in the 1-1/16-mile race, meaning the Derby most likely will go without a Lexington starter for a fifth straight year.
Collected is trained by Bob Baffert, who did not travel here for the race but concurred via text message with what was revealed on in-house television by Peter Fluor, who co-owns the colt with K.C. Weiner in the name of Speedway Stables LLC.
The May 21 Preakness, said Fluor, "would be the most logical next step," said Fluour. "We'll see how he comes out. That'd be a thrill."
Collected earned 10 qualifying points to the May 7 Derby, which brings his total to 21, which may or may not be enough to make the 20-horse field when entries are drawn May 3 at Churchill Downs. But that's most likely a moot point. The Preakness, said Baffert, always "was the plan."
Amid spectacular spring weather and before a huge crowd, One More Round, a 40-1 shot, set the pace from the inside post before giving way to Collected after turning for home. Collected, always close after breaking sharply from post 10, proceeded to win by four lengths, while One More Round held second by a half-length over late-running Synchrony. Direct Message was fourth.
Ridden by Javier Castellano, Collected paid $6.40 to win as second choice after finishing in 1:43.33 over a fast track.
"He was impressive," said Castellano. "I tried to sit a little behind the front-runner. When I asked him, he responded so well."
Collected, a chestnut colt by City Zip, now has won four of six starts. It was his second graded victory, following the Grade 3 Sham at Santa Anita in January. He represents the first Lexington winner for Baffert and the second for Castellano, who won in 2005 on Coin Silver.
One More Round, trained by A.C. Avila, was one of six colts in the race making his stakes debut and the only maiden.
Swipe, the 2-1 favorite, maintained excellent mid-pack position when making his first start since a runner-up finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile here last fall. But he beat a steady fade down the stretch when finishing sixth, beaten by 12 lengths. Swipe entered the race with 12 Derby points, and trainer Keith Desormeaux said beforehand a best-case scenario might have landed the colt in the Derby.
After the top four, the order was Yo Cam, Swipe, Lomcevak, Riker, Call the Colonel, and Big Squeeze.
Derby Kitten, the 2011 Lexington winner, was the last horse to exit this race to run back in the Derby. The last Lexington runner to win the Derby was Charismatic in 1999.
The $2 exacta (10-1) paid $164.80, the $1 trifecta (10-1-5) returned $596.70, and the 10-cent superfecta (10-1-5-2) was worth $272.97.
Attendance was 38,863, third highest in track history for a non-Breeders' Cup day. The non-BC record of 40,617 was set four years ago on Blue Grass Stakes day.