Lexington Stakes 2024 Picks

The Wine Steward returns in Lexington Stakes (Chelsea Durand photo)

By Jarrod Horak

The road to Kentucky Derby 2024 continues at Keeneland on Saturday, April 13, and I have included Lexington Stakes 2024 picks below. The Grade 3 event for 3-year-olds has a $400,000 purse and the ten entrants will be journeying 1 1/6 miles on the main track. The Lexington Stakes is the 10th race on April 13 and the top five finishers will earn Kentucky Derby points (20-10-6-4-2).  

Lexington Stakes 2024 Picks & Final Time Ratings

The Wine Steward makes his first start in half a year. The $340k New York-bred son of Vino Rosso captured his first three sprint starts and two of those were stakes races. He stretched out, saved ground stalking the pace from the inside post, and was clearly second best in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland last fall. Mike Maker’s returnee sports eight workouts for this and is the 5-2 morning line favorite. 

Hades went last-to-first in his sprint bow, and romped on the front end in an extended sprint second time out. He stole the Grade 3 Holy Bull from the inside post on Feb. 3, and had an uncomfortable trip in a disappointing effort in the Florida Derby (G1) on March 30. He adds blinkers and is back in two weeks, and Jose Ortiz is his new rider. He is currently 24th on the Derby points list with 30 points, and needs a one-two finish in the Lexington Stakes to qualify for a spot in the starting gate on the first Saturday in May. 

Encino rallied from post 10 to miss by a neck in his all-weather route bow late last year. He wired the field at Turfway second time out, and stalked wide from an outer post and won the John Battaglia Memorial on March 2. Brad Cox’s versatile Nyquist colt drew the outside post and scratched out of the Grade 1 Blue Grass last weekend. He shows three local workouts for this engagement, and this is his first attempt on conventional dirt. He has 20 Kentucky Derby points and needs to win this race to make the Derby cut. 

Liberal Arts was unsettled early in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby on March 30, and he was unplaced and demoted to 8th place in a throwout effort. He fired trifecta shots in his first six starts including a victory in the Grade 3 Street Sense Stakes last fall. Irad Ortiz Jr. takes the call and he will try to get involved in the stretch. He has earned a total of 19 Derby points, and needs a win and some other defections to make the Derby field. 

Lucky Jeremy started 2024 with a victory in the Riley Allison Derby. He landed the show behind subsequent SA Derby hero Stronghold in the Sunland Derby on Feb. 18, and battled on the pace and split a 10-horse field in the Jeff Ruby Steaks on all-weather ground last time. He might be the one to catch from the outside post. 

The Lexington Stakes field also includes Secret Chat, Dilger, Footprint, How’s Ur Attitude, and Everdoit. 

Lexington Stakes 2024 Picks

The Lexington Stakes is my 34th video on the road to Kentucky Derby 2024, and my top choices have thirteen wins, five runner-up finishes, and five show finishes. This is the final Kentucky Derby 2024 points race.