They call it “the bubble”—that’s the term for horses that might or might not have enough qualification points to secure a spot in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve.
Fortunately, horses on the bubble will have a chance to gain additional points in the $200,000 Grade 3 Stonestreet Lexington Stakes on April 13 at Keeneland. The winner will pick up 20 points, and for a horse like #4 Anothertwistafate, that could make all the difference.
On paper, it’s easy enough to conclude that Anothertwistafate is a synthetic track specialist. After all, he’s 0-for-2 on dirt but 3-for-3 over the Tapeta track at Golden Gate Fields, winning all of those races in gate-to-wire fashion by a minimum of four lengths.
But I encourage you to dig deeper and look beyond Anothertwistafate’s bare record. I think there’s a lot more to Anothertwistafate than his past performances suggest. To be perfectly honest, I think he might have what it takes to win the Kentucky Derby.
Just look at his performance in the El Camino Real Derby two starts back. He was facing a decent field, but no one could match strides with him when the real running began. After setting all the fractions, Anothertwistafate found another gear in the homestretch and powered clear to win by seven lengths, charging the final eighth of a mile in a fast 12.08 seconds while running straight and true to the wire.
Ironically, it was Anothertwistafate’s subsequent defeat on dirt in the Grade 3 Sunland Derby at Sunland Park that convinced me we could be looking at a very special colt. It might not be obvious from a glance at the past performances, but Anothertwistafate was trapped behind horses on the far turn and had to wait for racing room while the eventual winner swooped past on the outside.
In my opinion, this subtle but significant hesitation was the difference between winning and losing for Anothertwistafate. When he shifted outside turning for home, he unleashed an eye-catching rally, charging straight as an arrow down the homestretch to fall just a neck short of catching the winner. Over a fast track, he ran the final eighth of a mile in less than 12 seconds.
Given a clean trip in the Lexington, I expect Anothertwistafate to deliver another powerful (and victorious) performance. His sharp half-mile workout on April 4 at Sunland suggests that he’s still in good form, and for the Lexington Stakes he’ll pick up the services of top jockey Javier Castellano, who’s off to a fantastic start at the current Keeneland meet with nine wins from 17 rides—that’s a 53% strike rate!
As for the rest, my preferences are for the consistent #3 Sueno—who enters off a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby—and #1 Shang, who has recorded four straight victories (including two stakes wins) against Louisiana-breds. Their positive recent form is encouraging when compared to #7 Knicks Go, who won the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity here at Keeneland last fall. On his best day, Knicks Go is a very talented colt, but he’s lost his last three starts by more than a dozen lengths apiece and would need to rebound in a big way to challenge in the Lexington.
If you’re playing on a small budget, I recommend simply betting Anothertwistafate to win—even if he starts at even money, he would provide a chance to double your money. But if you want to be a little more aggressive, you could add exacta or trifecta tickets keying Anothertwistafate on top of Sueno and Shang.
Wagering Strategy on a $10 Budget
$10 to win on #4 Anothertwistafate
Wagering Strategy on a $20 Budget
$10 to win on #4 Anothertwistafate
$5 exacta: 4 with 1,3 ($10)
Wagering Strategy on a $30 Budget
$15 to win on #4 Anothertwistafate
$2.50 trifecta: 4 with 1,3,9 with 1,3,9 ($15)
Good luck, and enjoy the race!