Nine Fast Facts About the Lexington Stakes

Pop Culture
Fans pack the grandstand at Keeneland every spring. (Eclipse Sportswire)

Keeneland hosts the Grade 3 Stonestreet Lexington Stakes on Saturday, and the race offers last-chance Kentucky Derby points to Derby hopefuls, plus a $200,000 purse. Brush up on your Lexington trivia with the nine fun facts below.

1. The Lexington has produced two Kentucky Derby winners: Charismatic (1999) and Swale (1984). Both won another Triple Crown race as well; Charismatic was victorious in the Preakness and Swale in the Belmont.

2. Charismatic set the stakes record in the 1 1/16-mile race: 1:41.06.

3. The race was first run in 1936, but this year is only the 36th running—it wasn’t run, or was run under a different name, from 1938 through 1983.

4. In addition to a $200,000 purse, the race offers 17 Kentucky Derby qualifying points. While the winner’s 10 points alone won’t be enough to make it in the starting gate, it could provide the needed boost to a horse on the edge of qualifying.

5. The Lexington wasn’t always a stakes race for 3-year-olds. It began as a 2-year-old race and was run as a handicap for horses age 3 and older before eventually becoming the 3-year-old stakes it is today.

Risen Star winning Belmont. (Bob Coglianese photo)

6. Touch Gold, Hansel, Risen Star and Master Derby are Lexington winners that also won either the Preakness or Belmont. Hansel and Risen Star each won both.

7. All Squared Away paid a whopping $143.20 to win for his 2012 victory, the highest win payout ever in the race.

8. Retired jockey Jerry Bailey has a record six Lexington wins, including those aboard Charismatic and Hansel.

9. Heavy favorite Hansel won the 1991 edition by nine lengths and paid only $2.60 on a $2 win bet. Both are records.

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