Saturday's $200,000 Lexington S. (G3) serves as a final opportunity for SILVER MEDALLION (Badge of Silver) to earn his way into the Kentucky Derby (G1) on May 7. Currently 24th on the graded earnings list at $184,334, Silver Medallion would easily vault into the top 20 with Saturday's $120,000 winner's share, but he will first have to get past five rivals in the 1 1/16-mile event on Keeneland's Polytrack.
Silver Medallion didn't fare well when seventh in the 2010 Breeders' Futurity (G1) at Keeneland, but he was transferred to Steve Asmussen two starts later and immediately scored in the grassy Eddie Logan S. at Santa Anita in late December. The bay colt opened his three-year-old season with an encouraging victory in the El Camino Real Derby (G3), winning by 1 1/4 lengths over the Tapeta track at Golden Gate Fields, and was freshened nearly two months for his last effort, a fourth in the April 9 Santa Anita Derby (G1) on dirt.
Silver Medallion figures to appreciate the return to an all-weather track and will pick up a new rider in Javier Castellano.
CASPER'S TOUCH (Touch Gold) can't be overlooked following his sharp three-length allowance score earlier in the meet. Trained by Kenny McPeek, the dark bay faltered badly when trying graded rivals in the Fountain of Youth (G2) two starts back, but Casper's Touch displayed a dynamic turn of foot on Polytrack last time, rallying quickly to the lead off the far turn. He rates as a top contender Saturday with Alan Garcia returning.
PRIME CUT (Bernstein) is an up-and-coming colt who will be making his stakes debut in the Lexington. The Neil Howard trainee placed in a couple of allowance/optional claiming events at Fair Grounds before breaking through with a commendable victory last out, defeating the highly-regarded Bind (Pulpit) at a mile and 70 yards on March 26. Edgar Prado will be back in the saddle.
Maiden winner DERBY KITTEN (Kitten's Joy), who exits a runner-up in the April 2 Alligator Alley S. on turf; multiple stakes-placed TAPTOWNE (Tapit), exiting a fifth in the Spiral S. (G3); and former claimer HURRICANE LAKE (Friends Lake) round out the Lexington field.