It's certainly a great day for Charles Fipke, as Java's War was able to bring home the $750,000 prize at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington. Kenneth McPeek did an excellent job training Java's War, and it certainly paid off for the 3-year-old Colt.
It wasn't a good start at all for Java's War. He stumbled out of the gate and fell to the back of the field of 14. However, he was able to slowly creep back in and came all the way back to the front just in time to edge out a win over Palace Malice on the final few strides.
It's the horse's third career win and first since September at the Sunday Silence. After finishing second at the Tampa Bay Derby in March, it was looking like Java's War was primed for a win.
Uncaptured, the favorite to win before the start of the race, was able to stay near the front of the pack, but wasn't able to hold on, finishing 10th. John Oxley, the horse's owner, was clearly looking his horse to pull off the win and make a run at the Kentucky Derby. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.
Rydilluc had the lead on the far turn, but couldn't hold on. Palace Malice and Charming Kitten were able to pass, then Java's War came through at the last second. Unfortunately, finishing fourth isn't going to cut it, and Rydilluc only brought home 10 points for the Kentucky Derby leaderboard.
Even though his two horses weren't able to win at Keeneland, Todd Pletcher did an excellent job training Palace Malice and Charming Kitten. The fact that they finished in second and third respectively says a lot about his training, and Palace Malice can now begin preparing for May.
Both Java's War and Palace Malice will be heading to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby in less than a month.
In fact, the winner of the Blue Grass Stakes tends to do well in the first race of the Triple Crown. Last year, Dullahan won the Stakes and ended up finishing third at Churchill Downs. It will be interesting to see where Java's War will finish in May. If it's anything like last year, he's sure to have a solid run.
|1.||Java's War||J. Leparoux|
|2.||Palace Malice||G. Gomez|
|3.||Charming Kitten||J. Bravo|
|5||Fear the Kitten||R. Napravnik|
|6||Balance the Books||J. Castellano|
|7||My Name is Michael||S. Bridgmohan|
|8||Channel Isle||J. Rocco|
|9||Dynamic Sky||J. Rosario|
|12||West Hills Giant||J. Espinoza|
Post Positions and Odds
|1||Dynamic Sky J. Rosario||10-1|
|2||My Name Is Michael S. Bridgmohan||15-1|
|3||Undrafted C. Nakatani||10-1|
|4||Java's War J. Leparoux||4-1|
|5||Palace Malice G. Gomez||8-1|
|6||Channel Isle J. Rocco||30-1|
|7||Uncaptured M. Mena||7-2|
|8||Charming Kitten J. Bravo||10-1|
|9||Tesseron A. Garcia||50-1|
|10||Footbridge C. Lanerie||20-1|
|11||Balance the Books J. Castellano||15-1|
|12||West Hills Giant J. Espinoza||20-1|
|13||Rydilluc E. Prado||4-1|
|14||Fear the Kitten R. Napravnik||30-1|
|AE||Divine Ambition J. Graham||50-1|
*Odds information according to Claire Novak via ESPN.com.