Keeneland September Grad West Saratoga Headed to Kentucky Derby 150

Monday, March 25, 2024

West Saratoga, second to Endlessly in the Grade 3 Jeff Ruby on Saturday at Turfway Park, will proceed to the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, having likely amassed the points to get into the starting gate.

West Saratoga, trained by Larry Demeritte for Harry Veruchi, won the first points race toward the Kentucky Derby, last September’s Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs, (watch below) before finishing fifth in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland.

This year, he has made a steady progression, finishing a second to Saudi Derby runner-up Book’em Danno around one turn in the Pasco Stakes at Tampa Bay – a race Demeritte indicated was to help run the colt fit – before running third to No More Time and Agate Road in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes.

On Saturday at Turfway, West Saratoga was beaten four lengths by Endlessly, while edging Seize the Grey by a head for second. The 50 points he secured give him a total of 67, and he earned a career-best 85 Beyer Speed Figure.

“I’m so excited to be in the Kentucky Derby,” said Demeritte, who would saddle his first runner in the classic. “He ran a great race, and dug in to hold second. We’ll probably take him over to Keeneland and train for the Derby there.”

Bred by Two Hearts Farm II LLC, West Saratoga was sold by Hidden Brook Farm during the final session of the 2022 Keeneland September sale. He´s now earned $460,140 for Mr. Veruchi.