Keeneland spring racing 2019 - courtesy Keeneland.jpg

Photo courtesy of Keeneland 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Favored Vekoma pulled away down the stretch to earn a 3 ½-length victory in the $1 million Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on Saturday and take a big step toward the Kentucky Derby.

The chestnut colt followed up last month's third-place finish in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes with his third win in four career starts. Vekoma started from the No. 2 post and was among the leaders throughout before gaining room from Somelikeithotbrown and Signalman nearing the final turn. Win Win Win charged down the stretch, but the George Weaver-trained horse was in control of the Grade 2 race by then and earned 100 points toward the Kentucky Derby on May 4 at Churchill Downs.

Ridden by Javier Castellano, Vekoma covered 1 1/8th mile in 1:50.93 and paid $4.80, $3.20 and $2.60.

Win Win Win returned $4 and $3.20 for second and earned 40 points, while Signalman paid $3.60 to show and earned 20 points. Somelikeithotbrown earned 10 points for fourth.

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