LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Java's War edged Palace Malice by a neck Saturday to win the $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland and solidify his credentials for the Kentucky Derby.
Ridden by Julien Leparoux, Java's War trailed the field after starting from the fourth position, then came on in the backstretch to challenge Palace Malice down the stretch and pull ahead. With his first Grade I stakes victory, Java's War earned 100 more points in the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings after starting the day with 22, placing him in the mix for the 139th running on May 4 at Churchill Downs.
Java's War covered 1 1/8 mile in 1:50.27 and paid $11.20, $5.60 and $4.
Palace Malice returned $6 and $4.60, and Charming Kitten paid $11.20 to show. Rydilluc went off as the race favorite and set the early pace before fading to finish fourth.
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