Todd Pletcher may be facing a dilemma that every trainer would love to have.
Which of his horses will be in the field for the May 4 Kentucky Derby?
Winning Cause gave Pletcher a potential sixth 3-year-old contender to make the field in the Run for the Roses after winning the $200,000 Coolmare Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on Saturday in Lexington, Ky.
The Grade 3 stakes victory was worth $120,000 in non-restricted earnings and 20 points in the Derby qualifying system for Winning Cause.
Pletcher's top Derby contender is Verrazano, winner of the Wood Memorial, followed by Arkansas Derby winner Overanalyze, Louisiana Derby winner Revolutionary, Blue Grass Stakes runner-up Palace Malice and third-place Charming Kitten.
Winning Cause is tied with Charming Kitten and two other horses in the Derby standings in 20th, but Charming Kitten would be in based on tiebreakers. The Derby is limited to 20 horses, meaning there would have to be a defection or a change in the standings for Winning Cause to make it. There is one points race left, the Derby Trial on April 27 at Churchill Downs.
Pletcher indicated there's about a 20 percent chance that Winning Cause, owned by Gil Moutray, would run in the Derby if the horse qualified.
"To be honest, we weren't sure (what to expect in the race)," Pletcher said. "We were stretching him out and stepping up into a graded stakes off two weeks' rest. We know he likes the surface and thought it was worth taking a shot.
"I think everybody gets a little Derby fever that I've been around. Honestly, it never came up before today."
Winning Cause, a 6-1 shot, broke from the No. 1 post with Julien Leparoux aboard and covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.93, paying $15.60, $8.20 and $6.00.
General Election finished second and paid $29.60 and $17.80. Pick of the Litter followed in third and returned $8.20 to show.
Winning Cause has now won three race in three starts at Keeneland but has yet to post a victory at another track.
"From the 1 hole, I couldn't ask for a better trip," Leparoux said. "In the first turn, he put me in a good spot and I got room to get him out there (in the middle of the track). He just cruised around there and finished strong. He's the kind of horse that fights back. The more you ask him the more he goes."