Up the Backstretch: Longer wait than expected for Exodus

Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) – The Hebrews of the Jewish Bible waited
for their redemption from bondage about 400 years. The Exodus lasted 40 years
until they reached the Promised Land.

The promised land for Fox Hill Farm’s 2-year-old Exodus has yet been reached
in as much as the colt failed to break his maiden Sunday at Fair Grounds in
New Orleans. The six-furlong Maiden Special Weight start was the colt’s second
of his young career, coming off a third-place finish at Keeneland on Oct. 3.

“He just got a little tired in that Keeneland race,” noted trainer Larry
Jones, “which I must say kind of surprised me. I thought that once he made the
lead he would go on with it, but at Keeneland you can hook up with some very
good horses.”

Exodus was recognized as the horse to beat in Sunday’s start at Fair Grounds.
The betting public sent him off as the 3-5 favorite versus 11 other 2-year-

With veteran jockey Kerwin Clark in the saddle, Exodus bobbled at the start
from post 8 and then was bumped hard by one of the other horses. Exodus raced
wide around the turn but was second as the field turned into the stretch. The
colt faded a bit to finish third, 8 3/4 lengths behind Distant Kingdom a 21-1
longshot with 22-1 outsider A M Milky Way, the pacesetter, holding on for

“We expect him to be one of our classic contenders down here, but only time
will tell,” Jones explained earlier last week. “We’re pretty high on him and
have a lot of expectations. I don’t think he’ll have any problem getting two
turns. I have two half-sisters to him and one wants to go long and the other
(allowance winner Thirteen Arrows) acts like she wants to be a little bit of a
sprinter, but she’s by Indian Charlie. The way he trains, he’ll definitely
stretch out.”

Sired by two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up Medaglia d’Oro, Exodus was a
$600,000 purchase by Fox Hill Farm owner Rick Porter at Fasig-Tipton’s
Saratoga Sale in August 2013.

Exodus can follow in the hoofprints of previous horses Fox Hill and Jones have
started in Fair Grounds’ stakes for 3-year-olds. Friesan Fire was the track’s
leading 3-year-old in 2009 after sweeping the Lecomte, Risen Star and
Louisiana Derby. However, Friesan Fire finished last as the favorite in the
Kentucky Derby.

Two years earlier, Hard Spun won the Lecomte Stakes by 6 1/2 lengths to begin
his 3-year-old campaign. The colt would go on and get second to Street Sense
in the Run for the Roses and was runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Classic to

Optimism is still high for Exodus to begin finding the wire first and possibly
bring owner and trainer that initial Kentucky Derby victory.