|El Gato Malo Captures the 12th
Running of the Lone Star Derby at LSP
(May 10, 2008)
- West Point Thoroughbred's El Gato Malo made a bold, outside move
in the stretch to win by half a length in Saturday's Grade III,
$400,000 Lone Star Derby in front of 9,249 at Lone Star Park in
Grand Prairie, Texas. El Gato Malo, ridden by Rafael Bejarano gave
trainer Craig Dollase his second straight graded stakes victory
this meet at Lone Star Park following his win by Monterey Jazz in
the Texas Mile on April 26.
El Gato Malo won the mile and a sixteenth contest over a fast
dirt track in 1:43.04. His $225,000 winner's share more than doubled
his career earnings to $440,200.
"I think my horse had a perfect trip," said Bejarano
after winning his first Lone Star Derby. "When we came to the
3/8 (pole), I saw the first three horses still running, so I started
looking for a spot to break clear. When I found a position in the
clear, he started running. I knew he was going to win in the last
"This is a horse we've had such high expectations for and
the Santa Anita Derby obviously didn't work out the way we expected,"
said West Point Thoroughbred's Jeff Bloom. "We essentially
just drew a line through that race. He had been training so nicely
coming into this race.
"Craig Dollase did a wonderful job getting him to this race
and obviously, Rafael did a spectacular job riding him today,"
Leonides and jockey Richard Migliore, who sat just off the lead
throughout the race, finished second a half-length behind the winner.
"He ran great today," said Migliore. "He was a little
anxious the first sixteenth of a mile when Samba Rooster broke for
the early lead, but he settled in nicely for me after that.
"We were rolling along pretty good early on, but this horse
was coming out of some fast races, and it didn't bother him too
much. He gave me everything he had through the stretch, but the
winner was going just a little bit better through the final furlong,"
Bob Baffert-trainee Samba Rooster, who set fractions of 22.98,
46.27, and 1:10.20 to lead until deep stretch was a nose behind
Leonides in third.
"He's been a really aggressive horse and the blinkers did
help settle him down a bit, but he still likes to get out and go,"
explained 2007 Eclipse Award winning jockey Garrett Gomez, who rode
Samba Rooster. "He ran a nice race and hung in well through
El Gato Malo returned $5.40, $3.80, $2.80, second place finisher
Leonides paid $8.20, $5.60, and Samba Rooster (entry - Limestone
Edge) paid $2.80 for show.
Completing the final order of finish were -- Limestone Edge, My
Pal Charlie, Texas Wildcatter, Golden Yank, King's Silver Son, Ide
Like a Double, Real Appeal, Fort Apache, Poni Colada and Isabull.