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 furlong."

"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," added Bloom.

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," added Migliore.

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 the stretch."

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.

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