Scat Daddy Wins; Next Race Is Ken­tucky Derby

The Washington Post Sunday - - Horse Racing -

No need for a photo to fig­ure out the win­ner of the Florida Derby.

Scat Daddy pulled away in the stretch for a 11⁄ 4- length vic­tory over No­tional in the $1 mil­lion race at Gulf­stream Park yes­ter­day in Hal­lan­dale Beach, Fla., and moved into the role as a lead­ing con­tender for the Ken­tucky Derby in five weeks.

In the Foun­tain of Youth four weeks ago, Scat Daddy beat Stormello by a scant nose in a photo fin­ish. This time, there was no doubt as Scat Daddy won for the fifth time in eight starts for trainer Todd Pletcher, who won five races on the Gulf­stream card.

Stormello fin­ished fourth af­ter set­ting the early pace.

Scat Daddy won’t race again un­til the Derby on May 5, and will try to du­pli­cate Bar­baro’s feat of sweep­ing the Florida Derby and Ken­tucky Derby. Un­til Bar­baro, the last horse to win the Ken­tucky Derby off a lay­off of five weeks or more was Nee­dles in 1956.

Rid­den for the first time by Edgar Prado — who had six win­ners on the day — Scat Daddy moved into the lead on the turn for home and was never se­ri­ously threat­ened. No­tional, win­ner of the Risen Star in his last start, made a brief run but was no match for the 3-year-old colt owned by James Scatuor­chio and Michael Ta­bor.

Pletcher yes­ter­day was in Dubai, where his best fin­ish with five starters was sec­ond with Friendly Is­land in the Golden Sha­heen. John Ve­lazquez, Scat Daddy’s reg­u­lar rider, also was in Dubai. The win­ing time for the 11⁄

8 miles was 1 minute 49 sec­onds.

Ch­elo­kee’s third-place fin­ish was a dis­ap­point­ment for Michael Matz, who trained Bar­baro and was hop­ing to re­turn to the Derby again. How­ever, Ch­elo­kee needed to fin­ish first or sec­ond to have enough graded stakes earn­ings to make the field if more than 20 horses en­ter.

Boo­gie Boggs was fifth, fol­lowed by Imaw­ildand­crazyguy, Bird­birdis­the­word, Adore the Gold and Jo­han­nes­burg Star.

The win was worth $600,000, and boosted Scat Daddy’s earn­ing to $1,334,300.

Scatuor­chio, a re­tired Wall Street trader from New Jer­sey, bought Scat Daddy for $250,000 as a year­ling. He gave a halfin­ter­est to Pletcher and his fa­ther, J.J. Pletcher, named the horse for Scatuor­chio, then sold his share to Ta­bor. K DUBAI WORLD CUP: In­va­sor avenged the only de­feat of his ca­reer with a stir­ring vic­tory in the $6 mil­lion race in United Arab Emi­rates, out­du­el­ing Pre­mium Tap in the stretch while ri­val Dis­creet Cat never posed a threat and fin­ished last.

In­va­sor, the 2006 horse of the year, ex­tended his win­ning streak to six in a row and his ca­reer record to 11 of 12. The only loss came against Dis­creet Cat in last year’s UAE Derby over this same Nad Al Sheba track.

In­va­sor took charge from Pre­mium Tap and pulled away to win by 13⁄ lengths in the world’s rich-

4 est race, which capped a day of races worth $21.25 mil­lion.

BY GARY I. ROTH­STEIN — EQUI PHOTO VIA AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Scat Daddy, rid­den by Edgar Pardo, wins the Florida Derby by 11⁄

lengths.

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