Scat Daddy Wins; Next Race Is Kentucky Derby
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.
Scat Daddy, ridden by Edgar Pardo, wins the Florida Derby by 11⁄