Do­mini­can Pulls Up­set in Blue Grass Stakes

The Washington Post Sunday - - Wizards Insider -

Do­mini­can pulled off a huge sur­prise by over­tak­ing Street Sense at the wire and win­ning the Blue Grass Stakes yes­ter­day at Keeneland in Lex­ing­ton, Ky.

The thrilling vic­tory — the first four fin­ish­ers were sep­a­rated by a half-length — put Do­mini­can on the road to the Ken­tucky Derby in three weeks. Street Sense al­ready has a ticket punched for Churchill Downs.

With a four-horse bat­tle go­ing on in the stretch, Street Sense moved ahead for an in­stant be­fore Do­mini­can put his nose in front at the end.

“It was a very strangely run race,” Street Sense trainer Carl Nafzger said. “He ran a re­ally good race. I ac­tu­ally thought we had it won.”

But this time, the nose went to Do­mini­can. In last month’s Tampa Bay Derby, Street Sense won by a nose over Any Given Satur­day

Teu­fles­berg, who led from the start, still was ahead at the top of the stretch. But Zan­jero found run­ning room on the inside with Great Hunter and Street Sense mov­ing into con­tention in the mid­dle of the track.

Just as Street Sense went ahead, he quickly ducked in and lost his chance.

“He made too many mis­takes,” Nafzger said. “He got the lead, he ducked in . . . and if he doesn’t make those mis­takes he wins. I don’t know why he did that.”

At one point, it ap­peared Teu­fles­berg im­peded Great Hunter in the stretch scram­ble, but no foul was claimed.

Zan­jero fin­ished third, a head be­hind Street Sense, and Teu­fles­berg was an­other head back in fourth place. Great Hunter, also headed to the Derby, was fifth, fol­lowed by Time Squared and Love Dubai.

Rid­den by Rafael Be­jarano, Do­mini­can

. won for the third time in seven starts for trainer Darrin Miller. Do­mini­can cov­ered the 11⁄ miles in 1 minute 51.33 sec­onds.

8 K ARKANSAS DERBY: Curlin stormed down the stretch to an­other lop­sided vic­tory, win­ning in Hot Springs, Ark., by a record mar­gin for his third win in three ca­reer starts.

The chest­nut colt had no trou­ble over­tak­ing fast-start­ing Deadly Dealer around the sec­ond turn, then pulled away. He fin­ished 101⁄ lengths ahead of sec­ond-place Storm in

2 May in Oak­lawn Park’s fi­nal Ken­tucky Derby prep race.

Curlin won the Rebel at Oak­lawn last month by 51⁄ lengths and cruised to a

4 123⁄ 4- length vic­tory in his seven-fur­long de­but at Gulf­stream Park in Fe­bru­ary. Still, he was con­sid­ered a bit un­proven com­ing into the $1 mil­lion Arkansas Derby be­cause he was so lightly raced.

Now, he’s es­tab­lished him­self as a ma­jor con­tender for the Ken­tucky Derby.

Start­ing from the No. 2 po­si­tion, Curlin moved quickly among the lead­ers. He was sec­ond be­hind Deadly Dealer in the first turn and dropped back briefly, but by the time he reached the sec­ond turn, he was right with Deadly Dealer.

Deadly Dealer dropped back and fin­ished third as Curlin opened a huge lead in the stretch. Curlin cov­ered the 11⁄ miles in 1:50.



Do­mini­can, left, with Rafael Be­jarano aboard, edges Street Sense by a nose in a thrilling Blue Grass Stakes. “I ac­tu­ally thought we had it won,” Street Sense trainer Carl Nafzger said.

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