First win in the US since leaving his native France last year, Madaket Stables LLC’s Wootton Asset broke out of traffic around the back corner, took command of the track and then held a late-night rally of Slicked Back to win the grade on Tuesday 3, $ 250,000 New Kent County Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs in New Kent, Virginia.
Trained by H. Graham Motion and ridden by Jose Ortiz, Wootton Asset – a three year old colt by Wootton Bassett – finished three-quarter length for the benefit of Brad Cox trained slicked back and jockey Fernando De La Cruz. It Can Be Done finished another 1 3/4 lengths back in third place, followed by Hidden Energy, 2-1 Favorite Experienced, Indian Lake, Draft Capital, Doubleoseven, Eye of the Cat, and Search for Truth.
The time for the 1 1/8 mile on a firm turf course was 1: 46.79. Wootton Asset paid $ 11.20 to win the bet as second choice.
Wootton Asset, who made his sixth start in the U.S. since last October, saved ground early while racing in seventh place as Indian Lake set a moderate early pace at fractions of: 23.96,: 48.13, and 1:11 , 24 established for the first six stages.
Around the long turn, Ortiz Wootton Asset turned out from a narrow spot along the rail and walked into the track five times. He took advantage of just outside the eighth pole after a mile in 1: 34.76 and was never seriously challenged by the late run of Slicked Back.
Stewards set fire to the investigation sign and Slicked Backs Jockey De La Cruz filed a foul charge against the first-placed winner, claiming Wootton Asset bothered him when he drove off the rail in his path.
Stewards left the original order of destination unchanged.
“I knew what I was doing out there, ”Ortiz said of the foul claim. “Fernando ran out of horse at the three-eighth pole. He didn’t have enough horse to hold me down there so i just kept walking I never Contacted with him. if weather did it was very light brush. My trip has been great. My position in the back is where I won the race. I just had a lot of horse. He did his job. The horse moved very smoothly on the grass. i really like this Lawn course. “
“Jose was pretty confident (that the result would be), ”Motion said. “He just had a lot of horse. He’s a cool horse and has finally got his good ground. He hasn’t done much wrong since he’s here. He came to this country to walk on solid ground, which he got today. “
In the companion race of the 3-year-old filly, G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s self-drawn flippant used a fast pace to rally from far behind and win the $ 150,000 Woodford Reserve Virginia Oaks with 1 1/4 lengths under Rafael Bejarano.
Invincible Gal finished second under Jose Ortiz, gold for Kitten and jockey Joe Rocco third.
The gray 3-year-old filly by Tapit ad Frivolous by Empire Maker won her third race in a row for trainer Victoria Oliver. She ran in 1: 46.47 1 1/8 miles on firm turf, setting a new course record. Flippant paid $ 6.60 to win as a favorite.
Bejarano allowed Flippant to settle in the back of the field with 12 mares as Belle Belisa worked out quick fractions of: 23.31,: 46.35 and 1: 10.20. Fliippant had just over a quarter mile to go when she finished in 11th place. She split horses at the top of the trail and gradually carried them off, becoming clear in the deeper trail.
“When I rode her for the first time, I didn’t know much about her” Bejarano called. “This is the type of filly that likes to come from behind. S.Hhe likes to sit down and relax. She has a better gait. I’ve learned my lesson. My strategy was to have her in a good position just behind speed to make a move from the three-eighths or half a mile wherever she was ready. There was a lot tempo in my race it was good. I had to wait a little on the track and when I was clear, it came flying.”
Virginia Derby Day Card bets set new record
New Kent County’s Virginia Derby Day set a new all-source handle record of $ 4,875,792, beating the old record of $ 4,469,223 set on July 19, 2008 – the date of Gio Ponti’s victory in this year’s Virginia Derby.
“I want to thank the fans, riders and our great staff for all the tremendous support today,” said Jill Byrne, VP of Racing Operations. “To set an all-time record in just our third year since racing returned to Colonial Downs is a remarkable achievement.”
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