Brother Derek: Potential Kentucky Derby Favorite ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>
|Brother Derek Wires Santa Anita Derby Field, Deserves Kentucky Derby Favorite Status
by Ultimatecapper.com Horse Handicapper Kenneth Strong
April 8, 2006 – Brother Derek emphasized once again that he is the horse to beat in the 132nd Kentucky Derby with a 3 1/4 length victory over Point Determined in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby-G1 on Saturday – and he made it look easy.
Brother Derek made a beautiful post parade appearance before jumping out of the gate on top and setting galloping fractions under no pressure of 23.60, 47.59 and 1:11.21, before being asked to turn back a challenge from A.P. Warrior on the final turn.
A.P. Warrior made a good run at the winner through the turn but fell victim to that rival’s easy trip and couldn’t stay close in the drive. Brother Derek opened up into the stretch and had a 2 ½ length lead after a mile in 1:35.39. He drew out to win by 3 1/4 but had lots left in the tank and was being eased at the wire. The final time over the fast but apparently dull strip was a decent 1:48 for the mile and an eighth.
Point Determined rallied mildly in the drive to take the place by 1 1/2 lengths over a flattening out A.P. Warrior. Sacred Light, who lost all chance when he stumbled badly at the start, rallied mildly to take fourth money by a head from longshot Wild Fang, but was 14 1/4 lengths behind A.P. Warrior in the shortest Santa Anita Derby field (only 5 horses) since 1946.
Trained by 47-year-old wheelchair bound Dan Hendricks, Brother Derek was ridden by regular rider Alex Solis and paid $3.00, 2.40, 2.10, as the favorite. He also improved his career record to 6-0-1 in eight starts and became a millionaire with the win, increasing his lifetime earnings to $1,162,080.
A son of Benchmark (Alydar)-Miss Soft Sell by Siyah Kalem, Brother Derek is owned by Canadian oil baron Cecil Peacock. The 1/2 brother to stakes-winning sprinter Don’tsellmeshort will now likely be installed as the deserving morning-line favorite for the Kentucky Derby on May 6, 2006. Runner-up Point Determined will also be heading to the Kentucky Derby while A.P. Warrior will consider his options.
A.P. Warrior certainly had an excuse for losing, as the winner had things all his own way. He also may have bounced after a career high Beyer Speed Figure of 101 in winning the San Felipe in his first start off the shelf on March 18.
Seven of the last 20 Kentucky Derby winners have used the Santa Anita Derby as their final prep, with only one of those Kentucky Derby winners actually winning the Santa Anita Derby (Sunday Silence in 1989). So the top three finishers in the Santa Anita Derby would all appear to have a shot at winning the big one on May 6.
And let’s not forget the fact that trainer John Shirreffs, who only took over as trainer of A.P. Warrior before his San Felipe win, won the 2005 Kentucky Derby with 50-1 shot Giacomo off a fourth place finish in the Santa Anita Derby.
Brother Derek should be the favorite for the 2006 Kentucky Derby,but A.P. Warrior might not be done with him yet.