Gene Chandler is The Duke Of FL Derby

FL Derby (Grade 1)- $1,000.000 Purse
GP- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Eighth on the Dirt
March 31, 2018

Back on September 1, 2017, a claiming race took place at rain-soaked ELP. There were five in this race, and there were three people attracted to the eventual winner, Gene Chandler. Two of those three people may be wondering what might have been had they won the shake, while Second Chance Farms will hope one day, for a second chance to such an amazing thoroughbred. Double Cross Ranch needed just $12.500 to claim him, or approximately $437.500 less then Serenity Stables paid for Performance Artist at the beginning of this month. Not that there’s anything wrong with Performance Artist, because he’s a great one too, but it just goes to show that there can be gems in small claimers from time to time, especially when you are talking about what was, at the time, a young two year old. The win and the 100 points means that Double Cross Ranch will be one of the fortunate stables with a KYD runner. Congratulations to them! This was also the first ever Grade 1 victory for the trainer, who’s been going at it since 2005. We won’t be able to hear how excited he is on the forums, but we can only imagine what this win means for him and the stable. The winning jockey is K J Desormeaux, who won the race with Shootfromthehip last year as well. The time of the win was 1:48.01, nearly identical to last year’s time. Let’s take a look at the race now!

(½ Mile- :46.33)- Ferociously shot out of a cannon at the start of the race is Ferocious Gaze, from Joshua Stables, and he would take the lead with authority. Moving around the opening turn, the distance grew and grew, to become about three length within the turn. Into the backstretch, that lead would be extended even more, and I was actually expecting to see an even faster half mile split based on this pace. The rest of the field, aware that this was a considerable longshot, were not bothered and no one was drawn into challenging him. The new addition to Serenity Stables, Performance Artist, was running second in the third lane, and was four lengths out. Another length back we would find Slip Away (TwinTowersRacing) and Controlled Lion (Our Athletes). Running fifth, and being six lengths off the lead is the new addition to Estero Farms’, Lucky Phooey. Our eventual winner, Gene Chandler was next, six and a half lengths off the lead for Double Cross Ranch, and he had Broomstick Spirits (Threshold) right behind him. After them, we had a four wide group another length back consisting of, from inside to outside: People Doubted (Mb Stables), Almost Illegal (Delta Farms), Psychotic Ruler (D J C Racing Stables), and Illustious (Mb Stables). Our trailers were Tallmadge (Oquinn Farm), Dream Controlled (Mb Stables), and Puissant Chef (Joshua Stables).

(Six Furlongs- 1:10.22)- When they hit six furlongs, there had not been much change, but you could see the roof about to cave in on Ferocious Gaze. He was still out there leading, though as they approached the top of the final turn, Performance Artist had cut the distance to now be less then three lengths. His advance was sooner then others, and now led the next group of three wide by a length himself. From here, everyone was lining up the leaders, you could see a decided shift in racing lanes throughout this pack. For Gene Chandler, this meant moving down into the third lane, in order to position himself to the outside of Controlled Lion and Slip Away, and take follow Performance Artist on through. Further back, a wide trip was setting up for Dream Controlled, who was looking good early on in the turn. Others in the field seemed capable of putting together a good run before hitting the top of the stretch.

(Top OF Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- The amount of actual race track covered between six furlongs and right here was only a furlong and a half, but a lot went on. For Ferocious Gaze, the inevitable was happening, and Performance Artist made stunning quick work of him. The entire deficit was overcome within the turn, and by the time they hit the top of the stretch, it was Performance Artist with a nose in front. Controlled Lion was explosive while on the rail as well, and seemed poised to go on by just as long as he did not get blocked by Ferocious Gaze. Unfortunately, as good as this run was looking for him, some sort of a checkup was seemingly likely. Gene Chandler, meanwhile came thundering on through. He remained glued to his lane, and reeled in the leaders as well, and now he had just a length and a half to make up on Performance Artist. People Doubted was looking to squeeze on through to the inside of Slip Away, who was beginning to do what his name says. Broomstick Spirits and Lucky Phooey were running well in the outer lanes, but on the far outside Dream Controlled was making up considerable ground. Almost Illegal, Illustrious, and Tallmadge were in the thick of the pack, but didn’t have a lot of room to run. Psychotic Ruler was coming up flat, and at the very back, J J Castellano was wishing he could get back on Copper Opus like he was in the prior race, instead of Puissant Chef here.

(Finish- 1:48.01)- Once taking over the lead, Performance Artist was in good stride, but not at the level of Gene Chandler, who was simply full of run. Gene Chandler drew even with Performance surprisingly quickly in the stretch, and was able to make the pass relatively easy. That’s an accomplishment, because as he was doing that, the gap between Performance Artist and the rest of the field was also increasing. In the end, Gene Chandler wins while drawing away, and will certainly be one to watch in the KYD. Performance Artist was sharp here as well in a second place run that will make Serenity’s purchase worthwhile. Dream Controlled ran well on the far outside to get up for third, but whether or not it was enough for Mb Stables’ to choose him as one of his three for the KYD, we’ll have to wait and see, but my guess would be that he will not be KYD bound. People Doubted ran a steady race to be fourth, holding off Controlled Lion. The next six were so close that they could have finished in any order, but it goes down officially as: Broomstick Spirits, Tallmadge, Almost Illegal, Lucky Phooey, Slip Away, and Ferocious Gaze. Rounding out the field are Psychotic Ruler and Illustrious. Oh wait, and eventually getting to the line was Puissant Chef.

About The Winner: Gene Chander, trained by Double Cross Ranch and ridden to victory by K J Desormeaux, is a three year old gelding by Conducive (by Condottieri) and out of Complusmentus. He was bred in New Mexico by Second Chance Farms as a first quarter two year old, and was acquired by the trainer via a $12.500 claim in September 2017. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his sixth in nine starts, his second stake win, and first graded win. He is five for six when going at least a mile, and his career earnings are now $711.800.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Gene Chandler Double Cross Ranch Desormeaux K J 3.80   11 1:48.01  
  Performance Artist Serenity Stables Albarado R J 8.35   21 1:48.33  
  Dream Controlled Mb Stables Talamo J 5.00   31/2 1:48.54  
  People Doubted Mb Stables Ortiz I Jr 5.85   4no 1:48.64  
  Controlled Lion Our Athletes Smith M E 31.15   53/4 1:48.65  
  Broomstick Spirits Threshold Ortiz J L 20.95   6hd 1:48.83  
  Tallmadge Oquinn Farm Velazquez J R 8.95   7nk 1:48.86  
  Almost Illegal Delta Farms Lopez P 48.05   8no 1:48.91  
  Lucky Phooey Estero Farms Colon L H 15.40   8no 1:48.91  
  Slip Away TwinTowersRacing Bejarano R 7.15   10hd 1:48.93  
  Ferocious Gaze Joshua Stables Court J K 180.45   111 1:48.96  
  Psychotic Ruler D J C Racing Stables Gallardo A A 13.90   121/2 1:49.24  
  Illustrious Mb Stables Pennington F 14.75   133 1:49.35  
  Puissant Chef Joshua Stables Castellano J J 28.70   14 1:50.00  

Track: Fast

Time: :461  1:101  1:351  1:48

$2 Mutuel Prices:

4 – Gene Chandler 9.60 4.60 5.40
12 – Performance Artist   7.80 5.20
7 – Dream Controlled     7.00

$1 Exacta: 4 – 12 Paid 95.80

$1 Trifecta: 4 – 12 – 7 Paid 781.10

Scratched: No Chill, Splash Mountain

— NS

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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