Derby Connection Comes from Free Track to Take First Stakes Win for Owner in Ashland

Ashland – Grade I [KYO]
1 1/16 Mile Dirt Stake Purse $600.000 Filly 3 Year Olds.

1st      Derby Connection     Two Hearts One Love      Alvarado F T

First of all many many congratulations to Two Hearts One Love who not only bred this one but has produced her to win four in a row and one of the biggest three year old fillies race of the year. When i previewed this race i said this was just the kind of horse that makes a great story and i am thrilled to be able to review this fantastic effort and what was a very easy win.
Running in the perfect spot she quickened up and put them away by an easy two lengths at the end in a win that would beat the race hot pot and solidify her near the top of the fillies tree as the KYO approaches.
So why was this a great story? Well lets start off with the breeding, her sire Derby Contender only ran twice and was beaten a total of 23 lengths in those two efforts, he was sold pretty soon after producing this filly and despite some solid enough lines through his breeding he looked far from outstanding. Her mum, Special Connection ran three times and was beaten a total of 54 lengths in those three races and you have to go a fair way back to find Cherokee Sunset and Commanding in her blood. So on the breeding front, well lets just say she disproves a lot of what the top breeders say about breeding and proves that you can find a diamond at HRP if you just keep clicking that breed button.
So what about her form makes her a great story? Well with just $1.61 in earnings from her previous five races you would find it hard to compare her to the $750 purse haul that the runner up had accumulated. She ran three times as a two year old finally winning her maiden at GRP at the lowest level, i am not sure the trainer felt she was a grade one winner at that point because her next start was at the free track where she won nicely by a couple of lengths. Again with the big pay races getting going the trainer decided to go back to the free track for her start before this running in the Private Terms Stakes beating her stable companion by a length, form which would have given the trainer a one two if they had run both those fillies today, now that would have been an even better story!!
Finally what makes this a great story is that just a few months ago the owner declared that they were leaving HRP after over ten years of playing. Something made them stay though and if they knew then that they would get their first ever stakes winner and it would be a grade one winner at that i am pretty sure they may have kept the horses they sold before changing their mind.

So, yes, this is a great story and although looking at some of the facts you would be hard pressed to see her winning the fact that HRP had her at 3 to 1 second favorite should’ve told us that she was far better than what we had seen. Congratulations to the owner and we can all go away from this with a new appreciation for our free track winners who may just turn out to be grade one Breeders Cup hopes! Don’t you just love HRP !

2nd      Present Tense       Mb Stables         Jaramillo E

The Holy Bull winner Looked pretty good for this race and there was nothing in her trip that made me feel she wasn’t going to win pretty easily. Enter Derby Connection who blew her away at the end leaving the KYO picture even muddier than it was before this race was sent off. You can’t knock the fact that this filly is a grade one winner and has been runner up twice now at this level so it is clear she is very good and i just feel as she stretches out over even longer trips she may prove to be even better.

3rd       Texas Holdem       D J C Racing Stables       Franco M

Considering her last run was at lowly TAM this was a fine effort from a tough draw especially as she was asked to stalk the pace. The trainer keeps trying and this was a just reward for their efforts from a filly that looks to be going well with a good race in her future.

4th    Ifyerwokeyerajoke     TwinTowersRacing        Bridgmohan S X

Used her sprinting speed to get the the front and we all know how hard it is to get past the speed these days. Eventually capitulating she kept on well to hold fourth in the end in a decent effort and this run gives her plenty of options going forward.

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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