5 BEL The BEL Derby Invitational (GI)
$1,000.000 3yo 1 1/4m InTurf 122lbs
It was a big weekend of stakes racing but were any as big as The BEL Derby Invitational (GI) with that big $1,000.000 purse? Well, the tote board lit up and a smaller barn took out the big boys as South Shore Stables get the win with Mickey, nosing out Smoke Stover’s Keeper Of Time by the narrowest of margins, getting the mile and a quarter distance in 1:58.72 on the firm BEL inner turf course. It was two length back to Droopy in third, just a nose hair in front of Certified Yank in fourth.
The field loaded into the gate, the flag went up and away from the gate with Perception along the rail, West Hockey Party three wide and Certified Yank between horses. A gap to the foursome of Keeper Of Time, Miami My Amy from the outside, Puissance de La Mer out widest of all, then Droopy in that group. Another gap to Mickey, Sly Prayers along the rail, and Lord Cherokee between them. Another gap to the trailing group of Creepy Risk on the hedge, Silver Pocket, Penal Hockey Party out widest of that group and Inspector Gadget.
Around the clubhouse turn an nearing the back stretch, seven furlongs to run and Perception showing the way from the rail, West Hockey Party disputing the pace three wide, Certified Yank between them, then to the rail for Keeper Of Time, Miami My Amy next to that one, then a gap back to Puissance de La Mer, Droopy on his inside, then a length to Mickey, Penal Hockey Party on his flank. Back down to the rail for Sly Prayers, a gap to Lord Cherokee, then Silver Rocket out wide, Creepy Risk and Inspector Gadget.
Down the back side an not headed into the far turn, West Hockey Party up to take the lead by a length, Perception slipping back to second, Certified Yank three wide and Keeper Of Time between horses. A length and a half back to Droopy, Miami My Amy on his flank, the two lengths to Puissance de La Mer on the rail. Another length to Penal Hockey Party caught wide, Mickey next to that one and down to the rail for Sly Prayers. Another gap to Lord Cherokee, Silver Rocket, Creepy Risk and Inspector Gadget still at the rear.
Around the far turn, into the lane, and they fanned out for the run to the wire… West Hockey Party continued to show the way, Certified Yank to his outside, Keeper Of Time moving forward just behind that pair, Out wide to Miami My Amy and Mickey now making a surge forward. Droopy in the middle of the track and looming, Puissance de La Mer next to him, Perception along the inside but headed in the wrong direction. Out wide to Sly Prayers, then Lord Cherokee, Penal Hockey Party out wide, Silver Rocket to his inside, Creepy Risk still saving ground and Inspector Gadget.
Inside the sixteenth pole, the complexion of this one changed in a few strides as West Hockey Party applied the brakes and backed out quickly… Keeper Of Time inherited the lead and now Mickey moving up to look him square in the eye and fly past down the center of the track… a cavalry charge behind that pair as they battled it out to the finish.
Now inside the final 150-yards and to the finish, Mickey continuing to surge down the outside and take the lead.. but Keep Of Time was not done yet, battling back and it was these two trading blows to the wire, and as they went under the wire, it was too close to call and the PHOTO sign went up on the tote board. After viewing the instant video replay, the stewards saw that Mickey was able to get the nose down on the wire for the win. Keeper Of Time was a tough-luck second, then two length back to another photo finish where Droopy took third with Certified Yank in fourth. Miami My Amy was a head back in fifth, then more bang-bang-bang finishes with Puissance de La Mer in sixth, a nose in front of Lord Cherokee in seventh, another nose to Sly Prayers in eighth. West Hockey Party tired to be ninth, Silver Rocket tenth, Creepy Risk eleventh, Inspector Gadget twelfth, Penal Hockey Party thirteenth and Perception closed this one out.
Mickey is a 3yo chestnut gelding by Proud Chai – Fine Skeleton, by Skeleton Key, and he was bred in Cal by his owner, South Shore Stables. This was his sixth win from twelve starts, four of those coming this season, and he now has lifetime earnings of $1,612.400. Congrats to the Connections!
$2 Mutuel Prices:
|11 – Mickey||63.70||25.50||20.50|
|3 – Keeper Of Time||5.40||3.60|
|8 – Droopy||5.10|
Track: Firm Time: :464 1:101 1:341 1:583
$1 Exacta: 11 – 3 Paid 307.60 $1 Trifecta: 11 – 3 – 8 Paid 1,538.40
Scratched: Cadillac Jack
Mickey raced 2p while midpack to the far turn, swung wide advancing through the turn, closed well down to lane to engage the leader at the sixteen pole, all out to prevail by a nose. Keeper Of Time tracked the pace with an inside run, responded when asked into the lane taking a short lead mid-stretch, battled to the wire, lost photo. Droopy raced mid-pack early 2p, moved to 5p for the drive, modest gain late. Certified Yank forced the pace to the furlong marker, flattened out. Miami My Amy mid-pack 2p, moved to 3p into the far turn, fanned wider for the drive, evenly. Puissance de La Mer gave an even effort while no threat. Lord Cherokee rated back, some late interest. Sly Prayers rated back saving ground, fanned for the drive, nothing further. West Hockey Party pressed the pace 3p early, moved up to take over into the far turn, lead to the furlong marker, folded. Silver Rocket was never involved. Creepy Risk was outrun. Inspector Gadget trailed throughout. Penal Hockey Party was outrun. Perception set the pace to the far turn, retreated.