Stunning Late Close Gets Croton Road St Louis Derby Win

St. Louis Derby- $250.000 Purse
FP- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
August 20, 2022

Shortly before midnight, HRP time, we had some definite late night racing at FP with the running of the St. Louis Derby. It was a pretty solid field, so it may have been worth staying up for, if you’re in this time zone. There would be some rain, enough to get the track downgraded to “good”, and in the end, we would have a thrilling photo finish with a closer in Croton Road getting up just in time to beat one of the pacesetters. Croton Road was making his debut for his trainer, Invicta Group Llc, who had just picked him for $22.500 in a claimer, and gets the first win in the stake for the trainer. Jockey J Bravo is also a first time winner, although this was just the second time that the race had been run. Congratulations to them! The winning time was 1:43.06. Here’s a look at it!

(1/4 Mile- :23.77)- Justice Is Coming, out of TwinTowersRacing, jumps out to an early, uncontested lead of about a length and a half. Running second would be Smokey Stover’s Uranus, who used the third lane down the frontstretch and into the opening to clear two of his rivals and run by himself in that second spot. Perfect Mambo, out of Nakamura Stables, would be third, running right a length behind Uranus and running to his inside is the leaders stablemate, Creepy Joes Coup. Further back in the field, Prince Ferro (Maxmillion Farm) and Hold My Beer (Mojica Racing) run together four lengths from the lead. At the back, our eventual winner is unconcerned about everything in front of him, as Invicta Group Llc’s Croton Road trails by six.

(½ Mile- :47.71)- We move into the backstretch now and it’s still Justice Is Coming, but there is another horse coming, and that is Uranus, who pulls up right alongside with not much separating them now. There is about two length lead back to third, though, with Perfect Mambo being the lead horse of the rest of the pack. He’s got horses within half a length on each side of him, with Creepy Joes Coup on the rail and Prince Ferro running three wide. Hold My Beer is in close proximity to these two. Further back, J Bravo moves Croton Road over to the rail, but he still has seven lengths to make up on the leaders.

(Top of The Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- Approaching the end of the backstretch, Uranus powers on by Justice Is Coming, making this pass look all too easy. Within the turn, he puts that one in his dust and looks to open up on the field. At the top of the stretch, he leads that one by a length and a half and may have said goodbye to the rest of the field, as he leads them three to four lengths. Prince Ferro and Hold My Beer were side by side for third, but not about to make a move on the leader. However, if you thought this one was over, think again. About midway into the turn, Croton Road is asked for more run, and J Bravo emphatically gets what he was asking for. Croton Road would move off of the rail, taking advantage of opening to the outside of Perfect Mambo to pass both that one and Creepy Joes Coup, as those two were tiring. Now, Croton Road was in good position to take the road to the inside of Prince Ferro and Hold My Beer. That pass hadn’t happened yet but was imminent early in the stretch. It seemed reasonable that he’d catch Justice Is Coming as well, but he could he make it all the way to Uranus?

(Finish- 1:43.06)- With a furlong to go, Uranus still led by three. Croton Road was coming, but it really didn’t seem like enough time. Hold My Beer was proving to be a more difficult pass than it seemed like he would be during the turn, and started to make a bid of his own to possibly get a top two spot. Croton Road would need more to get by Hold My Beer, and both of these would fight hard for second, but as they did that, their deficit to Uranus was shrinking more and more. Approaching the wire, the additional run that Croton Road was very impressive and certainly grabbed you’re attention as he eventually blows by Hold My Beer and had enough to quickly get to the inside of Uranus. Suddenly, this race who’s winner seemed to be cruising would end up in a photo finish, and once that was looked at, Croton Road had accomplished a great closing run, winning by a nose over Uranus. Hold My Beer was third, and there was quite a gap to fourth. Prince Ferro grabs the final piece of the purse, over Justice Is Coming and Perfect Mambo. Eventually, Creepy Joes Coup finished as well.

About The Winner- Croton Road, trained by Invicta Group Llc and ridden to victory by J Bravo, is a three year old gelding by King Party and is out of Rare Edition. He was bred by Fractious in California as a first quarter two year old and acquired last month by Invicta Group Llc with a $22.500 claim, winning a three way shake. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his third in twelve starts and first stake win. His career earnings are now $265.760.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Croton Road Invicta Group Llc Bravo J 6.85   1no 1:43.06 — 
  Uranus Smokey Stover Baird E T 1.70   23/4 1:43.08 — 
  Hold My Beer Mojica Racing Castellano J J 24.45   33 1:43.26 — 
  Prince Ferro Maxmillion Farm Eramia R E 4.50   41 1:44.05 — 
  Justice Is Coming TwinTowersRacing Beschizza A 46.15   51 1:44.26 — 
  Perfect Mambo Nakamura Stables Murphy Ci 1.40   62 1:44.53 — 
  Creepy Joes Coup TwinTowersRacing Sanchez M J 38.25   7 1:45.05 — 

Track: Good

Time: :233  :473  1:113  1:43

$2 Mutuel Prices:

2 – Croton Road 15.70 5.30 4.10
6 – Uranus   3.50 2.80
1 – Hold My Beer     15.70

$1 Exacta: 2 – 6 Paid 26.80

$1 Trifecta: 2 – 6 – 1 Paid 232.40

Scratched: None

— NS

Categories: NG Stakes, STAKES ARTICLES

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