What Yankee Fourtune did in the Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) Oct. 9 is what he does best, and that is to get out to the lead. Breaking sharply from the outside, Yankee Fourtune got out to the front in the 1 1/8-mile turf stakes and scored by 2 ¼ lengths.
Ridden by Victor Santiago for owners Harvey Clark and Andrew Albstein, Yankee Fourtune opened up with fractions of :23.42, :47.50, and 1:11.03 and went on to defeat Mister Marti Gras, who carried co-top weight of 122 pounds while giving the winner eight pounds. Asphalt, under 117 pounds, ran third. The winning time was 1:46.28 over a firm turf course.
Trained by New York conditioner Kiaran McLaughlin, Yankee Fourtune was unplaced last year in his sole start but has won all four of his races this year. His three wins prior to the Hawthorne Derby came at either Belmont Park or Saratoga. He went unclaimed for $50,000 in his first start this year.
“The first time I rode him, I told Kiaran that he was a really nice horse,” Santiago said about 3-year-old son of Yankee Gentleman . “The second time I rode him, I told him I had never been on a horse as nice as this one. I knew from the beginning that he was something special.
"I came across to get to the lead pretty quickly. I didn’t really want to do that on purpose but I did want to get ahead of the other speed, and I did want the inside. As soon as we grabbed the lead he started running easy. I gave him a nice hold and he traveled very nice. I knew that if I got him to the lead and got him to relax he was going to be tough.”
Brereton C. Jones is the breeder of Kentucky-bred Yankee Fourtune, whose dam, Madam Ann (by Mi Cielo), is a half-sister to grade I winner Tarlow.
As the even-money choice, Yankee Fourtune returned $4.00, $3.00, and $2.60. Mister Mardi Gras came back $4.20 and $3.20 while Asphalt returned $3.80 to show.