Carlos Marquez, Jr. drove False Promises between horses in the stretch to collar Megoman late, going on to win the $250,000 Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT) by a length Saturday.
Blue Blood Boot, who led on the inside into the stretch, ducked in and crashed through the collapsible rail falling to the turf and dropping rider Larry Sterling Jr. Blue Blood Boot regained his feet immediately and appeared to be unhurt. Sterling walked away from the mishap with only bumps and bruises.
Megoman soon grabbed the lead from 85-1 Beau Classic while racing far out on the track and was two lengths clear under Eduardo E. Perez, but could not hold off he late rally from False Promises. Beau Classic, ridden by Luis Martinez Sr., held on for third-place money, two lengths behind the winner while a neck better than the closing Scottago. The 1 1/8-mile turf test for 3-year-olds was run in 1:48 2/5 on a firm course. Favored Lismore Knight (3-2) lacked room while racing close to the front and finished fifth, a nose behind Scottago.
Perez thought he had the win, "(Megoman) has been racing very well. I got a good trip. I didn't move till late. I got the lead and thought I could hold on but he got a little tired. The best horse won today."
Uninjured in the spill, jockey Larry Sterling Jr. was lucky to avoid injury.
"He got spooked by something turning for home," Sterling said. "I'm not sure what it was, but he ducked in when I tried to straighten him out. I'm fine."
False Promises was ninth in the 11-horse field early and saved ground while moving up for Marquez before turning it on the stretch.
Anthony Granitz trains the winner, a Jules gelding bred in Florida and owned by David M. Maracich. False Promises won his third straight and his first in a stakes race. He has a 4-3-1 career line in 14 starts with earnings of $226,340.
"I'm a little surprised he came this far this fast. A month ago he almost died. He coliced about a month ago, right before that last race at Arlington," Granitz said. "He went to the clinic and was only there one day but it was a severe case of colic. He was down in his stall. But everything passed and it has turned out beautiful.
"He's the best. I've been pointing to this race all summer. I had two different people interested in buying him but this was the owner's first horse. I told him when he named the horse to name him something special because this horse was going to make him proud of that name. It was interesting. His mother's name was Stormy Divorce and both of us went through stormy divorces. That's where he came up with the name False Promises."
Marquez added, "I was a little concerned that I might not get through because I was on the fence and I had nowhere to go but when we turned for home they all spread out and we saw daylight he just took off. We always knew that he was a good horse but he had a little setback."
Arthur Appleton bred False Promises, a $37,000 Ocala Breeders' Sale purchase in April 2002.
False Promises paid $17, $7 and $5.60. Megoman returned $7.20 and $4.40. Beau Classic's show price was $28.40. The $2 exacta brought $122.80.