Union Place, ridden by Eibar Coa, successfully battled favorite Miesque's Approval in a stirring stretch duel for a neck victory in Saturday's $200,000 Calder Derby (gr. III).
The Florida-bred son of Out of Place, who won for the first time since an allowance victory at Gulfstream on Jan. 27, covered the 1 1/8 miles on the turf in 1:47 3/5 and paid $7.40, $3.40 and $2.80.
Miesque's Approval, the 8-to-5 favorite with Jerry Bailey up, took dead aim at the winner at the top of the stretch but just missed, returning $3 and $2.40. The Judge Sez Who, with Cornelio Velasquez up, finished another 2 ¾-lengths back and paid $3.
Owned by William Sorokolit, Sr. and trained by Randy Schulhofer, Union Place earned $120,000 to increase his lifetime bankroll to $285,350. The victory was just his third in 17 career starts. He is now 3-5-0 in 11 tries on the grass.
"Yeah, I guess that was a pretty good spot to win his next race," said Scotty Schulhofer, helping his son out at Calder Saturday. "I think it's just a case of his growing up. He's a nice horse."
"He fought all the way to the end," said Coa. Finally at the end he got a head in front again and kept a little head in front."