Under jockey Jose Santos, Christophe Clement-trained Kalu set a slow early pace and held on to win in the $250,000 Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT) by 3/4-lengths over 2-1 favorite Proud Man Saturday at Hawthorne Race Course. The 3-year-old son of Honor Grades completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.49 of firm turf. After the race, Santos broke his right wrist when the horse reared up unexpectedly while heading to the winner's circle.
After setting early fractions of :25.46 and :50.77 with only slight pressure from Volponi and Proud Man, Kalu completed six furlongs in a deliberate 1:15.25 with only 4 1/2 lengths separating the seven-horse field. Kalu then sprinted the next quarter-mile in :23.83 to earn a two-length lead over Proud Man. The latter rallied in the final furlong run in :11.41 but could only narrow the margin. Rahy's Secret was another length back in third, followed by Moomtazz, Volponi, Ye of Little Faith, and True Concern.
The win marks the second straight stakes win for Robert Schaedle & Bonnie Heath Farm's Kalu, who took the LG&E Energy Forerunner Stakes last month at Keeneland. Prior to that he won a maiden race on turf at Hialeah Park after just missing in his 3-year-old debut at Gulfstream Park in early January. Kalu was bred in Florida by Bonnie Heath Farm.
The 12-5 third choice, Kalu returned $6.80, $3.80, and $3.20. Proud Man returned $3.40 and $2.60. Rahy's Secret was worth $3 to show. The winning exacta combination returned $20.40. (Chart, Equibase