Unheralded Kilgowan, knocked off stride by Skipaslew a furlong from the finish, recovered to pull off a huge upset in the $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) at Golden Gate Fields Saturday.
Ridden by Chance Rollins, the Ann Marie Farm homebred charged down the lane from the extreme outside to get up in the final stages by a half-length over Capitano and favored Seattle Borders, a head in front of O.K. Mikie.
The gray son of Smoke Glacken
won at odds of 26-1 in a time of 1:43 4/5 for the 1 1/16-mile test, the top Northern California race for 3-year-olds.
Kilgowan, who is not nominated for the Triple Crown, had a maiden and allowance win at Golden Gate to show from four previous starts for trainer Lonnie Arterburn. In his stakes debut, the Golden State Mile at Golden Gate Feb. 8, he was fourth behind O.K. Mikie after drifting wide on the far turn.
Permitted to lag early near the rear of the 10-horse field, Kilgowan moved up while three wide on the home turn, responded when asked in upper stretch and was making up ground when he bumped with a drifting Skipaslew near the furlong pole and briefly lost his stride. He recovered to resume his rally and got there in time.
Skipaslew, meanwhile, the Merv Griffin-owned 2-1 second choice who was coming off a two-length win in the Golden Gate Derby (gr. III) in his most recent race Jan. 10, lacked a response after recovering from the incident and settled for seventh.
Capitano, ridden by Jose Valdivia Jr., and the filly Wildwood Flower, with Kevin Radke aboard, dueled for the lead into the stretch after setting fractions of :23, :46 4/5, 1:11 and 1:37 before Capitano took over on the outside, just missing.
Seattle Borders, the Bobby Frankel-trained colt who won the Baldwin (gr. IIIT) on the Santa Anita downhill turf course Feb. 28, was in stalking position throughout and finished willingly for Kent Desormeaux. O.K. Mikie trailed early and got involved late while shifting to the outside in the lane.
Kilgowan, who was bred in Kentucky from the Dynaformer
mare Port Roberto, earned $110,000 for the victory. He now has earnings of $153,375.
He paid $55.80, $15.20 and $9.20. Capitano returned $4 and $4.60. Seattle Borders paid $3 and $3.80.