Frank Conversation Lights Up Twilight Derby
Photo: Rick Samuels
Frank Conversation and Mario Gutierrez rally to victory in the Twilight Derby Nov. 4 at Santa Anita Park.

J. Paul Reddam didn’t win a Breeders’ Cup race Nov. 4 at Santa Anita Park, but he came out pretty well as he won two undercard stakes on the first day of the World Championships. First up was How About Zero, winner of the Golden State Juvenile Fillies Stakes for Cal-brds, and the day came to a close with 35-1 shot Frank Conversation winning the Twilight Derby (gr. IIT). Watch Video

Charging from far back off a hot pace in the nine-furlong race for 3-year-olds, Frank Conversation came with a wide move as there were several horses battling for position in the stretch. Monster Bea took the brunt of the group, unable to find a seam to break through.

Free Rose set the pace, zipping fractions of :22.54, :45.88, and 1:09.98 over the new turf course. He was stalked by Blackjackcat, Mr. Roary, and Gold Rush Dancer.

The field tightened on the turn while the winner was still far back under Mario Gutierrez. After a mile in 1:34.68, he closed like a shot to hit the wire in 1:46.81.

While How About Zero is a homebred, Frank Conversation was bred in Kentucky by Marc Keller. The bay colt is a son of Quality Road  —Rushen Heat, by Unusual Heat. Agent Dennis O’Neill, the brother of trainer Doug O’Neill, paid $120,000 for Frank Conversation at the 2015 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s March sale from Ciaran Dunne’s Wavertree Stables, agent. The colt was a $65,000 buy at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October sale for Redwings from Bluewater Sales, agent.

Frank Conversation paid $75.80, $29.60, and $15.60. Free Rose paid $5.60 and $4.20 and Blackjackcat returned $5. The $1 exacta (2-1) paid $224.70.

A winner of the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) at Golden Gate Fields earlier in the year on synthetic, he traveled to Dubai for the UAE Derby (UAE-II). In his last outing he was 10th, beaten 15 lengths, in the City of Hope Mile Stakes (gr. IIT) Oct. 8. He now has four wins from 10 starts.

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