Minister Eric Scores Allowance Win in Derby Prep at Keeneland

Minister Eric Scores Allowance Win in Derby Prep at Keeneland
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Derby possible for Minister Eric after allowance victory Wednesday at Keeneland.
Minister Eric prepped for a possible run in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) with a 4 1/2-length victory in an allowance race Wednesday at Keeneland. Ridden by Alex Solis, the son of Old Trieste covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.81. It was his first outing since finishing second in allowance at the same distance on March 27 at Santa Anita Park.

"I was a little scared after the last couple of races, but I am glad we got the job done today," said trainer Richard Mandella. "I had him a little fresh, and he was pulling Alex down the backside. Then, when he made the lead, he got to looking around and loafing a little bit. The allowance races are easier than the stakes, but this will be a good schedule for him."

Said Solis: " The track today is very deep so it is going to get him fit. He was a little fresh, so I had him in a forward position, which is where you want to be."

A Diamond A Racing Corporation homebred, Minister Eric finished second last year in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and the Del Mar Futurity (gr. II). He made his 2004 debut on March 13, finishing third in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race on turf at Santa Anita.

Minister Eric originally had been scheduled to run in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) Saturday at Keeneland.

(Chart, Equibase)

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