Driven wide into the homestretch by jockey Jesse Campbell, Apart methodically mowed his rivals down to win the $500,000 Super Derby (gr. II) (VIDEO) by 1 1/2 lengths for his first graded stakes win Sept. 25 at Louisiana Downs.
Winner of the track's Super Derby Prelude Stakes in his previous start Aug. 28, Adele B. Dilschneider's homebred captured the 1 1/8-mile test of 3-year-olds in a soft 1:52.31 over a fast track.
Al Stall Jr. trains the Kentucky-bred son of Flatter --Detach, by Unbridled. Stall won the Super Derby in 2008 with My Pal Charlie. He also was second last year with Blame.
Stall said Apart would likely follow the same path as Blame by pointing toward the Greenbrier Fayette (gr. II) at Keeneland Oct. 30 and possibly the Clark Handicap (gr. I) Nov. 26.
"If he's a shadow of Blame, we'll be stoked," said Stall.
Campbell registered his first Super Derby win.
This was just the second time in 31-year history of the Super Derby that the Prelude winner also captured the main event.
Apart settled into fourth early and was forced to steady on the backstretch when Joel Rosario aboard pacesetter Hurricane Ike, the 8-5 favorite in the field of six, backed the pace down. He continued to chase the leaders through the final turn, angling four paths wide leaving the bend to challenge. Campbell, using his left hand stick in the lane before switching to right-handed encouragement in the final furlong, drove Apart to the front in deep stretch and they drew off quickly.
``We figured Hurricane Ike was going to make a run like he did,'' Stall said. ``The jock didn't want him to go to the front. We figured we could wait like we did. We just wanted to stay within striking distance.''
Distorted Economy, who put his head in front at the eighth pole after stalking the pace into the lane, drifted in late and could not hold off the victor while finishing second with Patrick Valenzuela aboard in his return to Louisiana. It was one length to Hurricane Ike, the Derby Trial (gr. III) winner in the mud at Churchill Downs this spring who was seeking his first two-turn victory for trainer John Sadler.
There wasn't much pace for Apart to close into but he got the job done anyway. Hurricane Ike, who took control spoon after the break, carved comfortable splits of :23.29, :49.09 and 1:14.63. He responded to pressure in the stretch before wearing down late.
Late-running Ricky Tick edged second choice Golden Moka for fourth by a head. Arctic Comet trailed in the small field.
The lightly raced Apart won for the third time in six starts. The winning prize, $300,000, jumped the dark bay/brown colt's earnings to $402,546.
Apart raced just once as a 2-year-old, finishing fifth in a maiden special weight at Arlington Park more than a year ago. He broke his maiden over a sloppy track at seven furlongs on a sloppy Churchill Downs track May 10 and won his stakes debut in the Prelude.
"It was a cold, rainy day at Churchill when this horse won his maiden race," said Stall, who was also second last year in the Super Derby with Blame. "And we all turned to each other and said, 'I think we have a Super Derby horse.'"
The only previous Prelude winner to also take the Super Derby was Free Spirit's Joy in 1991.
Under equal weights of 124 pounds, Apart went off as the third choice and paid $6.60, $3.80 and $2.40 while topping a $32.20 exacta. Distorted Economy, a Southern California shipper who began his career on grass for trainer Neil Drysdale, returned $3.80 and $2.60. Hurricane Ike, also invading from Southern California, was $2.20 to show.
The final day of racing for the 2010 season at Louisiana Downs is Sept. 26.