In a driving rainstorm at Hawthorne Oct. 13, Two Months Rent emerged from the pack at mid-stretch to chase down Film Shot in the final yards for a head victory at 20-1 odds in the $200,000 Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) .
Ridden by Jesus Castanon on a soft turf course at Hawthorne, Two Months Rent registered his first stakes triumph. The final time for the 1 1/8-mile event for 3-year-olds was 1:52.58. Two Months Rent defeated 11 rivals in the taxing conditions, with Film Shot second and 3-1 favorite Lea third.
"He gave me exactly what we expected," Castanon said. "He was very comfortable and traveling fine. I just got him outside, gave him room to run and he picked it up; he went on and did his business. As soon as he broke from the gate I knew he could handle the yielding turf. I could just feel it."
Carrying 118 pounds, Two Months Rent paid $43.20, $16.20, and $7 while keying a $426.60 exacta. Film Shot returned $10.80 and $5.60 and Lea paid $3.80.
Two Months Rent is a son of 2007 Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT) winner Purim that sold for $4,000 as a yearling at the 2010 Keeneland January sale. Jim Toner trains Two Months Rent for AJ Suited Racing Stable. McCann & Associates and David E. Hager bred the dark bay or brown gelding in Kentucky out of the winning Sharpen Up mare Sharp Tradition.
Finale set the pace along the inside in the boggy going, holding a short advantage over All Stormy, All Squared Away, and Film Shot while carving fractions of :23.83, :48.71, and 1:13.75. Finale continued to lead into the stretch but was weakening as Film Shot, ridden by Luis Goncalves, slipped through along the inside and opened a daylight advantage past the eighth pole.
Film Shot couldn't hold on, though, as Two Months Rent closed impressively to get up in the last few strides. Film Shot was second by 3 3/4 lengths over Lea, who rallied mildly for third with Rosie Napravnik aboard.
"It was a little slippery," Napravnik said. "My horse actually slipped a little coming out of the gate so we didn't get the position we expected. He was just trying to get a hold of it and he did come with a great late run. He's a nice horse and he tried hard today. He was shaking his head around and obviously didn't like the rain but he ran well."
Control Tower was fourth, followed by North of Never, Finale, Francois, Aldous Snow, Quick Wit, All Stormy, Pleasant Closing, and All Squared Away.
Two Months Rent was coming off a third-place finish in the Kent Stakes (gr. III) at odds of 39-1 at Delaware Park Sept. 22, finishing six lengths behind the victorious Optimizer. Two starts previous to that, he was unable to finish the Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) in yielding conditions at Colonial Downs when his saddle slipped and jockey Julian Pimentel pulled him up.
His third win in 14 starts was worth $120,000 and increased Two Months Rent's total bankroll to $233,550. Two Months Rent won for the first time since taking an allowance on the Delaware turf June 7.