West Point Thoroughbreds' El Gato Malo, making his first start on traditional dirt, made a dramatic move in late stretch to take the 400,000 Lone Star Derby (gr. III) by a half-length May 10 at Lone Star Park.
El Gato Malo, fifth as the favorite in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) last time out, takes on a dozen 3-year-old rivals in the $400,000 Lone Star Derby (gr. III) May 10 at the Grand Prairie, Texas, racetrack.
It remains to be seen if grade II winner Salute the Sarge can make the Derby after five months on the sidelines, but it appears his connections want to try after the colt's gritty win in the $78,000 San Miguel Stakes at Santa Anita March 29.
In an evenly matched field of 2-year-olds, Georgie Boy broke through to turn the tables on his rival Salute the Sarge, winning a blanket finish to the $250,000 Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) on Sept. 5, closing day of the 2007 summer season at the Southern California track.
Undefeated Salute the Sarge, winner of the Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) for 2-year-olds over the Polytrack three weeks ago, faces the biggest test of his brief career when he takes on 12 challengers in the $250,000 Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) on the final day of the 2007 season Sept. 5.
Salute the Sarge and Leonides, separated by a nose in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship (gr. III) July 4, clash once more in the $150,000 Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) for 2-year-olds at Del Mar Sunday.
Salute the Sarge surged between horses nearing the eighth pole and defeated Leonides to win Wednesday's $114,900 Hollywood Juvenile Championship (gr. III) by a nose in an upset under leading jockey Michael Baze.
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