Force proved one to be reckoned with in the $150,000 New York Derby at Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack July 3, upsetting at odds of 13-1 to give trainer Mark Casse his second win in the New York Derby.
John Oxley's 3-year-old son of Flatter took over from 3-5 favorite Ostrolenka and then ran down second choice Good Luck Gus—the 1-2 finishers from the May 25 Mike Lee Stakes at Belmont Park—finishing with a flourish, two lengths ahead of fellow closer Battle of Evermore.
Jockey John Davlia Jr. found a good stalking trip with the Casse trainee in a group of seven New York-bred sophomores, eventually shifting over to the rail to sit fourth behind Ostrolenka, while that one led the way through an opening quarter in :23.81 and a half in :47.36. Ostrolenka inherited the lead when Breakin the Fever went extremely rank on the front end early on, swinging wide in the first turn and carrying out Damage Control with him.
Ostrolenka carried on through three-quarters in 1:12.28, but Good Luck Gus ranged up with a four-wide move to take over turning for home. Davila swung his mount out into the center of the track and set down for the drive, and Force responded to clock a 1:38.79 mile before finishing the 1 1/8-mile test in 1:45.49 on a fast track.
Force, who broke his maiden Feb. 28 going 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita Park, came off a third-place finish May 30 in a 1 1/16-mile allowance at Churchill Downs won by 2014 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) runner-up Commanding Curve.
The winner returned $29.40, $11.80, and $12.80. Battle of Evermore brought $9 and $8.90, while third-place finisher Intelligence checked in at odds of 63-1 to pay $25.80 and round out a $2 trifecta worth $3,253. Good Luck Gus, Ostrolenka, Damage Control, and Breakin the Fever completed the order of finish.
Force was bred by Sequel Thoroughbreds and JMJ Racing, out of the Silver Deputy mare Forever Valentine, and sold to Oxley for $130,000 when selected by Casse at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s 2014 spring sale of 2-year-olds in training from the Sequel Bloodstock consignment. The New York Derby was his first stakes score and second win from eight starts. Casse won the New York Derby in 2005 with Accountforthegold.
Earlier on the card, the 3-year-old Congrats filly Temper Mint Patty romped by 9 1/4 lengths in the $75,000 New York Oaks, winning the 1 1/16-mile test for owner Mark Stanley and trainer Jeremiah Englehart under jockey John Velazquez in a final time of 1:46.12.