Favored Mythical Power wore down pacesetter Euroears in the final strides to capture the $200,000 Texas Mile Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO) April 24. It was the first win for the Bob Baffert-trained son of Congaree since the last time the colt visited Lone Star Park to romp in the Lone Star Derby (gr. III) last spring.
Under blue skies before a crowd of 18,232 in Grand Prairie, Texas, Baffert continued his long record of success with shippers to Lone Star Park. Mythical Power, owned and bred by Peachtree Stable, won by a neck over Euroears in a full drive for jockey Martin Garcia. The final time was 1:35.71 on a fast track, well off the track mark of 1:34.44 established by the Baffert-trained Isitingood in 1997.
“I just let him break comfortable and he settled nicely into second position early on,” said winning jockey Martin Garcia. “I thought I had a lot of horse to go after the leader, and when he kicked on, my horse really dug in.”
Mythical Power had lost three in a row, all on synthetic tracks, since winning by 7 1/2 lengths in the Lone Star Derby last May 9. The bay colt was off for more than six months after winning the last time in Texas.
Though he had finished off the board in all three of his subsequent starts, Baffert said before the race that Mythical Power was showing signs of returning to his previous form. Mythical Power worked seven furlongs at Santa Anita one week ago in 1:25 2/5.
Euroears popped the gate to get the lead in the opening strides for Jamie Theriot and slid over to the rail heading into the clubhouse turn as Mythical Power found a spot to the front-runner's outside while taking second. And that's how they went all the way around. The sprinter Euroears, making his first attempt at two turns, led through pedestrian fractions of :23.81, :47.21 and 1:11.23 as a free-running Mythical Power stayed within a length as they made their way into the final turn.
King Dan, racing in third, fell back on the turn and second choice Star Guitar was spinning his wheels from near the back of the pack. The leaders turned the affair into a match race as they hit the top of the stretch.
Euroears, still along the inside, proved tough to beat as Mythical Power advanced alongside. Under fervent encouragement from their jockeys, the two fought all the way down the lane, with Mythical Power getting the nod in the final strides. It was 3 1/2 lengths to third-place finisher Fifteen Love. Star Guitar, the 123-pound high weight in the field of seven, finished fourth.
Out of School for Scandal, by Is It True, Mythical Power won for the third time in nine lifetime races and boosted his earnings to $581,040 with the winning purse of $119,000. Mythical Power, who ran second in the $900,000 Sunland Derby last spring prior to the Lone Star Derby, had not raced since a fifth-place finish in a one-mile optional claiming allowance race at Santa Anita Feb. 10.
Under 119 pounds, Mythical Power paid $5.40, $4 and $3.40 as the 17-10 choice. Euroears, who returned $5.40 and $4, proved a resilient competitor for trainer Bret Calhoun. The exacta was worth $32.60. Maxxam Gold Cup winner Fifteen Love, ridden by Junior Chacaltana, was $4.20 to show.
It was one length back to Star Guitar, followed by Harlan Street, King Dan and defending Texas Mile champion Jonesboro, who faded on the final turn and dropped out. Becky's Express scratched.