Brother Derek, winner of the 2006 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and fourth in Kentucky Derby (gr. I), returned from a 14 1/2-month layoff April 20 to run second in as the 9-10 favorite in a one-mile classified allowance race at Santa Anita.
Mast Track, owned and trained by Bobby Frankel, won the $72,080 race by 1 3/4 lengths. Brother Derek was favored in a five-horse field that also included graded winners Dixie Meister, Magnum and Nice Bet, a two-time grade II winner from Brazil making his U.S. bow.
Trained by Dan Hendricks, Brother Derek made his first start since running third in the Strub (gr. II) Feb. 3, 2007. Cecil Peacock's 5-year-old Benchmark horse has not won in nine starts since capturing the Santa Anita Derby in April 2006 by 3 1/4 lengths. Brother Derek was scheduled to run two weeks ago but Hendricks scratched him due to a quarter crack.
Regular rider Alex Solis was aboard Brother Derek for the synthetic track test on closing day of the 2007-08 Santa Anita season. Breaking from the outside post, Brother Derek got caught five wide on the clubhouse turn and continued to race on the outside. He fell back a bit on the final turn but rallied into the stretch while still four wide. Brother Derek came alongside Mast Track, who had taken control in upper stretch, but could not match strides late when Mast Track gradually drew away. The winning time was 1:34.92.
Brother Derek, who appeared fatigued after his strong effort, finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of Dixie Meister, the 2006 Californian (gr. II) winner who had been idle for more than one year. Magnum and Nice Bet, who fell back after a half-mile, completed the order.
Mast Track returned $8 as the second choice.
The California-bred Brother Derek has now won six of 17 starts lifetime with earnings of $1,611,138.