Teuflesberg, whose last start was a 17th place finish in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), came from last to win the $247,166 Woody Stephens Breeders’ Cup (gr. II) (VIDEO) for 3-year-olds by two lengths at Belmont Park Saturday.
Teuflesberg was beaten just a neck in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) and then contested the Derby, showing some brief speed and then backing up to be beaten 35 3/4 lengths. He lately has run best when on the lead but in the seven furlong Woody Stephens, Robby Albarado took him back to last and then slipped the son of Johannesburgthrough on the rail to score the upset.
Bred in Kentucky by Richard Giacopelli, Teuflesberg is owned by Jeff Singer, Gary Logsdon, Donnie Kelly, and trainer Jamie Sanders. The 3-year-old colt is out of the Devil’s Bag mare St. Michele.
“I was so excited when I saw him come up the inside during the stretch run," Sanders said. "It was unbelievable! We knew what kind of a horse he was going into the race. He has so much class, and he keeps doing it over and over. We were confident. Robby knows him well and he has so much patience with him.
"He doesn’t have to keep sprinting. He can run longer and he has proven that. So, we do have our options. We can go in the King’s Bishop or maybe even the Travers.”
Stormello, whose last start was also the Derby when he ran 19th, took the lead under kent Desormeaux, followed by 9-5 choice Deadly Dealer, through opening quarter-miles of :22.38 and :44.93. After stumbling at the start, Teuflesberg was unhurried while racing at the rear of the eight-horse field. He came charging as the field ran six furlongs in 1:09.08, splitting horses in the stretch and closing stoutly along the inside.
“He broke a little bit behind the field, but he got back into the race," Albarado said. "He has overcome a lot of obstacles in his career, and he showed it today. He has always run good at one turn. He has been well-matched this year, and this was a breath of fresh air for him.”
He hit the wire in 1:21.49 with Most Distinguished and Eibar Coa getting second by three quarters of a length. Stormello held on for third, three lengths in front of Bill Place. Street Magician, Not For Money, Deadly Dealer and Hobbitontherocks completed the order.
Sanders once worked as an exercise rider for trainer Nick Zito, conditoner of Most Distinguished, who said, “Today, the pupil beat the teacher. But I am happy for her. She’s got a really nice horse that can run at seven furlongs. I thought we had the race coming for home. He was so tough on the outside, but Teuflesberg came up the inside and got by him.”
Teuflesberg paid $18.20, $9.40, and $5.10 while Most Distinguished returned $10 and $5.20. Stormello paid $3.50 to show.
It was the fifth win in 17 starts for Teuflesberg, who won Oakawn's Souhtwest Stakes Feb. 19. The victory, worth $150,000, increased his earnings to $535,431.