JD's Date Captures Oregon Derby

(from Portland Meadows report)
JD'S Date etched his name into northwest racing history Saturday by capturing the 52nd running of the Oregon Derby at Portland Meadows.

JD'S Date completed the 1 1/8 mile test in 1:54 4/5.

Tucked in on the rail, JD'S Date was six lengths off the pace for the first six furlongs as American Poet was hustled right to the front and set a contentious pace of :22 2/5 and :47 1/5. Typhoon Aaron, a winner of four straight races and the public's choice at even money, sat off his flank, stalking the entire trip.

Once angled out at the 3/8ths marker by jockey Juan Gutierrez, J.D.'s Date began to hit his stride, challenging American Poet and stablemate Typhoon Aaron. He went on to win by three lengths over Typhoon Aaron.

"I was concerned about him getting stuck on the rail," said winning trainer Jim Fergason, who also saddled the runner-up in the $15,000 feature. "He got locked in two starts back and once he's on the rail he doesn't like to get off it."

"I didn't want to wait for too long," Gutierrez said. "As soon as we got room to move, we took it and I angled him out a bit. At the three-eighths pole we were clear off the fence, and I started feeling better about him and the trip he was having.

"He's such a nice horse," Gutierrez continued. "Once we hit the eighth pole, I knew we had it."

The son of Taj Alriyadh out of Crimson Date (by Encino) increased his win total to three from six starts. He has earned $15,925.

City Fox finished third, 5 1/2 lengths behind Typhoon Aaron.

A Colt Named Sue, Flying Actor, Raggidy Rowe, Truth Buster, Abtastic, Rodeo Rule, Indian Colony and American Poet completed the order.

Fergason said both JD'S Date and Typhoon Aaron will ship to Emerald Downs.

(Chart, Equibase)