Local hope Lord Robyn won his third straight race since switching to the turf at Calder Race Course, romping to a front-running victory in the $100,000 Tropical Park Derby (gr. IIIT) for just-turned 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles.
Ridden by Eibar Coa in his graded stakes debut, the David Fawkes-trained gray/roan Robyn Dancer gelding set a sensible pace before opening up by six lengths coming out of the final turn. He won easily in a time of 1:47 on "good" going. Fire Path, ridden by Jose Santos, took second, 4 1/2 lengths behind the winner. Crown Point and Jose Espinoza finished third, 2 1/4 lengths farther behind.
"He was a little immature early in the meet, but I always liked him," Fawkes said. "He loves the turf obviously. That will be his future for now at least."
Left alone on the lead after an opening quarter-mile in :24, Lord Robyn established firm control while clicking off a :47 4/5 half and :1:10 3/5. The mile was run in 1:34 3/5 as Lord Robyn pulled away from the French-bred Medigating, the second favorite who finished fifth in his United States debut with Jerry Bailey in the irons.
"I knew I was going to be on the lead because I had the speed to be there, but I never suspected they would let me go that easy," Coa said. "I was very happy about it. At the end, I had some horse left but he was running. I was a little afraid that somebody might come running."
Fire Path, in good position along the inside, came on for second without challenging the winner. Crowning Point rallied mildly for third.
Exceptional Ride, the 2-1 choice in the field of 12 with Brice Blanc aboard, tracked Lord Robyn into the stretch but had nothing left for the finish, finishing ninth.
Lord Robyn had one win in his first five starts before Fawkes moved the Florida-bred gelding to the turf in November, when he responded with a two-length gate-two-wire win over $40,000 claimers. He followed that with another front running win against first-level allowance foes in his last start Dec. 4.
His fourth win in eight lifetime starts pushed his career earnings to more than $100,000 for owners Top Line Racing and Alex and Joanne Lieblong. They purchased Lord Robyn privately from breeder Marilyn McMaster following his second start, a maiden victory June 25.
As a 7-1 fourth choice, Lord Robyn paid $17.60, $11.40 and $7. Fire Path returned $11 and $8, completing a $200.40 exacta. Crown Point was $5.20 to show.
Turk's Ransom, Medigating, Catch Me, Safely Run, Stormy Jim, Exceptional Ride, Running Surprise, Starship Zim and Elusive Thunder completed the order.