Bailey Guides Stroll to Calder Derby Romp

(from Calder report)
Claiborne Farm's Stroll solidified his status as one of the top 3-year-old turf specialists with an emphatic 3 3/4-length victory in the $200,000 Calder Derby (gr. IIIT) on Saturday at the Miami racetrack.

The Bill Mott-trained son of Pulpit traveled the 1 1/8-mile turf test over firm going in 1:48 1/5. Stroll raced in tight quarters into the first turn and on the backstretch.

Stroll was ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, who notched his third stakes victory on the Festival of the Sun card after taking the $75,000 Birdonthewire Stakes with Wynn Dot Comma and the $400,000 My Dear Girl Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes astride Chatter Chatter.

"It was scary there for awhile," Mott said. "Fortunately, Jerry was able to get him over to the inside and he got through. He actually got a pretty good ground-saving trip from the 10 post.

"He'll be going to Payson Park tonight and he's here for the winter. We haven't talked about whether he might run again this year, but he may have had enough for this season."

Bailey said Stroll's victory was difficult.

"He was a little rank early, but he can be like that," Bailey said. "I had to let him run just enough to hold my spot, and when I did that he thought I was asking him to run. It was tough to get inside."

The Calder Derby was the fifth straight score for the 3-year-old colt who also has stakes victories in the Lamplighter at Monmouth Park, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Handicap (gr. IIT) at Saratoga and the Jerome Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park.

Stroll earned $120,000 for the win to elevate his bankroll to $446,547 while bettering his record to six wins from 11 starts overall and five for six this year. His only defeat in 2003 came in his seasonal bow at Keeneland in April. Sent off today as the prohibitive 1-5 choice, he returned $2.40, $2.10 and $2.10.

Longshot Certifiably Crazy, ridden by Carlos Hernandez, was second in the field of nine sophomores and paid $4.40 and $2.10. It was another 2 ¾ lengths back to third-place finisher Super Frolic with Gary Boulanger aboard, who returned $2.10.

(Chart, Equibase)