Happy Trails, winning the Jersey Derby.

Happy Trails, winning the Jersey Derby.

Equi-Photo/Bill Denver

Happy Trails Streaks to Jersey Derby Victory

Edited track release
Sanford Goldfarb's Happy Trails stalked the pace, then closed like a rocket down the rail to capture the 60th running of the $100,000 Jersey Derby at Monmouth Park Monday.

With Abdiel Toribio aboard, the 3-year-old colt by Peaks and Valleys scored by 2 1/4 lengths over odds-on favorite Stone Canyon. Angelic Aura, the winner's stablemate, was third, three-quarters of a length farther behind.

Steve Klesaris trains Happy Trails, who was making his stakes debut Monday. He stopped the timer in 1:45 2/5 for 1 1/16 miles over a sloppy track and paid $5.80, $2.20, and $2.60. He combined with Stone Canyon for an $8.80 exacta.

Happy Trails had raced exclusively in claiming races in New York before today, but Klesaris had higher hopes for him.

'"I always thought this horse had talent. I knew he'd be better at two turns, and the more distance, the better he'd be," the trainer said. "He was able to sit right behind the speed today and he hand the punch when it counted."

This was the first time Toribio rode Happy Trails, who had two wins in six lifetime starts in New York.

"My horse likes to run from off the pace," the jockey said, "so I sat back and tracked the four horse (Stone Canyon) most of the way. I knew with this horse I had to wait until the stretch to make my move. Once the rail opened, he shot through."

Happy Trails earned a winner's share of $60,000 to bring his lifetime earnings to $102,585.

(Chart, Equibase)