Mr. Technique Shows How in California Derby

James Vreeland's Mr. Technique and jockey Roberto Gonzalez rallied from the back of the pack to defeat 4-5 favorite Apalachian Thunder and Russell Baze by a length in Saturday's $100,000 Bay Meadows Derby.

Mr. Technique, a Kentucky bred son of Smart Strike, scored at odds of 9-1 in a 1 1/8-mile time of 1:47 3/5 on a sloppy track. Tribe, ridden by Iggy Puglisi was third in the six-horse field.

Gonzalez allowed Mr. Technique to trail for the first half-mile before angling out on the turn and rallying under strong handling in the middle of track. He passed Apalachian Thunder, who had opened up a three-length lead in the stretch, at the sixteenth pole, and inched away to victory.

Jeff Bonde trained the winner.

Apalachian Thunder chased a fast pace set by Souvenir's Lad of :22 3/5, :45 1/5 and 1:08 2/5 before taking over with three furlongs left. He clicked off the mile in 1:33 4/5 before tiring in the stretch, five lengths ahead of Tribe.

In earning $55,000 for the victory, Mr. Technique collected his third win in seven career starts. Eighth in the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) at Golden Gate in his last start, he improved his career bankroll to $123,670.

G. Watts and Louise Humphrey bred the winner, who was purchased at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October 2001 yearling sale for $75,000.

Mr. Technique paid $20, $4.40 and $3.20. Apalachian Thunder, who took off blinkers following a pace-burying third-place finish in the WinStar Derby in last start at Sunland on March 30, returned $2.60 and $2.20. Tribe showed for $2.80.

(Chart, Equibase)