Flying Dash rallied along the inside to win Saturday's $250,000 Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT) on a rain-softened turf course at Hawthorne, giving jockey Victor Espinoza his second derby win in as many weekends. Last Saturday, he rode Illinois Derby (gr. II) winner War Emblem to victory in the Kentucky Derby.
Flying Dash rated in mid-pack early on as Quest Star set the early pace. Scooter Roach moved up to take the lead after a dawdling half-mile completed in :52.60, with Quest Star a head-length back and Flying Dash fifth. Quest Star regained the lead in the subsequent quarter, leading by a head after six furlongs run in 1:19.40. Flying Dash moved closer as they approached the stretch, then moved to the lead as Quest Star came off the rail, allowing a clear path. From there, Flying Dash opened a clear lead under a hand ride from Espinoza, winning by three lengths while completing the 1 1/8 miles in 1:58.88.
Scooter Roach finished second, 3 3/4 lengths ahead of Quest Star. Colorful Tour, Portcullis, Robin Zee, and Mystic Salse completed the order of finish.
Trained by Neil Drysdale and owned by Kentucky Derby winning owner Fusao Sekiguchi, Flying Dash earned $150,000 for his fourth win in six career starts. The German-bred son of Dashing Blade came into the race off a victory in the Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland. As a 2-year-old, he won the 128 Maurice Lacroix-Trophy (Ger-II).
Flying Dash was sent off as the 1-2 favorite and paid $3, $2.20, and $2.10. Scooter Roach paid $12.60 and $5.40. Quest Star was worth $3.80 to show. The winning exacta combination paid $59.40. (Chart, Equibase