Walkslikeaduck won the $150,000 Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Derby (gr. IIIT) by two lengths Saturday, establishing a course and stakes record in the process. In his most recent race prior to Saturday, the 3-year-old Patrick Gallagher trainee equaled the Del Mar turf course record for 1 1/8 miles while winning the Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) in stakes-record time. Over firm turf, Walkslikeaduck completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:46.57 under Eddie Delahoussaye. The previous Bay Meadows course record for the distance was 1:47 4/5, established by Ocean Queen in 1996.
"We figured he'd win as long as he didn't bounce off that great effort at Del Mar," said Delahoussaye. "He ran hard that day and he ran hard again today. He always tries hard and that's the kind you like to ride."
Walkslikeaduck settled in third for much of the early going behind Heritage Hall and This Is the Moment, who battled through fractions of :47.18 and 1:11.28. As the pacesetters began to tire on the second turn, Walkslikeaduck swept to the lead from the outside, with Jokerman travelling well in the new leaders wake. Walkslikeaduck continued to run well through the stretch, completing the final furlong in :10.06 while holding second-place Jokerman at bay. Calamari came home third, followed by Heritage Hall and This Is the Moment.
"He eased himself up after he made the lead so I hit him left-handed and he went on again," Delahoussaye said. "He tried to lug in and he's never done that before, but the turf was soft and he probably was just a little tired."
As the 2-5 favorite, Walkslikeaduck returned $2.80, $2.20, and $2.10. Neil Drysdale trainee Jokerman paid $2.40 and $2.10. Calamari also returned $2.10. The $1 exacta was worth $3.20.
Walkslikeaduck (Blushing John--Nabla, by Theatrical) was bred in Kentucky by Allen E. Paulson and earned $82,500 for David Beinstock, Michael Parks, Charles Winner, and Eric Siegel. The 3-year-old colt earned his second stakes victory with the win, his fourth in seven starts. Besides the two derby wins, he also has an allowance and a maiden win to his credit. (Chart, Equibase