Sadler, Line of David Upset Arkansas Derby
Red-hot trainer John Sadler captured the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I) (VIDEO) with front-running upsetter Line of David at Oaklawn Park April 10, just a week after Sadler took the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) with Sidney's Candy .
The final time was 1:49.37 over a fast track.
Court sent Line of David, breaking from post 8 in the field of nine, directly to the lead and he clipped off fast splits of :22.65, :46.26, and 1:10.75 while building a comfortable three-length advantage over Super Saver and Dublin, who were well spotted throughout. Swinging out of the final turn, both Super Saver, ridden by Calvin Borel, and Dublin, with Terry Thompson aboard, were on the move with Uh Oh Bango and Noble's Promise advancing into contention from mid-pack.
"I tell you what, we put him on the front end and rolled into that first turn and he was rolling along pretty good but he came back to me," said Court, who rode for Sadler on occasion when he was based in Southern California for a few years. "I was a little concerned because we were clipping along pretty good but we weren't losing any ground either.
It was 1 3/4 lengths to Uh Oh Bango in fourth, two lengths in front of Noble's Promise, who had an adventurous trip with Robby Albarado before coming up empty in the drive. New Madrid, Berberis, Pulsion and Northern Giant completed the order.
Line of David's career resume had been modest prior to the Arkansas Derby. He raced three times on synthetic tracks at Hollywood Park and Santa Anita before switching to the turf and breaking his maiden in front-running style at odds of 11-1 in a one-mile race Feb. 13. Brought back at the same distance on March 11, the chestnut colt again led from gate to wire while scoring by 4 1/2 lengths. His lifetime mark now stands at 3-0-1 in six starts with earnings of $662,000.
"We wanted to be in front because at Santa Anita he was going in front and it just seemed to build confidence," Sadler said.
Sadler said Line of David would join Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) winner Crisp, Sidney's Candy and a couple of others at Churchill Downs next week.
Sadler said he was not going to worry about having both Sidney's Candy and Line of David, who both like to be on the lead, in the Kentucky Derby.
"I'm not going to think about (the pace) until tomorrow," he said. "We will sleep on this, and of course see how he comes out, and take things one step at a time."
"I thought he ran great," said Elliot Walden, racing manager for WinStar. "He's only had one race this year and the thing you hope for is to move forward in a race like this. He did that and we just hope he puts it all together in the Kentucky Derby."
"(Dublin) had dead aim and he might have gotten a nose in front at some point, but you've got to be impressed with how the speed held pretty good," Lukas said. "I've got no complaints. We will look at this as a prep and see where we are. We're disappointed not to win, but I was pleased with the effort."
"We got stopped at the start," said Ken McPeek, trainer of the beaten favorite. "We lost all chance. He put himself in a bad position when he hopped at the start. We will look at him and see how he's doing. We didn't get beat by much, but we never really had a chance because of the start."
Dublin and Noble's Promise were already guaranteed spots in the 20-horse Kentucky Derby field based on their graded stakes earnings. Super Saver boosted his Derby case by earning $200,000, giving him $363,832. Meanwhile, in one big swoop, Line of David moved into a tie for fifth with early Derby favorite Eskendereya .
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