Sunday, April 15, 2012


Dullahan Runs Down Hansen to Win 88th Toyota Blue Grass; Daisy Devine Captures Grade 1


LEXINGTON, KY (April 14, 2012) – Donegal Racing’s Dullahan exploded in deep stretch to run down favored Hansen to win the 88th running of the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G1) for 3-year-olds by 1¼ lengths before a record Keeneland crowd of 40,617 on Saturday afternoon.

Also on Saturday’s 12-race program, Daisy Devine was a nearly wire-to-wire winner in the $300,000 Jenny Wiley (G1) by a length over Bay to Bay; Lonesome Street rallied from last to capture the $175,000 Commonwealth (G2) and Perfect Officer nailed Great Mills in the final jump to win the $100,000 Shakertown (G3) in course-record time of 1:01.53 for 5½ furlongs.


It was the first Toyota Blue Grass victory for trainer Dale Romans and jockey Kent Desormeaux and Dullahan became only the second horse to win the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1) as a 2-year-old and come back the next spring to win the Toyota Blue Grass, joining Round Table (1956-57).

Hansen, the champion 2-year-old of 2011, led the field of 13 into the first turn and through fractions of :23.10, :46.64 and 1:11.32 under Ramon Dominguez with modest pressure from Politicallycorrect and Midnight Crooner early in the run down the backstretch and then Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Hero of Order.

Entering the far turn, Hansen had a new challenger from stablemate Gung Ho, who made a bold move under Edgar Prado. Meanwhile, Dullahan was in mid-pack with Desormeaux looking for a hole.

At the head of the stretch Hansen reopened a daylight margin, while behind him Desormeaux split horses and moved three wide with dead aim on Hansen. Hansen maintained his lead until inside the sixteenth pole, when Dullahan swept past to complete the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:47.94.

A $250,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase in 2010, Dullahan is a Kentucky-bred son of Even the Score out of the Smart Strike mare Mining My Own and a half-brother to 2009 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner Mine That Bird. The $450,000 winner’s check increased Dullahan’s earnings to $872,091 and his record is now 8-2-2-2.

Dullahan, the second choice in the field of 13, returned $8.40, $3.60 and $3. Hansen returned $3 and $2.60 with Gung Ho finishing 2½ lengths back in third and paying $9.20 to show.

Holy Candy rallied to finish fourth, a length behind Gung Ho, and was followed in order by Howe Great, Prospective, Heavy Breathing, Midnight Crooner, Scatman, Ever So Lucky, Russian Greek, Politicallycorrect and Hero of Order.

According to Trakus, which records individual sectional times and distance covered for races at Keeneland, Dullahan ran the final sixteenth of a mile 0.46 seconds faster than Hansen, and was fastest overall in the race. Holy Candy came home next-fastest, going 6.08 seconds. Holy Candy, who was fourth, covered 27 feet more than Dullahan, and 47 feet more than Hansen. Twenty-seven feet equates to about 3.2 lengths. Holy Candy was beaten by 4¾ lengths.

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In the Jenny Wiley, James Miller’s Daisy Devine remained perfect in four starts on turf by turning back five rivals including two Grade 1 winners.

A $5,500 Keeneland September Sale purchase in 2009, Daisy Devine added $180,000 to her bankroll that swelled to $758,349 with an overall record of 12-7-1-1. Daisy Devine is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Kafwain out of the Devil’s Bag mare Devil’s Dispute.

Daisy Devine began her winning streak on turf here last fall when she won the Pin Oak Valley View (G3) at odds of 43-1.

Trained by Andrew McKeever, Daisy Devine went right to the lead under James Graham with Bay to Bay and Garrett Gomez in closest pursuit. Daisy Devine cut out early fractions of 25.12, 50.78 and 1:15.35 as the running order remained unchanged with Grade 1 winners Aruna and Zagora (FR) at the back of a compact field.

Daisy Devine, who threw in a fourth quarter in :22.23 to complete the mile in 1:37.58, kicked clear at the head of the stretch and had enough to hold off Bay to Bay, who finished a half-length in front of Tapitsfly and Julien Leparoux. Daisy Devine completed the 1 1/16 miles on a firm turf course in 1:43.21.

Daisy Devine returned $16.20, $7.80 and $4.40. Bay to Bay paid $7 and $4.60 with Tapitsfly returning $4.20 to show. It was 1 ¾ lengths back to Heavenly Landing in fourth, followed in order by favored Zagora and Aruna.

The victory was Graham’s second Grade 1 score of the meet, coming on the heels of last Saturday’s triumph in the Central Bank Ashland on Karlovy Vary.

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In the seven-furlong Commonwealth, Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Lonesome Street circled the field and drew off to defeat favored Bergerac by 2 1/4 lengths.

Ridden by Joel Rosario and trained by Mike Maker, Lonesome Street trailed the field of seven as Comedero and Plutonium dueled through early fractions in :22.42 and :44.85. Comedero led the field to head of the lane where he was immediately challenged and soon overtaken by Right One (FR) and Garrett Gomez.

Right One’s lead was short-lived as Bergerac and Javier Castellano assumed control only to see Lonesome Street blow past and complete the distance in 1:21.17.

Lonesome Street returned $10, $4.60 and $3. Bergerac returned $4 and $2.60 with Right One finishing another 2 ¼ lengths back in third and paying $3 to show. It was a length back to El Gran Sol, who was followed in order across the finish line by Plutonium, Comedero and Philippe.

The victory was worth $105,000 and increased Lonesome Street’s career earnings to $358,585 with a record of 24-5-5-3. It was the first graded stakes victory for Lonesome Street, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Broken Vow out of the Storm Cat mare Street Cat.


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