Record edges Spotsgone to win Derby Trial


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Record took control at the top of the stretch then held off Spotsgone by a neck to win the $100,000 Derby Trial on Saturday at Churchill Downs.

The 3-year-old covered the mile on a fast track in 1:36:32, collecting himself under jockey Rafael Bejarano after brushing the gate at the start.

Record pulled ahead of Spotsgone just after the two entered the stretch then held him off at the finish. Record paid $12.20, $6.40 and $4.20, Spotsgone returned $27.20 and $8.60, and Mister Triester paid $4.60 to show.

Trainer Bob Baffert accidentally started making his way to infield winner’s circle after the race. That spot, however, is only reserved for the Kentucky Derby winner.

Baffert, who has three horses entered in Derby on May 6 – Point Determined, Bob and John and Sinister Minister – said he doesn’t plan to make Record a fourth.

“I was between bringing him and another 3-year-old I have out there (in California) for this race, but I’m glad I picked him,” Baffert said. “He was a good fit here.”

Mister Triester owner B. Wayne Hughes entered Don’t Get Mad in the Derby last after rolling to victory in the Derby Trial.

But after never really challenging while finishing third, Mister Triester will almost certainly skip the Derby said trainer Warren Stute, even though he has enough graded-stakes earnings to put his name in the 20-horse Derby field.

“It’s a very slight chance,” Stute said. “It’ll be up to the boss.”

Dawn of War, who trainer Dale Romans said could have earned a Derby spot if he performed well, was fourth.

Favorite Noonmark fell behind early and faded. Protagonus, the second choice, led early but was pulled up by jockey John McKee near the five-sixteenths pole. He was shipped to an equine clinic in Lexington for testing.

Derby Notes: It was a busy morning at Churchill Downs on Saturday, with a dozen horses slated to run in the Kentucky Derby on May 6 putting in their final workouts. Lawyer Ron, who has won seven straight races on dirt, ran five furlongs in 58 4-5 seconds, the fastest time put in at the distance on Saturday … Barbaro’s trainer Mike Matz said his horse was “ready to go into the starting gate” after working five furlongs in 59 2-5 seconds. Barbaro is undefeated in five career starts, including the Florida Derby. … Early favorite Brother Derek’s final workout may be postponed if the forecast for rain holds. Jockey Alex Solis is scheduled to put the colt through his final Derby prep work on Monday, but trainer Dan Hendricks said he may push the workout back to Tuesday or Wednesday.

AP-ES-04-29-06 1833EDT