The mile and an eighth turf journey of the $250,000 Del Mar Derby (Grade II) was settled by the bob of 4-to-5 favorite Banned’s nose edging that of Santa Anita Derby (Grade I) winner and 4-to-1 second choice Midnight Interlude.
Despite being hung four-wide around both turns by Garrett Gomez and potentially hitting the front too early at the top of the stretch, the three-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy was able to notch his third graded stakes victory and push his earnings near the $600,000 mark for trainer Thomas Proctor and the Glen Hill Farm.
“Good horses have to overcome a little bit of something here and there. It might not have been his best race, but I’m glad to win,” said Proctor. “You gotta give the one (Midnight Interlude) credit. He kind of battled back at him after it looked like we were going to put him away.”
Banned’s previous two races came over a mile and a quarter on turf, running third to two of the top three-year-old runners from Europe in the Secretariat (Grade I) at Arlington Park in Chicago and finishing second by a neck in the Virginia Derby (Grade II) at Colonial Downs.
Proctor is looking forward to a brief respite for Banned before pointing him to the $150,000 Oak Tree Derby (Grade II) at Santa Anita on October 15.
“I haven’t thought about the Breeders’ Cup with him,” said Proctor. “It’s the end all for everybody but me. I’m not a big Breeders’ Cup fan. I think it ruined a lot of good racing.”
Claimed from Proctor for $80,000 out of a victory in his last, Extensive rounded out the trifecta at 25-to-1, while 5-to-1 third choice Cloud Man finished fourth.Make sure to follow me on Twitter @mdoche for much more and visit www.pick4blog.com for daily selections and analysis!
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