Notching his fifth win on opening day at soggy Churchill Downs, Calvin Borel unleashed a patented rail-skimming ride aboard Hurricane Ike and guided the colt to victory in the $237,400 Derby Trial (gr. III) April 24.
Hurricane Ike grabbed his first stakes victory in the main track event for 3-year-olds, and in doing so dashed the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) hopes of 3-2 favorite Eightyfiveinafifty and Pleasant Prince, who could have earned enough to get into next week’s classic with a win. A son of Graeme Hall, Hurricane Ike is trained by John Sadler for owners Ike and Dawn Thrash.
Hurricane Ike was never far off the pace set by speedy Eightyfiveinafifty, who broke from the outside aboard Ramon Dominguez and rolled through early splits of :22.62 and :45.39. In tight along the rail and steadied at about the three-eights-pole, Hurricane Ike advanced around the late stages of the turn and stuck a head in front of the pacesetter by the time they reached the quarter-pole. He opened up a 3 1/2-length advantage at the top of the stretch and was under steady urging by Borel to hold off a strong, late run by Aikenite.