With an eye-catching late
rush in deep stretch, Rookie Sensation
split horses in the shadow of the
wire and took Friday’s Grade II, $150,000 Twilight Derby under Victor
Espinoza by one length, getting 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:46.64.
at 8-1 in a field of 13, Rookie Sensation broke from post five and was
keen with Espinoza at the rail into the Club House turn, as he sat six
lengths off the lead in eighth position. Espinoza scraped paint turning
for home and angled out late to overhaul Dry Summer and Gervinho after
tracking fractions of 23.91, 47.76, 1:11.28 and 1:34.89.
just wanted to let my horse do his thing in the beginning, and from the
last three-eighths of a mile, I tried to make my way in between
horses,” said Espinoza. “Sometimes there are different strategies in a
race, but I did not have any other options because of the way the race
set up. I sneaked in on the inside and everything worked out very nice
I got my position I knew I would definitely win the race. He’s been a
nice horse in his last few races. He always runs unbelievable
races…Each race he is getting better and better.”
by Frank Stronach and bred in Kentucky by his Adena Springs, Rookie
Sensation paid $18.20, $7.80 and $6.00. A 3-year-old colt by
Unbridled’s Song, he picked up $90,000 for the win, increasing his
earnings to $183,050. Lightly raced, his record now stands at 5-3-1-0.
liked this horse quite a bit and wanted to bring him along slowly, so
we tried to space his races appropriately,” said winning trainer John
with a half mile to run, 5-2 favorite Gabriel Charles was caught
four-wide at the top of the stretch and finished with a flourish be
second, a half-length in front of Gervinho.
Ridden by Mike Smith, Gabriel Charles paid $4.60 and $3.20.
off at 5-1 with Rafael Bejarano, sat a close third throughout and
couldn’t hold off the 1-2 finishers late, as he ran third, a head in
front of pacesetting Dry Summer and Joel Rosario.
Gervinho, the lone California-bred in the field, paid $4.00 to show.