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1938 Derby Trial Graded Handicap

2/15/1938, Santa Anita Park
1 mile (Dirt)
3 M
*Rank is current Power Ranking among all active horses, based on highest HRN rating. Rating is based on HRN member voting.
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Older Comments about the 1938 Derby Trial Graded Handicap...

Entered in a mile allowance just to make sure the win was not a fluke, Stagehand flew home impressively, talented enough to make Howard and Sande entertain thoughts of the Derby which they had missed the year prior with Sceneshifter. They shipped Stagehand to Churchill Downs for the Derby Trial Graded Handicap, not to be confused with the Derby Trial, which Stagehand would run in later in the year. The field of six horses were lead by Dauber, at odds of 14 to 10. Stagehand was second-choice at 28 to 10. The track had been hammered by rain and was rated as slow. When the bell rang, Stagehand broke fifth. The mud from the other horse’s hooves soon put him off and he balked, sitting far back, off of the front runners. For 6 furlongs he stayed off of the other horses, and then as they came around the turn for the final quarter, Westrope guided Stagehand to the inside, on the rail. The rest of the horses had drifted out of the deep stuff, but Westrope and Stagehand had no choice, there was no time, they had to cut corners and the rail was the way to do it. Stagehand saw clear running room and fired. He passed each horse, one by one until there were just two left: Dauber and Can’t Wait. Dueling with Dauber in second place for a few strides, Westrope gave him a tap with his whip and the pair whirled through the heavy mud to just clinch Can’t Wait by a nose. The mile run in a slow 1:39.60
  • LAZMANNICK · Nice, but maybe the mile wasn't all that slow given the track condition. · 844 days ago
  • Sullivan · Perhaps. Seeing as stablemate, The Chief, managed to set the track record after in 1:35.80 over a fast track, I think it is fair to deem this performance on the slower side. · 844 days ago

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