Winning Number led gate-to-wire Friday night in the $250,000 Iowa Derby, but in Country House/Kentucky Derby style, stewards promoted Top Line Growth to the win after a lengthy look at the film, ruling Winning Number fouled rival Shang during the stretch run.
The Brian House trainee Winning Number went from the inside post to the top of the field at Prairie Meadows in the 1 1/16-mile dirt feature for 3-year-olds. He stayed in front, putting down fractions of :23.71, :48 and 1:11.88 as the field followed.
Under jockey Eddie Martin Jr. while in deep stretch, Winning drifted toward the rail and into the path of Shang. Shang had to check up while Top Line Growth moved into second, crossing the wire behind Winning Number.
Stewards weighed an objection for about 10 minutes, then disqualified Winning Number for interference in his incident with Shang. Winning Number was placed third, with Top Line Growth elevated to first and Shang to second.
Opposite the Derby, however, a state steward actually provided prompt explanation of the call on the Prairie Meadows track feed, saying, “After reviewing the replay and speaking with the riders involved, the stewards found that in the stretch, No. 1 (Winning Number) moved out off the rail far enough to allow the 4-horse (Shang) to start up on the inside of him and then moved back in, forcing No. 4 to check.
“Therefore, first-place finisher No. 1, Winning Number, is disqualified and placed third.”
Kelly Rubley trains Top Line Growth, a Maryland-bred, gelded son of Tapizar. He is campaigned by The Elkstone Group, LLC (Stuart Grant) and was piloted Friday by jockey Julian Pimentel.
Top Line Growth paid $9.60 on a $2 win ticket. He’s collected three wins in four career starts, with his last start an allowance victory June 8 at Laurel Park.
Two back, Top Line Growth was a non factor in Pimlico's Sir Barton Stakes, a race won by King for a Day, who from there went on to defeat Maximum Security -- another colt with a notable DQ to his name -- in Monmouth Park's Pegasus Stakes.