March 23, 2003
FLORENCE, Ky. -- New York Hero outdueled Eugene's Third Son in the stretch and won by a neck in the Lane's End Stakes in Saturday's Kentucky Derby prep race at Turfway Park.
"He is powerful and good-looking, like a New York hero ought to be," trainer Jennifer Pedersen said.
She scratched New York Hero from last weekend's Gotham Stakes in New York to run here. It turned out to be a wise move.
"He's just getting better and better," Pedersen said. "He's figuring it out, finally."
New York Hero ran the 11/8 miles in 1:503/5, four seconds off the track record set by Hansel in the '91 Jim Beam Stakes.
New York Hero ran within half a length of pacesetter Saintly Look for three-quarters of a mile, took the lead coming out of the second turn and held off Eugene's Third Son in a long stretch drive.
The win was worth $31.40, $15.20 and $6.80. Eugene's Third Son paid $7.80 and $4.40. Champali returned $3 in third place.
The $500,000 prep race put a crimp in the Kentucky Derby hopes for 4-5 favorite Lion Tamer, who finished fourth.
Lion Tamer was coming off three straight wins, including the 7-furlong Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream Park, and the Grade III Lane's End was a test to see how he would fare around two turns.
REBEL STAKES: Crowned King steadily advanced from an unhurried start to win at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. Carrying 115 pounds, Crowned King ran the $125,000 Derby prep over 11/16 miles in 1:44 to beat out Great Notion, the favorite who held the lead until the final stretch. Crowned King, owned by McKeever Racing Stable, won by 11/4 lengths and paid $75.60, $13.80 and $4.60. Great Notion finished second, 2 lengths ahead of Comic Truth.
SANTA ANITA: Chilean-bred Noches De Rosa edged Garden in the Rain by a half-length in the $150,000 Santa Ana Handicap for fillies and mares in Arcadia, Calif.
GULFSTREAM: Quest Star held off heavily favored Man From Wicklow in the $200,000 Grade II Pan American Handicap at Hallandale Beach.