April 23, 2024

Real Story dictates American Derby script

Real Story captures the American Derby (G3) at Arlington Park under jockey Joe Bravo on Saturday, July 7, 2018 (c) Arlington Park/Coady Photography

Arlington’s “Ride to the Million” Day stakes action kicked off with Saturday’s $100,000 American Derby (G3), where Real Story burst into the reckoning for the August 11 Secretariat (G1) with a 7-1 upset in his stakes debut.

Trained by Ignacio Correas IV, the Jeffrey Amling and Merribelle Stable homebred was coming off a dominant wire job in an entry-level allowance over the course. The same game plan worked here, despite Real Story’s hitting the gate at the start. Jockey Joe Bravo had to use Real Story to beat Tap Daddy to the front through an opening quarter in :23.25 on the firm course, but once clear, he measured out his speed in fractions of :47.45 and 1:11.45. Real Story put the race away, opening up by five at the mile split in 1:35.13. His margin was ultimately reduced to 1 3/4 lengths, but the winner remained in command while completing 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.61.

“The plan was just don’t fight with him,” Correas said. “We knew he was going to go to the lead; there was no speed. The only question was if he would relax enough to go a mile and an eighth. He’s shown since he was a baby that he was a very good horse that needed time to mature and put it all together.”

Captivating Moon, runner-up as the 3-2 favorite, displayed his familiar tendency to leave himself too much to do. Although not as extremely far behind as usual, he still put himself in an unfavorable tactical position and closed after the leader had flown.

“The horse (Real Story) just got away from us,” jockey Florent Geroux said of his view aboard Captivating Moon. “It’s hard when you ride a closer like him that doesn’t have much tactical speed so you are really at the mercy of what’s happening in front of you. He ran a great race, settled in nicely. Hopefully we get lucky at some point with a good pace.”

Dubby Dubbie was a neck back in third, and Pont Du Gard another neck away in fourth. Tap Daddy tired to fifth, and Arlington Classic (G3) winner Ezmosh wound up seventh of eight.

Real Story is the first stakes winner sired by the ill-fated Speightstown stallion Fast Bullet. The Kentucky-bred broke his maiden at first asking on the Tampa Bay turf in December. Next came a dirt experiment at Gulfstream Park, ended as soon as he was eased and walked off the track. Back on the grass, Real Story placed third in a Keeneland allowance, but faltered to sixth at Churchill Downs, before rebounding with a vengeance last time. He’s now earned $97,902 from a 6-3-0-1 line.

A half-brother to Dueling Grounds Derby winner My Afleet, Real Story is out of the Lasting Approval mare My Own Story, herself a half-sister to Arlington stakes veteran Voy Por Uno Mas.

Later, Bravo guided recent French import Colonia to a last-to-first score in the $100,000 Hatoof for sophomore fillies. Now co-owned by Madaket Stables and Michael Dubb in partnership with co-breeder Haras d’Etreham and Maurice Lagasse, and trained by Graham Motion, the 4-1 chance mowed down the pacesetting favorite Cool Beans to win going away by 1 3/4 lengths.

“Graham called me this morning and he was really excited about this filly,” Bravo said. “It was her first race in America, and wow. The turf course was a little fast this afternoon and she took over turning for home.”

Colonia flew late off a tepid pace to clock 1 1/16 grassy miles in 1:42.23, upping her record to 6-2-0-2, $83,038. The daughter of Champs Elysees, who broke her maiden over Deauville’s all-weather in January, was most recently fifth in a Saint-Cloud allowance to the Aga Khan’s Shahnaza. Colonia was produced by Clara Luna, a Muhtathir half-sister to Group 2 hero Don Bosco, perhaps best known for sporting the colors of the late, great Omar Sharif.

Catcho En Die wired the Stars and Stripes (Photo by Coady Photography)

The $100,000 Stars and Stripes (G3) went to Argentine Group 1 veteran Catcho En Die. Under a canny front-running ride by Jose Valdivia Jr., the 8-1 shot dug in gamely to resist Canessar by a neck while flirting with the 1 1/2-mile course record. Catcho En Die’s time of 2:27.51 was just off the 2:27.39 established by Dark Cove in the 2013 Stars and Stripes.

Claimed for $40,000 by trainer Naipaul Chatterpaul out of an Aqueduct win in April, the Catcher in the Rye gelding was thrown in the deep end in a pair of Grade 1s. Catcho En Die was fifth in the Man o’ War (G1) and 10th in the Manhattan (G1) on Belmont Day, but a change in tactics, a step up in trip, and a lowering of sights all helped him regain the winning thread for Chatterpaul and co-owner Sotirios Sakatis.

“I have no words to explain it, it’s the greatest feeling on earth,” Chatterpaul said. “That’s what I’ve been known for, claiming horses and bringing them up, and that’s what happened today. The horse is classy enough. I looked at the horse, I’ve been watching the horse for quite some time and you know I really take my time when claiming horses. He just seemed to have the perfect trip.”

“I had a lot of horse,” Valdivia recapped. “I took advantage of a paceless race, we had a great post and we didn’t have to run away from them too hard. Naipaul had the horse ready to rock ‘n roll and I knew this horse would stay on so the more challengers that kept coming on the inside, I said just let them eat our dust. Thanks Naipaul for the opportunity.”

A six-year-old by Northern Hemisphere reckoning, Catcho En Die has compiled a mark of 9-5-1-0, $205,054. He was unbeaten from three starts in Argentina, crowned by the 2016 Gran Premio Miguel Alfredo Martinez de Hoz (G1) over Ordak Dan and Don Inc. He raced only twice in the United States, finishing second to March in a Gulfstream Park allowance and ninth in the Fair Grounds H. (G3), before dropping in for the tag.