Auguste Rodin Provides O'Brien Ninth Epsom Derby Triumph - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Auguste Rodin Provides O’Brien Ninth Epsom Derby Triumph

Aidan O’Brien

Coolmore partners' homebred Auguste Rodin provided trainer Aidan O'Brien a record-extending ninth triumph in the Epsom Derby (G1) Saturday as he unleashed a furious bid in the straight, reeled in front-running Kentucky-bred longshot King of Steel, and edged ahead in the final 100 yards.

Ridden by Ryan Moore, the Irish-bred colt by Japan's greatest stallion, Deep Impact, won by a half length, rebounding with aplomb from an unplaced finish in the 2000 Guineas (G1) May 6 at Newmarket.

Moore had Auguste Rodin had ideally positioned in midfield Saturday as stablemates Adelaide River and San Antonio scrambled to the front and set the tempo into the straight. Kevin Stout, likewise, bided his time with King of Steel, who relaxed in midpack to the inside before making good headway three furlongs out, then charging to the lead with a quarter mile to run and opening a two-length advantage. Auguste Rodin was full of run, however, and willingly responded on cue from Moore. He steadily wore down King of Steel with ground-devouring strides and burst to the front in the final 100 yards to get the victory.

Auguste Rodin covered 1 1/2 miles in 2:33.88 on turf rated as good to firm. His 4-1-0 record from six career starts includes his Futurity Trophy (G1) as a 2-year-old last October at Doncaster.

King of Steel, off at 66-1, held on for second. The colt by Coolmore's Irish-based stallion Wootten Bassett was a $200,000 Keeneland September yearling sale purchase by AMO Racing UK from consignor Gainesway. He was seventh behind Auguste Rodin in the Futurity Trophy after an impressive debut victory at Nottingham. He entered Saturday's historic classic in his 2023 debut, having not raced for 224 days.

White Birch was 4 3/4 lengths back in third. Arrest, the 4-1 favorite under Frankie Dettori, finished 10th after racing prominently early on.

Auguste Rodin was produced by the Galileo mare Rhododendron, a five-time Group 1 winner and a daughter of Irish classic winner Halfway To Heaven. Rhododendron is a half sister to two-time Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) runner-up Magical, a seven-time Group 1 winner.

O'Brien won his first Epsom Derby in 2001 with Galileo and his most recent prior to Saturday's edition was in 2020 with Serpentine.

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