Super Stock Back On Top In Ellis Park Derby - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Super Stock Back On Top In Ellis Park Derby

Super Stock dominates the Ellis Park Derby.

The $200,000 RUNHAPPY Ellis Park Derby appeared to be heavily favored Super Stock's race to lose, given that he was the winner of the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby. But that was if he ran to his Arkansas Derby form, rather than his pair of fourth-place finishes in the Texas Derby and Iowa Derby in his last two starts.

For trainer Steve Asmussen, the key was riding Super Stock like Ricardo Santana did in the Arkansas Derby: getting into the race as part of the pace. That happened, and Super Stock hounded the early pace before taking command and drawing off to a 3 3/4-length victory over There Goes Harvard.

Asmussen got be North America's all-time winningest trainer by caring about every race. But Super Stock also holds a special attachment to the trainer. His parents, Keith and Marilyn, own the son of Florida Derby winner Dialed In in partnership with Nashville talent mogul Erv Woolsey, a long-time client.

“He ran a very good race, and it's great to see him back in the winner's circle,” Asmussen said by phone following Super Stock's first victory since the Arkansas Derby, after which he finished 16th in the Kentucky Derby. “Obviously he's a very special horse for the whole family. He makes a lot of people happy when he wins.

“The Lone Star race, the racetrack was absolute sea of water, drawn 13, just was never in the right spot,” he said of the Texas Derby. “And I did not like his trip in Iowa at all, and that was the change in tactics.”

Which was: “To ride him like he did in the Arkansas Derby.”

Ellis Park allowance winner Colonel Bowman broke for the early lead, setting legitimate fractions into the stretch. Super Stock stalked in second place throughout before taking over the lead and pulling away for the clear win over runner-up There Goes Harvard. The final time over the mile and a sixteenth was 1:48.89.

“He broke good, and I was happy when he was in the place I wanted him to be,” said Santana, in from Saratoga to ride Sunday at Ellis Park for Asmussen. “When I was sitting second to that other horse, I knew he would be running hard at the end.”

Jockey Joe Talamo was pleased with runner-up There Goes Harvard's effort.

“We had a really good trip,” he said. “I really thought I had the winner turning for home. Hats off to them (Super Stock and Ricardo Santana). They kept running. But my horse ran a really good race.”

It was another two lengths back to Indiana Derby runner-up Sermononthemount and jockey James Graham. Colonel Bowman tired to fourth in the field of six 3-year-olds.

“He ran good, I thought,” said Graham. “They were just quicker than him early. I was trying to be aggressive. I just wasn't quick enough to hold my spot. He tried to run them down. They went fast the first quarter, backed it up and then went again. I just couldn't get back on terms.”

Super Stock went off as the even-money favorite and paid $4 to win. The colt now has three wins in 12 starts, with two seconds and two thirds, while increasing his career earnings to $957,677.

“He's trying, he's trying,” Asmussen said of Super Stock nearing millionaire status.

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