2008 Winstar Derby Recap

2008 Winstar Derby Recap
by Kenneth Strong of Predictem.com

Liberty Bull gets perfect trip, accelerates away late to take WinStar Derby at Sunland

March 16, 2008 Liberty Bull might not have needed a perfect trip to win the $600,000 WinStar Derby on Sunday, but he certainly got a beauty from jockey Gerard Melancon.

Stalking a pressured pace from the outside through fractions of 23.49, 48.10, 1:12.59, Liberty Bull moved to challenge after a mile in 1:37.40, took over from Screen To Screen passing the sixteenth pole and drew out late to win by two lengths. Screen to Screen, who is still a maiden, held second by a neck over Ablaze With Spirit, who was a length in front of fourth-place finisher No Jepordy. The final time for the mile and an eighth was 1:49.82. Favored Santa Anita shipper Winsome Charm ($1.70) was apparently fractious in the gate but did get a decent stalking trip from the inside before fading to finish last on the final turn.

The winner, conditioned by sharp trainer Tom Amoss for Kenneth Maier, paid $8.00 as the second choice in the 9-horse field. A 3-year-old grey colt by Holy Bull-Lasting Sensation by Dehere, Liberty Bull increased his earnings to $403,592 with his WinStar victory, from a record of 3-2-1 in six starts. In his start previous to the WinStar Derby, Liberty Bull had finished third behind the undefeated Denis of Cork and recent Rebel Stakes-G2 winner Sierra Sunset in the Southwest Stakes-G3 at Oaklawn Park on February 18.

While Liberty Bull has shown a pattern of steady improvement on the class raise, trainer Tom Amoss was not yet convinced he had a Kentucky Derby contender and said he would wait to make a decision on the colts next race. Liberty Bull will however, head to Churchill Downs now, to join the bulk of the Amoss stable.

WinStar Derby Results and Payoffs

March 16, 2008 - 11th Race Sunland Park

10 Liberty Bull $8.00 $4.60 $2.80

9 Screen to Screen $8.20 $6.00

3 Ablaze With Spirit $2.80

4 No Jepordy

$1 Exacta 10-9 paid $27.80

$1 Trifecta 10-9-3 paid $121.30

$1 Superfecta 10-9-3-4 paid $854.00