Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Stachys streaks to Derby win

Last-turn breakout catapults gelding past favourite, field

  • Print

Environment Canada said we hit a scorching high of 29 Monday afternoon.

But not everyone believes Environment Canada these days, especially Eddie Martin Jr. "This was like a cold front for me," he said from the winners circle at Assiniboia Downs yesterday. "I'm from Louisiana, and its 100 degrees down there right now. The weather here wasn't a problem at all"

Martin was as cool as they come in the eighth race, as he bided his time behind a wall of horses to guide Stachys, a Kentucky-bred bay gelding to victory in the 62nd running of the $75,000 Manitoba Lotteries Derby.

Stachys finished the mile-and-an-eighth a length ahead of Cherokee's Goal and the 3-1 favourite Chief Counsel. Martin said he knew he was on a great horse, but wasn't counting his winnings until they crossed the line.

"Believe me, if you start thinking you are going to win it before that, that's when you get beat," he said. "We really didn't have much strategy, just break and go, man. I had the best horse, and when you have the best horse, you can do what you want."

Still, Martin, trainer Michael Biehler of Oklahoma and owner Al Ulwelling of Minnesota had concerns going into the race.

"When we nominated, were weren't thinking we'd have to run against the Woodbine horse (Chief Counsel)," said Biehler. "I was a little bit worried about the pace, and traffic trouble in the turn, but I knew that if we could be head-and-head with the favourite, turning for home, I had the confidence that Eddie could get the job done, and he did."

"You are always nervous," said Ulwelling. "I mean you always want to say your horse is best, but we knew coming in that we were in a tough race. If you looked at it on paper, Chief Counsel was definitely the horse to beat."

Martin also had some concerns while the race was in progress.

"I was on the inside and kind of trapped behind all of them, and I had to kind of wiggle my way out (late in the last turn). By the sixteenth pole, I found a gap and when I went around and (Stachys) went 'whisssssst', and I pushed the button. All I had to do from there was just guide him home. The horse can run, man. He didn't even take a second breath."

Biehler claimed Stachys for Ulwelling and his brother Al out of a $30,000 maiden-claiming race at Remington Park in Oklahoma City last October. The horse wasn't rushed into action after the purchase, though.

"We saved him," said Ulwelling, "and Mike's trained him proper. He didn't burn him out, but he put him in races where he needed to be. If you look at his record he ran five furlongs in 57.4 seconds, so we were going to head him towards the Kentucky Derby, but Mike said, 'that's too fast. We have to take him out, settle him down, and give him three months off.' So we sent him back to Mike's farm in Oklahoma."

After a few conditioning races this spring in Louisiana and Iowa, Stachys began to come around, and on July 4, he won the $35,000 Dean Kutz Stakes at Canterbury Downs in Minnesota on turf, over a solid field.

"This is a nice animal they claimed down in Oklahoma last year," said Martin, who raced Stachys for only the second time Monday, but has galloped him several times earlier. He's just stepped right on up the ladder."

At 4-1, Stachys paid $10.80, $6.00 and $2.80. Cherokee's Goal (7-1), with Juan Crawford aboard, paid $7.20 and $2.90 and Chief Counsel, with Gary Baze up, paid $2.10.

allan.besson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 3, 2010 C1

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Paul Maurice post-game - September 22

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Geese fly in the morning light over Selkirk Ave Wednesday morning- Day 22– June 13, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Aerial view of Portage and Main, The Esplanade Riel, Provencher Bridge over the Red River, The Canadian Museum for Human Rights and The Forks near the Assiniboine River, October 21st, 2011. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS) CMHR

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

How many goals do you think Evander Kane will score this year?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google