Slow Down Andy led from start to finish in the Caesars Sportsbook Del Mr Derby
Reddam Racing’s homebred Slow Down Andy did just that in a field of nine 3-year-olds, setting slow and steady fractions from the start to the top of the lane, then sprinting to a half-length victory at the end of Saturday’s $302,000 Caesars Sportsbook Del Mar Derby Saturday at the seaside track in north San Diego County in California.
The California-bred colt by Reddam’s Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist had regular rider Mario Gutierrez in the tack for a perfectly timed ride in the nine-furlong journey on turf and earned a check for $180,000. It was his fourth victory in his eighth start and he now sports earnings of $783,100.
Finishing second in the Grade 2 feature for 3-year-olds was Muir Hut Stables’ 68-1 shot Spycatcher, who had a half length on Doubledown Stables’ War At Sea.
Slow Down Andy set fractions of :24.13, :48.77, 1:12.98, 1:36.89 and 1:48.27. He sprinted the final three eighths in just over 35 seconds.
The winner paid $15.40, $10.20 and $7.20. Spycatcher returned $48.60 and $19.20, while War At Sea paid $6.00 to show.
This was the 78th running of the Del Mar Derby.
MARIO GUTIERREZ (Slow Down Andy, winner)—“We wanted to be on the lead, but there was some cheap speed and, if they were going to pressure us, we’d let them go. We kind of played it by the break. We didn’t have a strategic plan. He broke good and I didn’t feel any pressure, so I just let him go and waited for the end. In the stretch, he responded so well that he gave me the good impression that he still had something underneath me. This horse is a little tricky. When he runs with his mind focused on the race you can see what happens. Hopefully, he’s maturing. Of course, this was his first time on the grass and you can ask this question about whether they like it, but we just don’t know until they run.”
DOUG O’NEILL (Slow Down Andy, winner) – “We had no idea he’d go that slow early so it worked out perfect. After I saw the very first fraction I thought we had a good chance and then the half mile in almost :49, I thought we had a real good chance. We’ve always had faith in him; he was our Kentucky Derby dream not too long ago so why not the Del Mar Derby?”
FRACTIONS: :24.13 :48.77 1:12.88 1:36.89 1:48.27
The stakes win was the first of the meet for rider Gutierrez and his first in the Caesars Sportsbook Del Mar Derby. He now has 18 stakes wins at Del Mar.
The stakes win was the second of the meet for trainer O’Neill but his first in the Caesars Sportsbook Del Mar Derby. He now has 44 stakes wins at Del Mar.
The winning owner and breeder is Reddam Racing, owned by J. Paul Reddam of Laguna Beach, Calif.