Hawthorne Derby: A Better Start, a Better Finish for My Bariley

A ground-saving ride by Santo Sanjur gets My Bariley home first in the 2017 Hawthorne Derby.

A ground-saving ride by Santo Sanjur gets My Bariley home first in the 2017 Hawthorne Derby.

Last time My Bariley raced on the Chicago circuit, to run in the Grade 3 American Derby, things began inauspiciously: he fell to his nose after the break.  Jockey Santo Sanjur stayed in the irons, kept his cool, and got him rolling late.  Nine furlongs later, My Bariley had improved to third, but a lone leader made it difficult for him to make any more headway.

This visit to Chicago began much more auspiciously, with a clean break from the gate.  Nine furlongs later, My Bariley was in a better spot as well: three quarters of a length in front of his closest rival, and bound for the Hawthorne Derby winners' circle.

Most of the public's attention focused on Voodoo Song: winner of four races at Saratoga this summer, including the Grade 3 Saranac Stakes.  Hovering around 8/5 early in the wagering, his price drifted down to 4/5 come post time.  It was that odds-on favourite who took the early initiative, speeding clear to carve out fractions of 25.10 for the quarter and 51.03 for the half.  Phat Man inside and Adonis Creed outside chased the leader, with the rest of the main pack behind them.  Three trailers sat further back into the first turn: My Bariley, Blue Sky Kowboy, and Red Corvette.

Down the backstretch, the race shape changed little.  My Bariley did inch up inside, improving position slightly as the field approached the far turn, but still needed an opening to slice his way through the main pack.

Through the far turn, Adonis Creed advanced from his stalking spot, bearing down on Voodoo Song's outside.  My Bariley, meanwhile, was finding space to rally up the rail.  Further back, Blue Sky Kowboy was improving; he found clear sailing by swinging outside approaching the turn for home.

Nearing the furlong pole Adonis Creed wore down Voodoo Song for good, but company was coming.  On the far outside, Blue Sky Kowboy had found his best gear, picking off horses with every stride.  My Bariley had advanced inside, and entered the final furlong waiting for an opening to pass the fading pacesetter. He slipped between Voodoo Song and Adonis Creed past the furlong pole, raced even with Blue Sky Kowboy for a few strides, and then began to edge clear.  My Bariley hit the wire three quarters of a length clear of Blue Sky Kowboy.  Adonis Creed held third, another length and three quarters back.

It was one more length back to Bronson, whose rider Tyler Gaffalione appeared to misjudge the finish line, as Bronson was driven hard to rally from midpack but briefly eased up passing the sixteenth pole.  Even so, Bronson had enough when asked once more near the wire to get up for fourth, half a length over tiring favourite Voodoo Song.  High On Sugar, Red Corvette, Phat Man, All Right, Imposing Will, and Thirsty Actor completed the order of finish.

My Bariley stopped the clock in 1:56.07 for a mile and an eighth over soft turf, and paid his backers $29.00 to win.  The exacta over Blue Sky Kowboy (10-7) returned $110.50.  A trifecta with Adonis Creed third (10-7-6) came back with $143.90 for each $0.20 on the combination.  The $0.20 superfecta with Bronson in fourth (10-7-6-9) paid $580.40.

My Bariley and Santo Sanjur, on the way to their win photo.

My Bariley and Santo Sanjur, on the way to their win photo.

My Bariley is a three-year-old gelding by Mizzen Mast out of the El Corredor mare Si Si Mon Amie.  He was bred by Captain Jack Racing Stable LLC, who campaigns him as well.  The win in the Hawthorne Derby was My Bariley's first stakes win, though earlier in the year he placed second in the Mystic Lake Derby, and was third in the American Derby as well.  The win was his third in thirteen career starts; the $60,000 winner's share of the purse brought My Bariley's earnings into six figures, to $159,119.  My Bariley is the second stakes winner of only two foals out of his dam to race: the other, five-year-old Illinois-bred mare America Mon Amie (All American), won the 2015 Northbound Pride Oaks at Canterbury.

This victory in the Hawthorne Derby gave trainer Anthony Granitz a sense of déjà vu from the fall of 2003.  "When you guys put this race back up, I said it's like old memories, because I won this years ago with False Promises, in the same kind of finish!"

Granitz was worried about whether the Hawthorne Derby would stay on the grass due to the rain all week, and credited Hawthorne after the race, noting that they "had the turf in good shape for all the rain we had."  He also worried about there being enough pace for My Bariley to rally into late, and credited jockey Santo Sanjur's ground-saving ride -- "that's a big thing around the turn."

Jockey Santo Sanjur knew of My Bariley's affinity for softer ground before coming into the races.  "I tried to ride the horse the best I can," commented Sanjur after the race, "and just tried to relax him behind horses.  In the last part, he rock-and-rolled!"

Photography courtesy of Four Footed Fotos.


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Filed under: Hawthorne


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  • Nicolle, I've been meaning to tell you that your handicapping of My Bariley as a longshot closer pick in the Hawthorne Derby was excellent ! I like him too. Couldn't believe the high odds when he ran so well on the softer turf, as you mentioned, and he'd placed, third, against top turf 3yos at Arlington.

    Mary Y(was Z)

  • In reply to maryywasz:

    thank you so much! his odds were excellent -- everyone was betting the shippers, but with the turf as soft as it was, he was such an overlay. hope you cashed a nice ticket!

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