- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 6, 2007

Last year, the jinx of having five weeks off leading into the Kentucky Derby went out the window when Barbaro rolled to a 61/2-length victory. Yesterday, before the third-largest Derby Day crowd in history (156,635), the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile stigma died as Street Sense became the first Juvenile winner to come back and win the Derby, edging Hard Spun by 21/4 lengths. A look at the race.

1/4 mile

Who led: Breaking from the No. 8 post, Hard Spun the fourth favorite at 10-1 led by a head over expected front-runner Stormello. The first quarter was run in a swift-but-not-too-quick 22.96 seconds.

Where the winner was: Street Sense the post-time favorite at 4.90-1 was basically in the parking lot, leading only Circular Quay and Imawildandcrazyguy. In his only race against a big field (the 14-horse Juvenile last November), he was 13th after the first quarter, so this wasn’t totally foreign territory.

1/2 mile

Who led: Hard Spun led Stormello by a length and ran the opening half-mile in 46.26 seconds, a good pace scenario for Mario Pino and also a good trip, right along the rail.

Where the winner was: Street Sense went backward, to 19th, ahead of only Imawildandcrazyguy. He was getting a ground-saving trip, though. He trailed 18th-place Circular Quay by five lengths.

3/4 mile (midway point)

Who led: Hard Spun continued to be the pace setter, leading Teuflesberg by two lengths while running the first half of the race in 1:11.13 he had slowed down during the second and third quarters but was still leading.

Where the winner was: Street Sense was just on the cusp of making his big move but stood 17th and had a ton of work to do.

1 mile

Who led: Hard Spun led Sedgefield by three lengths. The long shot Sedgefield 58.60-1 had moved from fifth to second during the last two quarter-miles. The mile time was 1:37.04.

Where the winner was: This is where Street Sense showed his talent and also got some luck. During this stage of the race, he passed 14 horses, moving from 17th to third, trailing the leader by 3 lengths. Street Sense got a break when horses started fading outside, not into his way along the rail.

Stretch

Who led: Street Sense assumed the lead by moving off the rail to pass Sedgefield and charging past Hard Spun to lead by a length at the top of the stretch.

Where the winner was: Street Sense was moving fast but appeared to be in cruise control. With a flawless ride by Calvin Borel, Street Sense ran past Hard Spun.

Finish

Who led: Street Sense with Borel pumping his fists while standing in the irons defeated Hard Spun by 2 lengths. Once he got into the lead, Street Sense wasn’t challenged.

Where the winner was: Street Sense covered the 1 miles in 2:02.17 and paid $11.80, $6.40 and $4.60. Hard Spun was second ($9.80 and $7.00) and Curlin was third ($5.60). Imawildandcrazyguy, Sedgefield, Circular Quay, Tiago, Any Given Saturday, Sam P and Nobiz Like Shobiz closed out the top 10.

Ryan O’Halloran

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