Louisiana Premier Night
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Eventual winner Hurricane Run in front of the stands at the Curragh.
On Sunday June 26, the 140th running of the Group 1 Irish Derby was contested at the Curragh in County Kildare Ireland. The 1 1/2 mile classic attracted a field of nine 3-year-old colts, going for the winner's share of the 1,300,000 euro (about $1,550,000 US) purse. Thanks to Amber Chalfin, we have some photos to enjoy from the day.
Andre Fabre-trainee Hurricane Run was sent off as the 4-5 odds-on favorite, off his second place finish to Shamardal in the Group 1 Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby) at Chantilly last time out. Also in the field were 3-1 second choice Walk In The Park. the Epsom Derby runner-up, and 8-1 third choice Fracas, who was undefeated in his career until his distant fourth in the Epsom Derby.
Jockey Kevin Darley sent 33-1 longshot Brahminy Kite to set the pace, with 25-1 shot Scorpion and 16-1 shot Shalapour stalking him. Kieren Fallon kept the favorite at the back of the pack early on. The race was marred by tragedy just 1/4 mile from the start, when Gypsy King broke his leg and had to be euthanized. With three furlongs to go, Fallon took Hurricane Run to the outside for clear run at the leaders. Entering the lane, Brahminy Kite dropped out of contention, allowing Scorpion to inherit the lead with just a quarter mile to go. But the favorite would not be denied, as Hurricane Run joined him for a duel to the line. Inside the final furlong, Hurricane Run finally shook off the stubborn Scorpion and held him off to win by just 1/2 a length in a final time of 2:29.40 for the 12 furlongs over good-to-firm turf. This completed a 1-
Hurricane Run starts to overtake Scorpion in deep stretch.
Winning trainer Andre Fabre, winning his second Irish Derby, said, "You never win a Derby easily, but I wasn't too worried and I felt that he had everything to pass Scorpion. I think the horse still has a little improvement to come, so this was a really good effort. He is a 'push-button' horse. You push the button and then he goes. The plan now is to save Hurricane Run for an autumn campaign. He will probably go for the Arc with one run somewhere before then."
Winning jockey Kieren Fallon, winning his first Irish Derby, said, "It means a lot to win this race, especially after thinking I'd win it on North Light last year only to finish second. For years I have dreamed about winning this race, ever since I was an apprentice with Kevin Prendergast - it means everything. I did come wide from the back as I hadn't ridden Hurricane Run before. I thought I was on the best horse, but I wanted to get a clear run. He is still something of a baby and when I gave him one flick of the whip he picked up lovely. He travels for fun under you, but he idled a bit when he got to the front, just like his father (Montjeu) used to."
Colm O'Donoughue, aboard second place finisher Scorpion, said, "It's disappointing to come so close again, but he went 100 per cent for me. He is improving all the time and he will be a serious horse in the autumn."
John Oxx, trainer of third place finisher Shalapour said, "We thought he had improved, but we knew he would have to improve a lot to run in the first five and he has run a very good race for a colt who had never run in a stakes race. We will enter him for the St Leger at Doncaster and there is also the Irish St Leger to consider. He will have a run somewhere in August before we decide what route to take"
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