Myositis Dan (outside), Embellishing Bob (middle), and Bayern (inside) hit the wire together in the Derby Trial (Photo by Reed Palmer/Churchill Downs)
Churchill Downs’ Spring Meet started out with a bang on April 26 when Embellishing Bob took home the victory in the $150,000 Derby Trial Stakes after Bayern was disqualified.
Embellishing Bob and Bayern battled all the way around the track in the one-mile race with Embellishing Bob a half-length behind Bayern at every call, until getting within a nose of Bayern at the wire. It was a three-way photo finish as the fast closing Myositis Dan joined the leaders in the battle right on the wire but Bayern was a nose in front of the other two with Embellishing Bob getting his nose in front of Myositis Dan. However, Bayern drifted out in mid-stretch and bumped Embellishing Bob, costing himself the victory when stewards determined it had impeded Embellishing Bob.
"I don't know. I never got to see it. There was contact,” said Bob Baffert, Bayern’s trainer. “Apparently it was the right call because they took him down. What are you going to do? At first I thought he hung on and won. Then I saw the inquiry. I saw all the bumping, there was a lot of stuff going on there. He ran well, but he's still a young horse. We need to get him back, a little bit off the lead. He got a little tired at the end. The track is demanding tonight. He got a lot out of it."
The final time for the mile was 1:36.73 and Embellishing Bob, who went off at odds of 4.80-to-1 paid $11.60 to win off of a $2 ticket. He was coming off of a four-length maiden win at the Fair Grounds and his breed-owner Martin Cherry decided with trainer Steve Margolis to take a shot on the Derby Trial. While fans may not see Embellishing Bob in a Triple Crown races, Margolis talked about running him at Belmont Park.
EMBELLISHING BOB AND JOCKEY BRIAN HERNANDEZ, JR.
Photo by Eclipse Sportswire
"We've got to look at his family and take a little more conservative of a route [on race selection]. His family is a lot of seven-furlong horses, maybe milers, so I'll talk with Mr. Cherry about it ... There's the Woody Stephens on Belmont Day. We'll just have to kick it around but he's a nice colt and he's run good every time we've run him. He did get bumped legitimately by [Bayern] with his hind end and so we dug in and ran a big race," Margolis said.
By Northern Afleet, who sired Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner Afleet Alex, Embellishing Bob is out of the unraced mare Kirsche, a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Watchful.
Click here to see the Derby Trial chart.