GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Mythical Power was a dominating 7 1/2-length winner of the Grade 3, $400,000 Lone Star Derby on Saturday, one start after finishing in front of future Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird in last month's Sunland Park Derby.
The Lone Star Derby was one of three stakes worth a cumulative $650,000 at Lone Star Park on Saturday. Valid Stripes, who also came out of the Sunland Derby, won the $125,000 colts division of the Texas Stallion Stakes, while the $125,000 fillies division went to City Tone.
Mythical Power gave his trainer, Bob Baffert, a third win in the Lone Star Derby when he swept past the leaders in the stretch and went on to cover 1 1/16 miles in a strong 1:42.79. It was the fifth career start for Mythical Power, a maiden winner at Santa Anita in March who one start later was second by 1 1/2 lengths in the Sunland Derby.
"He's an improving horse," said Baffert, noting that next-race plans would be made after he discusses options with owner Peachtree Stable.
Mythical Power ($4.20) was content to settle a couple of lengths off Mayor Marv through an opening quarter in 23.60 seconds. Red Lead moved to the leader through a half-mile in 47.47, and those two started to pull away from the field through six furlongs in 1:11.37. Mythical Power accelerated on the final turn, took the lead approaching the eighth pole, and powered home under a patient ride from Victor Espinoza.
"I had a good trip," Espinoza said. "I was able to sit right in behind the leaders. I was just waiting for anybody to come from off the pace a little bit. Turning for home, there was nobody coming. I knew the horses were running a little bit quick on the front. They were going to stop. I wasn't worried about that. I was only worried about the ones behind."
Red Lead held for second, 1 1/2 lengths clear of third-place finisher Dumar.
Mythical Power earned $240,000 for his win, which was his second from five career starts. He is a son of Congaree. Baffert's other Lone Star Derby winners have been Anet in 1997 and Wanna Runner in 2006.
Mine That Bird was fourth in the Sunland Derby that was won by Kelly Leak, then one start later upset the Kentucky Derby.
* Valid Stripes ($4), who finished 12th in the Sunland Derby, was gutsy on the front end in the Stallion Stakes for 3-year-olds, setting most of the pace to win the 1 1/16-mile race by 1 1/4 lengths over Huntersrunaway. He completed the distance in 1:44.70. Kirk LeBlanc rode the winner for trainer Amos Laborde.
* City Tone ($8) won a spirited stretch duel with Seven Seventythree in the fillies division of the Stallion Stakes, winning the 1 1/16-mile race by a head in a time of 1:44.79. She survived a claim of foul by Shaun Bridgmohan, the rider of the runner-up, to secure the win. Chris Landeros was aboard City Tone for trainer Jack Bruner.
* Lone Star handled $2,242,778 on its 11-race card from all sources Saturday. Attendance ontrack was 7,501.