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Fusaichi Pegasus barrels down the stretch to win the Kentucky Derby. (Courtesy: ABC Sports)
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Owner Fusao Sekiguchi discloses the future of Fusaichi Pegasus. (Courtesy: ABC Sports)
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Hank Goldberg doesn't see anyone beating Fusaichi Pegasus in the Preakness Stakes.
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Kent Desormeaux breaks down Fusaichi Pegasus' performance.
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Kent Desormeaux is excited to have the opportubity to ride the winning horse.
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Trainer Neil Drysdale says Fusaichi Pegasus is a very talented horse.
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Bobby Frankel congratulates fellow trainer Neil Drysdale on the win.
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Aptitude jockey Alex Solis had victory in sight.
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Jenine Sahadi is disappointed in The Deputy's finish.
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Kentucky Derby results

Frozen Moment: Pegasus takes flight

Notebook: Pletcher made quite a splash

Sekiguchi's first Derby a dream come true

First Derby well worth the wait for Drysdale

Derby seems easy for Desormeaux

Lukas leaves Churchill Downs empty-handed

Fusaichi Pegasus proves Derby bettors right

Fusaichi Pegasus and  Aptitude
Fusaichi Pegasus crosses the wire ahead of Aptitude to win the 126th running of the Kentucky Derby.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Fusaichi Pegasus kicked up his heels before the Kentucky Derby in what looked like a victory dance.

Maybe he knew what was coming.

The playful colt, who sometimes gets too exuberant, acted like a perfect gentleman Saturday in doing what good horses like Easy Goer, Arazi and Holy Bull couldn't do-- win the Derby as the betting favorite.

The last horse to do that was Spectacular Bid in 1979.

Fusaichi Pegasus came on strong in the stretch, taking the lead approaching the eighth pole and finishing 1½ lengths ahead of Aptitude.

And he did it while on his best behavior.

This is the colt who caused a brief delay at the starting gate at the Wood Memorial, who reared and threw his exercise rider and who has been known to stop and just look around.

But he was all business on this 82-degree day and before 153,204 cheering fans -- the second largest Derby crowd in history.

So gentlemanly was the colt, purchased for $4 million as a yearling, that jockey Kent Desormeaux said he broke like a pony.

What They Said
Fusaishi Pegasus
"The racing gods smiled on us, the rail opened and he moved up. He is talented and I'm very proud of him."
-- Trainer Neil Drysdale
"I had a great trip, just a perfect trip. I couldn't have asked for any more that way."
-- Jockey Alex Solis
"This horse has no speed, so I knew we'd be last early, going to the first turn, so I just sat there and waited. I'm proud of him and the way he closed because not too many horses closed ground today."
-- Jockey Craig Perret
More Than Ready
"I had a good trip, and right near the eighth pole I made the lead. I thought I was going to win it. Then the winner went by me and I knew I couldn't catch him."
-- Jockey John Velasquez
"I thought we could win it at the eighth pole. The winner was just so good today."
-- Trainer John Kimmel
China Visit
"At the three-eighths pole, I thought we were going to win. He was really in the bridle, but ran out of steam at the three-sixteenths pole."
-- Jockey Frankie Dettori
"He ran better than expected, and the Godolphin people seemed pleased. That makes me happy."
-- Jockey Marlon St. Julien
Captain Steve
"Turning for home, I thought I was home free. I thought I had him in a good spot, right where I wanted to be."
-- Jockey Robbie Albarado
War Chant
"We don't have any excuses. Down the backside, he came out of the bridle and I couldn't get him to pick it up again until the eighth pole."
-- Jockey Jerry Bailey
Deputy Warlock
"He got hung extremely wide on the second turn. He wouldn't have won it anyway, but we'll just regroup and find another spot."
-- Trainer Ken McPeek
"No excuses. He just got tired."
-- Jockey Jorge Chavez
Exchange Rate
"He ran well for a ways."
-- Trainer D. Wayne Lukas
"I was behind the winner the whole way. But when it came time to go, it wasn't there. I just ran out of juice."
-- Jockey Corey Nakatani
The Deputy
"I could see him clearly and I didn't see anything. He just didn't fire."
-- Trainer Jenine Sahadi
High Yield
"I had a good trip. I just didn't have any horse."
-- Jockey Pat Day
Hal's Hope
"When I saw the fractions, I got nervous. You just can't go that fast. I did think he would run a little better, but he went too fast too early."
-- Trainer Harold Rose
"My jockey said he was strong to the three-eighths pole, and then he flattened out."
-- Trainer D. Wayne Lukas
"He never took hold of the track. He just never grabbed the bridle or seemed comfortable in his stride."
-- Jockey Brice Blanc
Graeme Hall
"We were eased. He was not hurt, just fatigued."
-- Jockey Shane Sellers

Fusaichi Pegasus was the highest priced winner by far in the Derby and his victory came a year after the race was won by Charismatic, who once ran with a $62,500 claiming tag.

"You never know where a Derby winner is coming from," trainer Neil Drysdale said before the race. "Some cost $15,000, some cost $15 million."

For instance, Seattle Slew, the 1977 Triple Crown winner was bought for $17,500 while Real Quiet, who carried Desormeaux to victory in 1998, was a $17,000 yearling.

Fusaichi Pegasus, on the rail until he hit the stretch, was back in the pack down the backstretch. He started moving on the turn and made his winning move around five horses in the stretch. He then took the lead from Wheelaway shortly after that colt moved in and bumped Captain Steve.

The Deputy, the second favorite, trained by Jenine Sahadi, finished 14th.

"I'm very disappointed, not for myself," said Sahadi, trying to become the first female trainer to win the Derby. "I feel bad for the horse. We'll pack up, go home and regroup again."

Almost as jubilant as the winning connections, was Marlon St. Julien, who finished seventh on Curule, owned by the Godolphin Racing Stable of Sheik Mohammed Mahkthom and Hamdan al-Makhtoum of Dubai.

"I thought I had something to prove," said the 28-year-old St. Julien, the first black jockey to ride in the Derby since 1921. The last black rider to win was Jimmy Winkfield in 1902.

"I beat several of the favorites," St. Julien added. "What else could you want? When they played 'My Old Kentucky Home' my hair stood up on my chest. I can't explain the feeling. I'm on some kind of high."

"I was a little worried," Drysdale said, referring to the wall of horses in front of his colt at the top of the lane. "But then the racing gods smiled on us and things opened up."

"He had some challenging moments," Desormeaux said. "But when I needed him to move forward, I had a ton of horse. When I encouraged him to improve his stride, he took off like a rocket and this race was over."

Drysdale was pleased with how the playful Fusaichi Pegasus won the race.

"I noticed watching the race three times that Kent was riding him with one hand," the trainer said. "He was very relaxed. He does seem to be improving."

He was asked if Fusaichi Pegasus would go to the Preakness, the second race in the Triple Crown, in search of a sixth straight victory. The cautious Drysdale said: "You know how I am. We'll have to see how he comes out of this race."

Wherever the colt races, it likely will be in the United States.

"Fusaichi Pegasus is a treasure of the United States and I hope to keep him in the United States," owner Fasao Sekiguchi of Japan said through an interpreter.

"I am just in awe," he said of the victory, and added that he would have bid $5 million for the colt.

The time of 2:01.12 was tied for the sixth fastest in the 126 Derbies.

The winner earned $888,400 and paid $6.60, $5.60 and $4 after finishing a length-and-a-half in front of Aptitude, who paid $9.80 and $5.80. Impeachment, who was four lengths behind Aptitude and a half-length in front of More Than Ready, paid $4 as part of a four-horse entry due to common ownership.

"I couldn't have asked for a better trip," said Alex Solis, who rode the stretch-running Aptitude for the first time. "Unfortunately, the horse that won was just fantastic."

Completing the order of finish was Wheelaway, China Visit, Curule, Captain Steve, War Chant, Deputy Warlock, Trippi, Exchange Rate, Anees, The Deputy, High Yield, Hal's Hope, Commendable, Ronton and Graeme Hall.

It was a disappointing day also for trainer D. Wayne Lukas, seeking his second straight Derby victory and fourth in the last six year. Lukas saddled three horses then watched Exchange Rate finish fourth, High Yield 15th and Commendable 17th.

Another Derby jinx was extended when Anees, the 2-year-old champion and Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner finished 13th. Spectacular Bid was the last 2-year-old champion, and no winner of the BC Juvenile, which was first run in 1984, has ever won the Derby.

After being bumped, Captain Steve finished eighth. He is trained by Bob Baffert, who won the Derby in 1997 with Silver Charm and a year later with Real Quiet.

Fusaichi Pegasus became the first Derby winner to have raced only once as a 2-year-old. The others were Leonatus (1883), Tim Tam (1958) and Lucky Debonair (1965). Those three horses ran long before there were bonuses in thoroughbred racing.

Speaking of bonuses, Fusaichi Pegasus earned an extra $250,000 paid to any colt who wins the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct and the Derby.

He was the first Wood Memorial-Derby winner since Pleasant Colony in 1981. Help | Advertiser Info | Contact Us | Tools | Site Map | Jobs at
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