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Monday, July 31
'Peace' rules in Louisiana Derby

Despite threatening clouds of war hanging over the world, peace prevailed in Sunday's Louisiana Derby (G2). Florida-bred Peace Rules that is.

Peace Rules
Peace Rules was the victor of the Louisiana Derby.
Edmund Gann's Florida-bred headed into the 91st running of the Louisiana Derby as an outsider who previously had done his best racing over the turf. After knocking off two leading Kentucky Derby contenders in Kafwain and Badge of Silver, the chestnut son of Jules exits the $750,000 race as one of the leading three-year-olds in the country.

"We found out he could handle the dirt," trainer Bobby Frankel said. "He's trained beautifully on the dirt and that's why we brought him here."

The Louisiana Derby was the first outing of the year for Peace Rules, who closed out 2002 with impressive back-to-back stakes victories on the grass, winning the Hill Rise and the Generous Stakes (G3) in California. Frankel, however, has worked his charge almost exclusively on the main track, and with recorded works such as two February six-furlong moves accomplished in 1:12 2/5 and 1:12 1/5, respectively, Peace Rules was hinting he was sitting on a big effort.

Breaking from just inside race favorite Badge of Silver, Peace Rules broke quickest of the 10 out of the gate, but jockey Edgar Prado wrestled him back a few lengths off of pacesetter Funny Cide. Under a snug hold, Peace Rules was content to track Funny Cide down the backstretch (through early fractions of :23.51 and 46.74), until Badge of Silver made a three-wide move approaching the far turn. Peace Rules went with him.

Rounding the far turn, Peace Rules slipped past Funny Cide and fought off a brief challenge from Badge of Silver at the head of the lane. When Prado asked for more in deep stretch, Peace Rules responded gamely and kicked clear, comfortably holding Kafwain at bay. Peace Rules, bred in Florida by Newchance Farm, completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.67, the fastest time of the meet for the distance and only .07 off the stakes record set by Crypto Star in 1997.

"He showed a lot of courage," said Prado, who rode the horse for the first time. "And I really liked the way he galloped out. He wasn't blowing hard and that's a good indication he could go further. "I'm very happy with his performance."

Peace Rules now has earnings of $659,990. Frankel did not announce any immediate plans for Peace Rules.

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