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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (10/14/06)

Contact: DAK Productions
(708) 222-4540

Best of Buddies Pulls Hawthorne Derby Upset

Takes Grade III Race at Odds of 12-1

Bar Three LLC’s Best of Buddies battled the lead every step of the way from the rail, withstood several challenges in the stretch, and held off the fast closing Crested by a neck to capture the 42nd running of the $250,000 Grade III Hawthorne Derby over a turf course rated firm.

Leaving from the rail with Eddie Martin Jr. aboard, the 3-year-old son of Best of Luck pressed through inside to take a short advantage over Tally Up into the first turn, completing the opening quarter :24.62. With Tally Up just to his outside and the 3-5 favorite Brilliant seemingly poised to go while three-wide in third, Best of Buddies took a clear length advantage on the backstretch and backed down the pace through a half in :49.74 and three-quarters in 1:13.61.

As they turned for home, the two chasers backed out of it, and the front-running Best of Buddies received fresh challenges from Arbuckle Bandit, and Crested, who had been bottled up inside before finally shaking free at the eighth pole. Crested chopped into the lead with every stride, but Best of Buddies got to the wire before his rival could get to him, prevailing by a desperate neck in a final time of 1:50.59. Arbuckle Bandit finished third.

Trained by Michele Boyce, the Illinois-bred Best of Buddies, is now perfect from four starts on grass. It was his fifth win from 13 starts overall, and he now sports a career bankroll of $260,871.

“My only concern was that this race came up so soon,” Boyce said. “It was only 14 days after his last race and he’s a delicate little horse. He’s not a strapping big colt. I would have liked three weeks between races but this is the way that it came up and he responded to the challenge. He’s just a gutty, game little horse.”

Best of Buddies returned $26.00, $13.80 and $9.00. Crested paid $8.40 and $8.60, and Arbuckle Bandit returned $11.60 to show.

Brilliant, who was sent off as the heavy chalk off his romping win the Grade III Kent Breeders’ Cup at Delaware Park last out, finished sixth, beaten 6 ¾ lengths. Jockey Robby Albarado said he was comfortable with his partner’s position entering the stretch.

“He offered some (response) but not what I was anticipating,” Albarado said.

Complete Hawthorne Derby Quotes

Eddie Martin Jr., winning rider of Best of Buddies: “I wasn’t disappointed with drawing the inside post. He’s got good tactical speed. I let him run down the lane and it worked out. Michele Boyce is a great trainer. She let me get on this horse and we worked things out together. When Michele nominated him for the race I had a pretty good feeling that we were going to win it. ..weeks ago.”

Channing Hill, jockey second place finisher Crested (GB): "He came away well, kinda hopped a little at the break. He was running well for me. I waited for a hole to open up, and had one turning for home, but then the winner dug in tough."

Jesse Campbell, jockey third place finisher Arbuckle Bandit: "My plan was to follow Robby because I thought he was the horse to beat. His horse couldn't keep up like I thought he would. When I asked my horse to go through the hole he went right in there. You got to give Michele's horse credit, he's a fighter."

Robby Albarado, jockey aboard the beaten favorite Brilliant (6th): “He (Brilliant) offered some (response) but not what I was anticipating.”

The 2006 fall Thoroughbred meet at Hawthorne Race Course runs September 15 through January 1 with live racing five days per week – Wednesday through Sunday (except Nov. 23). The dark days are Monday and Tuesday (except Oct. 9 and Jan.1). Post time on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday is 1:10 p.m. Friday post time through November 17 is 3 p.m., at which time it will revert back to 1:10 p.m. for the remainder of the meet.

Hawthorne’s races can be seen live on Horse Racing Television (HRTV). HRTV provides full, in-depth coverage of the current Hawthorne Race Course meeting, with complete post parades, and expert analysis from the network's hosts.

Hawthorne’s spring 2007 Thoroughbred meet will run February 23 thru May 3. The summer 2007 Standardbred meet will be held June 22 thru August 5. The fall 2007 Thoroughbred meet will run September 17 thru December 31.

For more information visit www.hawthorneracecourse.com.

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