Flurry Racing Stable LLC's Mr. Misunderstood returned to the winner's circle this afternoon at Harrah's Louisiana Downs, scoring a definitive victory in the season's marquee race, the $200,000 Super Derby.
The stakes for 3-year-olds was run this year on the Franks Turf Course at the distance of a mile and one-sixteenth. Trained by Brad Cox, the gelded son of Archarcharch, shipped here last month and punched his ticket to the Super Derby with a win in the $60,000 Prelude.
Jockey Chris Rosier had the return call, and faced several new faces in today's feature, including Sonneteer and Phat Man. Those two set early fractions of :25.32 for the first-quarter and :50.66 for the half-mile. Rosier guided his mount to the outside, passed both and came home a three-length winner. His final time over the firm turf course was 1:42.91.
“I have watched the Super Derby since I was a kid, so winning this, even though it is a turf stakes for the first time, means the world to me,” said Rosier. “It's still the Super Derby. Crossing the finish line was just sheer love and passion. My dad was here and I am so happy for Staton; we are good friends and he gave me the chance to ride this amazing horse. Brad and Ricky have done a great job with him.”
Staton Flurry was on hand to accept the trophy for the $130,000 purchase at the Ocala Sale, and reflected on the fifth and biggest turf victory of Mr. Misunderstood.
“We gave the horse a little break after the Illinois Derby; and thought the Prelude would be an easier spot that Kentucky,” said Flurry. “He ran superb in the Prelude, and he came out of the race very well. I was surprised Sonneteer went early, but Chris knew he had a lot of horse; he said he felt like he exploded like a stick of dynamite.”
Ricky Giannini saddled the dark brown gelding for Cox and had a little fun discussing the one sub-par performance of Mr. Misunderstood, who ran seventh in the Illinois Derby.
“We keep trying to make a dirt horse out of him, but obviously know that's not the case,” stated Giannini. “He showed he could handle this surface and had a race going into this. I told Chris I wouldn't want to trade places with anyone going into this stakes. Brad and I will talk about next steps. We don't want to rush him, but figure he likes Fair Grounds, so that is a possibility.”
Brad and Misty Grady's Phat Mat, trained by Joe Sharp, held for second under Roberto Morales. Sonneteer, bred and owned by Calumet Farm, was third.
Sadly, Fast Talkin Man, a Texas-bred son of Oratory, trained by Danny Pish, who ran second to Mr. Misunderstood in the Prelude under rider Luis Quinonez, suffered a catastrophic injury at the top of the lane and was euthanized.
Sent off as the favorite, Mr. Misunderstood returned $3.40, picking up the winner's check of $120,000. He boosted his career bankroll to $243,796 and will return to Cox's base in Kentucky with a record of six wins from 10 starts.
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