Calumet Farm homebred Hence was the star of the show Friday night at Prairie Meadows Racecourse, settling well off the early pace to rally five-wide on the far turn and score by 1 1/2 lengths in the G3 Iowa Derby. The sophomore son of Street Boss was perfectly handled by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, covering 1 1/16 miles on the fast main track in 1:42.84. Trained by Steve Asmussen, the victory is Hence’s first since his Sunland Derby win in late March; on the Triple Crown trail, he struggled with poor trips to finish 11th in the Kentucky Derby and 9th in the Preakness Stakes.
Last of the eight-horse field, as far as 8 3/4 lengths behind the leader McCormick, Hence patiently waited through fractions of :23.98 and :48.05. Though McCormick and Julien Leparoux held the lead at the top of the lane, Hence’s five-wide rally proved unstoppable as the colt steam-rolled down the stretch to score by 1 1/2 lengths at the wire. McCormick held second for trainer Ian Wilkes, and Dales Romans sent out Impressive Edge to finish third under Robby Albarado.
“When I picked him up at the three-eighths pole, he showed me he was full of run,” Smith said before continuing his trip east for the Belmont Derby card on Saturday. “I got to see a lot of old friends who I grew up with from Nebraska, Minnesota, and Arkansas, so it was nice seeing everybody.”
Bred in Kentucky by Calumet Farm, Hence is out of the A.P. Indy mare Floating Island, herself out of a daughter of Mr. Prospector. Calumet purchased Floating Island at the 2013 Keeneland November mixed sale for $ 55,000, with Hence in utero. The colt by Street Boss has now won three of his nine career starts, along with a second and a third, and earned more than $ 600,000.
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