| Contact: David Zenner
EUROPEANS FINISH 1-2 IN $200,000 AMERICAN DERBY
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. --- European-based runners Pine Dance and Hymn captured the top two spots, respectively, in the $200,000 American Derby Sunday at Arlington International Racecourse.
The Grade 2 American Derby is the second leg of Arlington's Mid America Triple. King Cugat, winner of the first leg, the Arlington Classic on July 1, is waiting for the August 19 Secretariat Stakes, the final leg of the series.
Hymn and Del Mar Show vied for the lead in the compact field of four for more than three-quarters of a mile while Pine Dance and Boyum raced as a tandem behind the embattled duo.
Stalking the leaders from the inside, jockey Eddie Ahern guided Pine Dance through an opening on the rail turning for home, took the lead a little more than an eighth of a mile from home and drew clear under slight urging to win by a length and a half. The Kentucky-bred son of 1992 Preakness Stakes winner Pine Bluff covered the mile and three-sixteenths over firm going in 1:55.46.
"I had plenty of horse underneath me and I had the option to either go around them or go up the rail," said Ahern, riding his first race in America. "The option came for the rail so I took it. He was well within himself and he handled the ground well."
"I've won on every track in America that I've sent a horse on except Arlington, so I had to rectify it," said trainer Dermot Weld, multiple Irish champion trainer. "It's the best turf track in America. This is a horse with a future. He's an outstanding individual. We hope to have him for the Secretariat. That's the next logical spot for him."
Pine Dance, who races in colors of Highland Farms, Peter Wetzel and the Five Star Racing Co., earned $120,000 for the victory and paid $17.20 and $5.40. There was no show wagering on the race.
Hymn gamely held off Del Mar Show for the place spot and paid $4.40. Boyum completed the order of finish.
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