Gormley overcame a tired group of pacesetters to win the $1 million Santa Anita Derby by 1/2 length.
Much of the race was a contest between Battle of Midway, Royal Mo and American Anthem, who raced as one throughout the backstretch. Gormley this time preferred to rate himself back in fifth position, some six lengths off the lead. He began making up ground around the far turn and by the homestretch was in a position to strike.
American Anthem, once thought to be a Derby contender, was the first to tire and dropped back quickly. Gormley made a run at Battle of Midway, who had managed to pull out a slight lead over Royal Mo. They battled down the stretch until Gormley caught Battle of Midway in the final sixteenth, taking the 1 1/8 mile race in a slow 1:51.16.
Royal Mo hung on for third place. Iliad, the favorite, settled for fifth place.