The stakes for the Kentucky Derby rose this week, with the Risen Star awarding 50 points to the winner. And longshot Bravazo benefited, taking the race and surprisingly leading the field for the Derby.
Bravazo broke well and settled into second place behind Snapper Sinclair, who pushed through a sluggish half-mile. Heading into the far turn, Bravazo came up to challenge, but didn’t kick it in high gear until the homestretch, when he was whipped several times by jockey Miguel Mena.
From then on it was a battle down the homestretch between the two front-runners. It was a photo finish, with cameras showing Bravazo just sticking his nose in front of Snapper Sinclair. Noble Indy finished third.
The Risen Star probably spelled the end of the Derby trail for Instilled Regard, who finished a well-beaten fourth, and Principe Guilherme, who finished seventh.
In the El Camino Real Derby, Paved became the first filly ever to win the race, beating the boys soundly in an impressive win.
Paved stalked the leader, longshot Calexman, throughout the backstretch. Calexman gave way to Mugaritz, who seemed to be in command entering the homestretch.
But a huge kick by Paved made it look like Mugaritz was standing still. City Plan and Blended Citizen gave chase, but it was Paved at the wire by 1 1/4 lengths. City Plan was second, and Blended Citizen was third.
Paved is the only filly with Kentucky Derby points. It’s not known whether she will continue on the road to the Derby or opt for the turf.