By John Manley
Irish-bred The Deputy ran his way into the May 6 Kentucky Derby with a hard-fought victory in Saturday’s $1 million Santa Anita Derby.
The Deputy stalked the early pace before being sent by jockey Chris McCarron to challenge the leaders around the far turn. The Deputy then battled favored War Chant down the length of the stretch, pulling away from that one inside the 16th pole to post a one-length victory. He covered the nine furlongs in 1:49.08. The Deputy paid $6.80 as the second choice in the six-horse field.
"I’ve never been so proud of a horse before," said winning trainer Jenine Sahadi. "I believe he probably has the biggest heart of any of the 3-year-olds out there today. I really believe in this horse. I know he’s going to lay his body down every time, provided I do right by him."
"He’s extremely professional," said McCarron of the son of Petardia out of Manfath, a Last Tycoon mare. "It’s been a while since I’ve been on a horse of this class that was perfectly happy every single day he was on the track. He loves to be out on that racetrack."
John McEnery bred The Deputy. McEnery owns the Rossenarra Stud of Goodwynsgardens, Kells, Co. Kilkenny, in partnership with his father, Martyn. Rossenarra was previously associated with three-time Grand National winner Red Rum. The Team Valor syndicate and Gary Barber now own The Deputy.
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Sahadi said that The Deputy would soon leave California for Kentucky to await his next assignment.
Mike Ryan wracked up another victory as an owner when Impending Bear won the $113,300 Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland on Sunday. The filly broke from the
rail and hugged it throughout. Pat Day kept her in midpack down the backside, before unleashing her around the far turn. She opened up by two lengths at the top of the lane, and maintained that margin to the wire, while running under her own courage. She got the mile over firm turf in 1:36.24.
Impending Bear, a 3-year-old filly by Farma Way, paid $13.80 as the fourth choice in the field of 10. She was trying grass for the first time and is now undefeated in three starts. Michael Stidham trains her. Ryan, who is one of this country’s foremost bloodstock agents, is based in Lexington, Ky., where Keeneland is situated. He was born in Dublin and raised in Dunboyne, Co. Meath.