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Feb 10, 2006

Barbaro surges into Kentucky Derby picture


Hallandale, FL (Sports Network) - Highly regarded Barbaro was set to make his first start on the dirt in the Holy Bull Stakes on Saturday at Gulfstream Park. The dirt turned to slop, but that did not prevent the three-year-old from capturing the race and moving into Triple Crown picture.

Barbaro won his first three starts on the grass, the last being the Tropical Park Derby. Owned by Lael Stables, he warranted a chance to try the dirt and see if can compete with Kentucky Derby hopefuls.

In the Holy Bull Stakes, Barbaro stalked Doctor Decherd before taking the lead at the top of the stretch. Ridden by Edgar Prado, Barbaro won the $150,000 race by just under a length.

Finishing second was Great Point followed by My Golden Song, Flashy Bull, Itsallboutthechase, Doctor Decherd, Sunriver, Fagan's Legacy, Saint Augustus, Big Lover, Hemingway's Key and Park Avenue Prince,

The time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:49.31.

Barbaro is trained by Michael Matz and has now earned $249,000, including the $90,000 from Saturday. The colt has now won one race at four different tracks.

Barbaro returned $5.20, $4.20 and $3.80. Great Point paid $14.40 and $9.20, and My Golden Song paid $6.40 for show.

Also on Saturday in the Hutcheson Stakes for three-year-olds, morning-line favorite First Samurai was unable to overtake the front running Keyed Entry. Keyed Entry posted a 1 1/4 length victory over First Samurai and covered the 7 1/2 furlongs in 1:27.12.

Finishing third was Express News followed by Catcominatcha, Fables, Almost Certain and Blazing Rate.

First Samurai was making his first start of the year after a third-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. He won his first four starts, including the Hopeful and Champagne Stakes.

Keyed Entry was ridden by Eclipse Award winner John Velazquez for trainer Todd Pletcher. The colt adds $90,000 to his bankroll, which now stands at $132,000.

Keyed Entry returned $7.40, $2.60 and $2.10. First Samurai paid $2.10 and $2.10, and Express News paid $2.10 for show.

The top finishers in both races are expected to compete in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park on March 4.

In Gulfstream Park's top race for older thoroughbreds, Brass Hat came from off the pace to win the $500,000 Donn Handicap. The time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:47.79.

Brass Hat was coming off a win in the New Orleans Handicap last month at Louisana Downs. The five-year-old gelding and jockey combined for their third straight stakes victory and earned $300,000.

Brass Hat is owned by Fred Baradley and trained by William Bradley. In his career Brass Hat has won six of 12 starts for more than $1.2 million.

In the Donn Handicap, Brass Hat was able to post a four-length win over Pies Prospect. Finishing third was Andromeda's Hero followed by Magan Graduate, West Virginia, Suave, Seek Gold, Super Frolic and On Thin Ice.

Brass Hat returned $18.60, $8.40 and $6.20. Coupled as part of a three horse Nick Zito entry, Pies Prosepct and Andromeda's Hero paid $5.40 and $5.60.

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