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Apr 21, 2006

Sinister Minister upsets field in Blue Grass Stakes


Lexington, KY (Sports Network) - Sinister Minister led every step of the way Saturday and dominated the field in winning the $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland Race Course. The time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:48.85.

Sinister Minister is trained by Bob Baffert, who also has Wood Memorial winner Bob and John in his stable. Garrett Gomez, Saturday's winning jockey, also rode Bob and John to victory in the Wood last week.

In the Blue Grass Stakes, Sinister Minister was expected to set the pace and that is exactly what he did. The bay colt broke well from the starting gate and quickly took the lead. Sitting off the pace in the first group was Little Cliff, Bluegrass Cat and First Samurai. First Samurai was the 8-5 morning line favorite, but was sent off as the co-second choice with Strong Contender at 5-2.

Sinister Minister was never seriously challenged as he and Gomez controlled the race. The pair hit the wire about 10 lengths in front of Storm Treasure. Strong Contender finished third and 9-5 favorite Bluegrass Cat was fourth in the nine-horse field. First Samurai faded to finish off the board.

Owned by the Lanni Family Trust and Mercedes Stable, Sinister Minister collected $450,000 to bring his career earnings to $488,880. In his previous start Sinister Minister was second to Cause to Believe in the California Derby. This was just the second win overall for Sinister Minister.

Sinister Minister returned $19.40, $9.20 and $5.80. Storm Treasure paid $47.80 and $16.00, and Strong Contender paid $4.20 for show.

The last winner of the Blue Grass Stakes to capture the Kentucky Derby was Strike the Gold in 1991.

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