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Apr 18, 2014

Danza is big boss in winning Arkansas Derby


Hot Springs, AR ( - Lightly raced Danza, sent off at 41-1, surged through the stretch to upset the field and capture Saturday's $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park.

The chestnut colt gained 100 points by winning the 1 1/8-mile race as part of the Kentucky Derby points system and places himself in the 20-horse Run for the Roses field on May 3.

Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Joe Bravo, Danza stalked the pace being set by 8-5 favorite Bayern and 55-1 longshot Thundergram. Bravo had his mount sitting third up the backstretch along the inside.

Danza moved to the lead coming off the final turn going by Bayern at the furlong pole. The longshot opened up down the stretch and won by 4 3/4 lengths over late running Ride On Curlin.

Bayern held on for third with 2-1 second pick Tapiture fourth followed by Conquest Titan, Commissioner, Thundergram and Strong Mandate. Knock Em Flat was scratched.

The time for the Arkansas Derby on a fast track was 1:49.68.

Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Danza got his second career win in his fourth start while claiming his initial stakes victory. He collects $600,000 with the win and puts his bankroll at $666,428.

Danza broke his maiden in his debut race last July and was third in the Saratoga Special the following month. He came back on March 1 with a third in an optional claiming race at Gulfstream Park.

Danza returned $84.60, $28.40 and $11.00. Ride On Curlin paid $7.00 and $4.00, and Bayern paid $4.00 to show.

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