Trainer Jorge Navarro springs 2 upsets on Derby undercard
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Trainer Jorge Navarro was the king of upsets Saturday on the Kentucky Derby undercard.
He saddled Catalina Red to a 14-1 surprise win in the $500,000 Churchill Downs Stakes.
Three races later, Navarro was back in the winner's circle after Sharp Azteca took the $250,000 Pat Day Mile for 3-year-olds at 13-1.
Navarro was stunned by the price on Sharp Azteca.
''I thought this horse was the bet of the day,'' he said. ''I think this horse is one of the best 3-year-olds in the nation. We took a chance in here. This horse will run all day.''
It was the third straight win for Sharp Azteca, who was making his stakes debut. The colt broke alertly under Edgard Zayas and took up the chase in second as Imperial Hint set a blazingly fast pace.
When the leader faltered turning for home, Sharp Azteca took command. He never was seriously threatened in the lane, rolling to a 2 1/2 length victory over Forevamo to pay $28.20.
The time was 1:34.37.
Catalina Red, making his first start for Navarro, was largely overlooked following a recent win against state breds at Tampa Bay Downs.
But he was always a factor in the Churchill Downs, laying third as Limousine Liberal and Holy Boss set the pace. Catalina Red and jockey Javier Castellano took charge in midstretch and held off Calculator by a length.
He improved to 5 for 10 with the richest victory of his career, and the first win outside Florida.
Catalina Red rewarded his backers with a $30.20 win payoff.
The time was 1:20.79 for the seven furlongs.
As for the big day in Louisville, the Florida-based Navarro said it will take time to sink in.
''Once I get home, everything will hit,'' Navarro said.
In other stakes results:
Divisidero loves Churchill Downs on Derby Day, winning a stakes here for the second straight year.
He took the American Turf last year and returned to take the $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic by a neck over World Appeal.
The race was marred by a spill on the final turn that sent the horses Triple Threat and Kasaqui, along with jockeys Jose Lezcano and Paco Lopez, tumbling to the turf.
All four walked away from the incident, apparently uninjured.
Divisidero, trained by Buff Bradley and ridden by Edgar Prado, paid $15.40 for the win that improved his record to 4 for 8.
Tepin remained the queen of the grass runners following another impressive win in the $300,000 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile.
It was her sixth straight stakes victory, including a decisive win over males last October in the Breeders' Cup Mile.
The consistent 5-year-old trained by Mark Casse improved her career mark to 11 for 19. She won this race last year as a 9-1 long shot.
Those days of cashing a big ticket on Tepin are long gone. She paid $2.60 to win as the overwhelming 1/5 favorite.
Rainha Da Bateria finished second, 3 1/4 lengths behind the winner.
Julien Leparoux was aboard for the mile in 1:34.36.
The improving Taris rolled to a 5 3/4 length win in the $300,000 Humana Distaff.
The victory was her third in the last four races - all stakes in different regions of the country starting at Aqueduct in the Go For Wand and continuing on to Santa Anita for the La Canada.
Stonetastic set the pace in the seven-furlong race with Taris never worse than third. She collared the leader in the lane and drew off to her eighth win in 13 starts.
The 5-year-old trained by Simon Callaghan and ridden by Flavien Prat paid $8.40 to win.
Stonetastic held on for second with Enchanting Lady third.
Wavell Avenue, winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, was fourth.
The time was 1:21.03.
What Camelot Kitten couldn't see certainly didn't hurt his chances in the $300,000 American Turf for 3-year-olds.
Trainer Chad Brown added blinkers and the colt responded with an 18-1 upset, edging Beach Patrol by a head.
Blinkers restrict a horse's field of vision, often improving their focus. Camelot Kitten was certainly on his game, picking up his second victory in five starts.
He paid $39.40 to win.
Irad Ortiz Jr. was aboard for the 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.13.