Steal Sunshine Leads Upset Exacta In Ellis Park Derby

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Steal Sunshine | Coady

After breaking through by more than 10 lengths in a claimer at second asking, Steal Sunshine showed enough ability against optional claimers to earn himself a spot in Gulfstream's GI Curlin Florida Derby. While he checked in sixth there, 8 1/4 lengths behind winner White Abarrio (Race Day), Steal Sunshine continued to show promise, posting back-to-back wins in his last two starts, including the Carry Back S. when seen last July 9.

Making his first start outside of Gulfstream Park, the 6-1 runner was left in the blocks and trailed early through the half in :46.01. Still outpaced by nearly the entire field, he began to make up ground with a two-wide move at the top of the stretch that brought him into contention. 49-1 longshot pacesetter Rome hung tough but wore down as Steal Sunshine went right on by on the inside to put daylight on his rival and win by 3 1/4 lengths.

“When he hit the hole in the stretch, he ran all the way to the wire,” winning jockey Leonel Reyes said. “I'm so happy because this is my first time at Ellis Park.”

The first foal out of a half-sister to GI Florida Derby runner-up Reveron (Songandaprayer), Steal Sunshine has a 2-year-old unraced half-sister by Midnight Lute, a yearling half-brother by Maximus Mischief, and a weanling half-sister by Flatter. His dam was bred back to Silver State for 2023. Click for the Equibase.com chart.

RUNHAPPY ELLIS PARK DERBY, $200,000, Ellis, 8-14, 3yo, 1m, 1:38.19, ft.
1–STEAL SUNSHINE, 118, c, 3, by Constitution
                1st Dam: Warm Sunshine, by Unbridled's Song
                2nd Dam: Carolina Sunrise, by Awesome Again
                3rd Dam: Stylish Star, by Our Native
O-Carrie L. Brogden & Little Red Feather Racing; B-Machmer
Hall (KY); T-Bobby S. Dibona; J-Leonel Reyes. $119,160.
Lifetime Record: 9-4-1-1, $233,910.
2–Rome, 120, c, 3, Empire Maker–Gracer, by Exchange Rate.
($385,000 RNA Ylg '20 FTKSEL; $50,000 2yo '21 KEENOV).
O-Lucky Thunder Stables; B-Twin Creeks Farm (KY); T-Schuyler
Condon. $38,600.
3–Strava, 118, c, 3, Into Mischief–Catch My Drift, by
Pioneerof the Nile. ($275,000 RNA Ylg '20 KEESEP; $825,000
2yo '21 KEENOV). 1ST BLACK TYPE. O-WinStar Farm LLC, Siena
Farm LLC and Denny Crum; B-WinStar Farm, LLC (KY); T-Dallas
Stewart. $19,300.
Margins: 3 1/4, NK, 1. Odds: 5.99, 57.50, 2.80.
Also Ran: Chasing Time, Trademark, Knocker Down, Friar Laurence, Top of the Charts, We All See It.

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