Anstu Stables, Inc.’s Our Caravan upset the Kentucky Derby-bound favorite Ring Weekend to win the $250,000 Calder Derby at Calder Casino & Race Course on Saturday.
"The horse looked good there; he's a nice horse,” said winning jockey Manoel Cruz.
After stalking the pacesetter Charlie the Boss, Our Caravan settled into second place as the Graham Motion-trained Ring Weekend chased in third after a slight bobble at the break.
“I knew the number two (Ring Weekend) was tough in there coming from a good horse trainer and everybody,” said Cruz. “The rest of the field I didn't worry about. I rode my horse. The two, I had to watch him, but I rode very confident."
After the first half mile, Our Caravan moved up to challenge Charlie the Boss, taking the lead at the three-quarter pole with Ring Weekend close behind. Rounding the final turn, the pair pulled away from the pack. As they cleared the turn, Ring Weekend drifted in and altered his course at the three sixteenths pole, which only widened the lead for Our Caravan, but the move caused a stewards’ inquiry and jockey objection.
“Anytime they want to have an inquiry you have to be nervous,” said winning trainer Michael Dilger.
But the inquiry resulted in no change, and the Daaher colt posted a 9-length win with a final time of 1:54.32.
“All we did was add blinkers,” said Dilger. “It just goes to show how strong the field was in the Fountain of Youth.”
After finishing 7th and 8th in the Fountain of Youth and Holy Bull, respectively, Our Caravan’s bounce back to the winners circle may only be the start of bigger things to come.
“We’re heading back to New York,” said Dilger. “Maybe the Peter Pan.”
Our Caravan paid $13.20, $4.00, and $2.60 for the win. Ring Weekend brought $2.20 and $2.10 for the place, and Cleburne returned $2.60 for show.
Rounding out the order of finish were General Sham’mah, Copa Del Rey, Gaining Ground, Racetrack Romance, Charlie the Boss, and Russian Humor. Tapicero was scratched.