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Midnight Interlude wins Santa Anita Derby; Uncle Mo loses in New York

April 9, 2011 |  5:50 pm

The Kentucky Derby picture became as clear as the cloudy sky over the Santa Anita Race Track on Saturday when Midnight Interlude won the 74th edition of the Santa Anita Derby. But it wasn't his win that suddenly sent the May 7 Kentucky Derby into disarray.

Back at Aqueduct in New York, Uncle Mo, the horse generating all the heat after winning the Breeders Cup Juvenile last year, was soundly beaten in the Wood Memorial. Toby's Corner won the race while Uncle Mo finished third by a little over four lengths.

Adding to the intrigue is that the two best California-based 3-year-olds, Premier Pegasus and Jaycito, scratched out of the Santa Anita Derby before race day. This is not to diminish the win by Midnight Interlude, but it clearly would have been a different race had the two favorites run.

Midnight Interlude rallied in the stretch to beat Comma to the Top, who ran a game race running from the front. Mister Commons finished third followed by Silver Medallion.

Victor Espinoza was the winning rider in the $1 million race run over 1 1/8 miles.  Bob Baffert was the winning trainer. Midnight Interlude paid $29.80, $12 and $6.


March 'heroism' fades, but John Shear is a hero for all time

-- John Cherwa

Photo: Midnight Interlude, left, ridden by Victor Espinoza, edges ahead of Comma to the Top, ridden by Corey Nakatani, to win the Santa Anita Derby on Saturday . Credit: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press