Deterministic Wins Gotham in Slop, Moves to Derby Trail

Deterministic came off a long layoff and promptly put himself in the Kentucky Derby (G1) picture with a rousing victory in the $300,000 Gotham (G3) over a sloppy Aqueduct Racetrack on Saturday.

In his only other race, back on Aug. 12, Deterministic won at 7 furlongs at Saratoga. Under Joel Rosario in the 1-mile Gotham, the 3-year-old split horses in the stretch and won by two lengths over closing 8-5 favorite Just a Touch.

Road to the Roses: Deterministic Triumphs in Style

El Grande O, who led into the final furlong, finished third. Maximum Meridius was fourth, and Capital Idea fifth.

The victory was worth 50 Derby qualifying points for the son of Liam’s Map and gives racing Hall of Fame finalist Christophe Clement a chance to compete in his first Run for the Roses. The next four finishers picked up 25-15-10-5 qualifying points.

“He was very impressive. He confirmed what we believed all along that he’s top class. His works have been top class, as well as his win at Saratoga. He validated it all today,’’ Miguel Clement, assistant trainer to his father, said of Deterministic, purchased for $625,000 as a yearling by St. Elias Stable.

Winning time for the mile was 1:36.27. Deterministic returned $9.80 for a $2 win bet.

Gotham Stakes: Race Highlights

El Grande O, trained by Linda Rice, and Capital Idea took turns with the lead into the stretch, but Deterministic moved between the two, took the lead, and held off Just a Touch.

“He was more in the game today in his second time out and first time going long,’’ Rosario said. “He did everything really well and so we’re excited for him and where he’ll take us.”

Brad Cox – Courtesy of Churchill Downs

A final prep for Deterministic could come in the Wood Memorial (G2) at the Big A on April 6, but Miguel Clement said a decision will come later. Rice said El Grande O will be pointed to the Wood

Brad Cox’s Contenders Shine Despite Challenges

Trainer Brad Cox had four entered in the 11-horse field: Just a Touch (second), Lightline (seventh), Bergen (eighth), and Air Cav (11th).

“It looked like he (Just a Touch) finished up well. He showed enough speed and he’s obviously still learning, but I think he’ll be better around two turns,’’ Cox said, adding that his other “might have been overmatched.”

The field was reduced to 11 after race day scratches of Khantae and Slider.

Clement, in his 34th year as a trainer, is considered among the top trainers of turf horses, does have a Belmont Stakes (G1) win with Tonalist in 2014.


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