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1991 Kentucky Derby - Strike The Gold : Full ABC Broadcast

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Published on Sep 25, 2012

Supposedly suffering from slow workouts, fast competition and even the wrong pedigree, Strike the Gold won the 117th Kentucky Derby today with a rousing end run through the homestretch that defeated Best Pal by nearly two lengths and buried the other favorites by much more.

The 3-year-old colt, often called "a horse of destiny" by his trainer, Nick Zito, had won only two races before he entered the starting gate for the most prestigious race of all. But he won this one with a dramatic move to the outside as the 16 colts turned for home. And once clear of the herd, he zoomed through the stretch, overtook Sea Cadet, outraced Best Pal and won all the roses.

At the finish, in a race billed as a free-for-all among four star colts, Strike the Gold had 1 3/4 lengths on Best Pal, the speed horse from California. Then it was 1 3/4 lengths to Mane Minister, who went off at 86-1 and paid $25.60 for $2 just for running third.

Next came another outsider, Green Alligator, a 16-1 shot, and then came the champion: Fly So Free, winner of the Eclipse Award last year as the best juvenile colt in the country. And far up the track in 10th place came Hansel, the record-setting winner of the Jim Beam Stakes and the favorite with the betting public when the horses went to the post today. Sea Cadet, another California speedball, played his proper role by taking the lead and holding it until he was nailed in the stretch and faded to eighth.

Zito, an emotional man who dreams that "the Pearly Gates will open" when his horse crosses the finish line, said later that they indeed had opened this time, and added:

"This is a game that will humble kings. People said he had slow workouts all week. They said he didn't have the stamina side in his pedigree. They said a lot of things.

"But I always said he's a horse of destiny. His mother died when he was four months old. His father, Alydar, died last Nov. 15 on the same day Strike the Gold won his first race. You had to believe he was destined for great things."

http://www.nytimes.com/1991/05/05/spo...

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