Cheonnyeon Daero Wins The Korean Derby

Money Car crashes out of Triple Crown in the last stride

Cheonnyeon Daero snatched away Money Car’s chances of sweeping the Triple Crown in the very last strides of the Korean Derby at Seoul Race Park this afternoon. Entering the final furlong, Money Car looked to be cruising to an easy victory until out of the pack emerged Cheonnyeondaero, who reeled in the tiring KRA Cup Mile champion, overtaking him inches away from the line.

Park Geum Man punches the air as Cheonnyeon Daero wins the Derby (Pic: Ross Holburt)

As expected Seonbongbulpae burst out of the gate like a train, beating Money Car for the early lead. Money Car tried to match him stride for stride and maybe paid for it in the later stages. nevertheless, as they turned for home, Seonbongbulpae began to weaken and Park Tae Jong steered Money Car into the lead. Entering the home straight, they had a length on the field.

By this stage it seemed a case of just how far they would win by and with a furlong to go, the gap was at least five lengths. Then came Cheonnyeon Daero. With two hundred metres to go it looked as though Money Car would be comfortable, by one hundred it was looking close, by fifty, punters were gasping in disbelief. The instant reaction was to question whether Park Tae Jong – the greatest Korean jockey of all time – had badly misjudged it. A look at the replay showed he had not. Money Car had simply run out of gas.

Behind them Dangdae Bulpae took a surprise third ahead of Triple Sinhwa. The sour note of the race was an injury to second favourite Northern Ace. Showing towards the front in the back straight, he looked poised to make a run. Dropping back on the final turn though it was clear he had nothing in him and jockey Moon Se Young sensibly opted not to ease him. Devastatingly, following the race a vet’s inspection showed a fractured forelimb.

So a Triple Crown winner is off the agenda for another year. Instead we have a clash of Classic winners to look forward to in October when this year’s best three-year olds reconvene for the Minister’s Cup. Cheonnyeon Daero – second in last year’s Busan Breeders’ Cup and third in this year’s KRA Cup Mile now heads this generation. This was only his third win but he had never been out of the money in ten previous starts. For both trainer Oh Moon Sik and jockey Park Geum Man the victory is by far the biggest in their careers.

Cheonnyeon Daero poses in the Winner's Circle, Matthew Lutz, COO of Breeders' Cup Ltd, is on the left (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Korean Derby (KOR.GI) – Seoul Race Park – 1800M – May 16, 2010

1. Cheonnyeon Daero (KOR) [Creek Cat – Doneitmyway (Northern Flagship)] – Park Geum Man – 28.9, 3.3
Money Car (KOR) [Newsprint – Pinocchio (Big Sur)] – Park Tae Jong – 1.1
Dangdae Bulpae (KOR) [Biwa Shinseiki – Indeed My Dear (Alydeed)] – Kim Eu Soo – 7.0

Distances: Neck/5 lengths

Also Ran: 4. Triple Sinhwa; 5. The Almighty; 6. Tamnaseontaek; 7. Gayabobae; 8. Seonbongbulpae; 9. Donghae Gangho; 10. Forest Wind; 11. Northern Ace; 12. Full Step

*Pictures by Ross Holburt of Slickpix

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