Thrilling Derby Trial (G3) victory for Northern Afleet colt
Sunday, April 27, 2014
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Martin Cherry's homebred Embellishing Bob got a well-earned victory in Saturday's $176,700 Derby Trial (G3) on the opening night at Churchill Downs, becoming the 68th career stakes winner for sire Northern Afleet.

Embellishing Bob is also one of 24 worldwide stakes horses this year by Northern Afleet, who is the only North American-based stallion under $10,000 to sire a Gr. 1 winner each of the past five years.

In the Derby Trial, Embellishing Bob battled with odds-on favorite Bayern for the lead the entire one-mile trip, exchanging plenty of contact in deep stretch as Bayern drifted out significantly. The two 3-year-olds hit the wire right together, with Myositis Dan, who closed from last, just another nose back in third.

Bayern got the favorable head bob to finish first, but the stewards reduced the order of finish after watching the replay.

Trained by Steve Margolis and ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., Embellishing Bob finished the race  in 1:36.73 over a fast main track. The victory was worth $106,267, and boosted Embellishing Bob's earnings to $143,017 with a record of 4-2-1-1.

"We were happy with his last race at the Fair Grounds,” said Margolis. “And it was like Mr. (Martin) Cherry said, let's take a shot. He's been doing really good and I knew the one-turn mile wasn't out of his reach."

Margolis was weighing his options for Embellishing Bob's next start. "There's the Woody Stephens (G2, $500,000) on Belmont Day (June 7). We'll just have to kick it around but he's a nice colt and he's run good every time we've run him. He did get bumped legitimately by Bob's (Baffert's) horse (Bayern) with his hind end and so we dug in and ran a big race."

Embellishing Bob is one of Northern Afleet's six stakes winners this year. He also is the sire of Kaigun, who was second to two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the April 11 Maker's 46 Mile S. (G1).