Private Zone leads all the way in Churchill Downs, 9th race on 2015 Kentucky Derby Day program
Three-time Grade 1 winner Private Zone turned back a stretch challenge from longshot Nates Mineshaft and drew away late to capture the Grade 2, $500,000 Churchill Downs, the 9TH race on Saturday’s Kentucky Derby Day program.
Sent away as the 5-2 second choice in a field of six, Private Zone set fractions of :22 1/5 and :44 3/5, and finished up seven furlongs in 1:22 2/5. Ridden by Martin Pedroza, he paid $7.40 to win. Nates Mineshaft edged Pants On Fire for second.
The disappointment in the race was 4-5 favorite Bayern, who was making his first start since winning the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita in November. Tracking behind the eventual winner down the backside, he came under a ride around the far turn and had little to offer thereafter in a last-place effort.
Owned by Good Friends Stable, Private Zone has won the last two editions of the Grade 1 Vosburgh as well as the Grade 1 Cigar Mile this past November. He preceded this victory with a close second-place finish in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap on March 7.
Presently trained by Jorge Navarro, the six-year-old Macho Uno gelding now possesses a mark of 27-8-8-2 and earnings of more than $1.88 million. His previous trainers of record have been Alfredo Velazquez and Doug O’Neill.