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November 19, 2010
Rose Mary Chandler’s Acorn proved mightiest in the $200,000 Adequan Derby Challenge Championship (G1), holding off Diamond For Jess for a neck win in track record time. The gelding, ridden by Alfonso Lujan, went the 400 yards in :19.504, shaving a 1/100th off the record set by champion Vals Fortune in 2004. Acorn was trained by Janet VanBebber. “I think he shied away from the crowd a little bit,” Lujan said. “But he ran real gutsy tonight and this is a special win. He really gave 110 percent and put it all on the line.” Earlier this year, the gelding won the Sam Houston Derby (G2) and Adequan Prairie Meadows Derby Challenge (G3). In his only loss from six starts this year, his previous start, he finished a dull sixth in the Dash For Cash Derby (G2). Acorn earned $92,000 for this victory. His lifetime record is seven wins and two seconds from 13 starts and earnings of $203,178. “This horse, I’ve always had the utmost confidence in him because he gives 100 percent,” said VanBebber. “I’m very, very proud of him. I was pleased to be on the outside of the racetrack (in post 11), although a little concerned about being on the far outside because I think he labored a little bit out there. That’s the part of the racetrack that had not yet been run over this evening. Nonetheless, he prevailed because he just persevered.”
Diamond For Jess was a game second. Patriots Glory was third, followed by An Ocean Rocket, Rebas Corona, Jess Navigating, Call Me Fischer, Memories N Moments, Dos Seis, Secret Battleground and Summit Bid. Acorn is by world champion Oak Tree Special out of the Thoroughbred mare Trio Gal by Tasso (TB). He is a half brother to the stakes-placed Special Effort stallion Trio Effort ($10,190). “I’m overwhelmed, to say the least,” said Chandler. “We watched the race inside (on the monitor) so I could see him start and finish. I'm very excited.”
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