May 1, 2012
Bob and Cathy Zollars' Daddy Nose Best stamped his ticket the May 5 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs with a nice win in Sunday's Grade 3, $800,000 Sunland Derby under jockey Julien Leparoux. The Steve Asmussen pupil ran the nine furlongs on Sunland Park's fast dirt in 1:48 2/5 to boost his career earnings to $633,623.
"He ran a really good race," Asmussen noted in the post-race interview. "He's obviously a horse who likes a distance of ground.
"We came here trying to earn our way to the Kentucky Derby. Bob and Cathy, we've had some nice horses, maybe this is the one."
Leparoux settled Daddy Nose Best toward the rear of the field early as Castaway and Ender Kneivel hooked up in a speed duel on the front end. Those two went in :22 2/5 and :46 1/5, but faded badly soon after. Isn't He Clever had been biding his time just in behind and challenged for the lead entering the turn. The bay gelding took command on the outside through six furlongs in 1:10 4/5 and had a clear advantage down the lane.
Daddy Nose Best was just getting into gear, however, and came gunning for Isn't He Clever. He easily caught, and passed, the leader to add a second straight Grade 3 score to his record.
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