Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Keeneland is known for having some of the toughest races in the country, and the second race on Apr. 2 was no exception. Darby Dan homebred Taqarub was among the field of five that had four stakes winners in the group, with 2009 Derby Trial (G3) champ Hull a strong 3-5 favorite in the third-level, 6 ½ -furlong allowance.
Taqarub had to use his speed from post 1 to keep up with the speedy Despite the Odds, who won last year's Hill Prince S. (G3) in gate-to-wire fashion. The pair dueled as a team for the first half-mile until Taqarub asserted his authority to go clear in the stretch. Southern Exchange mounted a charge to be second after a poor start, but never seriously threatened. Taqarub won by 1 1/4-lengths in a time of 1:17.32.
Taqarub is a Darby Dan success story; bred, born, raised, and sold by the farm. The 4-year-old colt is by Aldebaran out of Honor Bestowed. The mare is a half-sister to champion grass mare Soaring Softly. Taqarub sold at the 2007 Saratoga Select Yearling Sale for $300,000 to Shadwell Stable, his current owner. He is now 4-1-0 in eight starts, with earnings of $172,437.