Pepper Spray shows his class in the Charles Taylor Derby

Pepper Spray surges late to win the Charles Taylor Derby - Coady photography

Tale of Ekati’s Pepper Spray racked up his third career stakes win Sunday in the $75,000 Charles Taylor Derby with a late surge that carried the 3-year-old to a half-length victory over pacesetter Creative Bid (WATCH RACE).

Pepper Spray, who has been worse than third only once in his career, stalked Creative Bid for most of the 1 1/16-mile trip. Creative Bid got away with some soft fractions and looked tough to beat with a three-length lead at the top of the stretch, but Pepper Spray would not be denied, winning in 1:43.89 on a fast main track.

Pepper Spray is owned by his breeder Roys Mansur and is now 5-1-2 in nine starts and has earned $238,050. He has prior stakes wins in the Lost in the Fog Juvenile and the Riley Allison Derby, and also placed in the Sunland Derby (G3).