Twisted Tom scores determined victory in New York Derby

Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

SV Photography

By Sarah Mace

Twisted Tom, last seen when sent off as a well-respected 9-1 shot in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes, where, with an assist from some traffic trouble, he finished midpack, proved just too good for six rivals in Saturday’s salty renewal of the $150,000 New York Derby at Finger Lakes where he scored a determined half-length victory.

Carrying the colors of Cobra Farm Inc., who owns the Creative Cause gelding along with with RR Partners and Head of Plains Partners, Twisted Tom has been based at Saratoga with trainer Chad Brown, and, since late June, has posted three works, including a four-furlong bullet move on June 29. By post time for his Finger Lakes debut, he was bet down to 3-4 favoritism. Regular Maryland-based jockey Feargal Lynch who had the riding assignment was also appearing at Finger Lakes for the first time.

Gold for the King was sent to the front after bell, only to be joined to his inside by Pat On the Back, while from post three Twisted Tom embarked on his trip around the clubhouse turn between horses in the second flight. Exiting the turn four wide, “Tom” caught up with the leaders in company with Broken Engagement.

Gold for the King extended his lead somewhat on the backstretch, but Twisted Tom followed suit and attached himself firmly to the pacesetter’s flank, while Pat on the Back settled in third.

As the field rounded the far turn, the top three were stacked up across the track, but Broken Engagement and Twisted Tom emerged as the main contenders at the head of the stretch, setting up a pitched battle to the wire.

Twisted Tom found himself in tight at the rail in midstretch, but poked his head in front and, from that point on, refused to give up any ground. The gelding simply dug in and propelled himself to a determined half-length victory.

Runner up Broken Engagement finished 2 1/4 lengths clear of Pat on the Back in third. Completing the order of finish were Can You Diggit, Gold for the King, Six Sided Bling and Dynamax Prime. The final time for 1 1/16 miles over the fast going was 1:44.62. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Bred by Dr. William B. Wilmot and Dr. Joan M. Taylor and foaled at Gallagher’s Stud in Ghent, Twisted Tom now has five wins from eight starts and has earned $350,131. The New York Derby marks stakes win number three for the gelding. Earlier in the year he followed a thrilling victory in Laurel’s Private Terms on March 18, when he nailed O Dionysus at the wire in his stakes debut, with a more decisive 2 1/4-length score over the same rival and three others 1 1/8-mile Federico Tesio also at Laurel.

Twisted Tom is one of six winners from six foals to start out of Wilmot-Taylor homebred Tiffany Twisted. The mare is a half sister to multiple graded stakes winner Incurable Optimist and two stakes-performers. Grade 1 winner Class Play appears further down the family tree. Tiffany Twisted currently has a yearling filly by Fed Biz.

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