Buzzards Bay scored a stunning upset in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby yesterday, giving trainer Jeff Mullins his third consecutive victory in the West Coast's major prep for the Kentucky Derby.
Buzzards Bay, a 30-1 shot, ran near the lead in the 11-horse field before going to the front at the top of the stretch and winning by a half-length. He covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.18 under Mark Guidry.
The winner paid $62.20, $21.80, and $10.80, while further muddling the picture for next month's Kentucky Derby.
Sweet Catomine's hopes of beating the boys was dashed with a fifth-place finish. Last year's champion filly and winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies went off as the 4-5 favorite.
General John B, a 60-1 shot, finished second, triggering an exacta payoff of $751.40. Wilko, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner, was third.
Mullins won the Santa Anita Derby last year with Castledale and in 2003 with Buddy Gil.
Castledale paid $62 to win, sixth highest in the race's history.
Bellamy Road wins
Yankees owner George Steinbrenner is on his way to the Kentucky Derby thanks to a dazzling 17 1/2-length victory by Bellamy Road in the $750,000 Wood Memorial at New York's Aqueduct Race Track.
Taking the lead from the start, the big bay colt made easy work of six rivals and gave trainer Nick Zito yet another 3-year-old for the Derby.
And this colt owned by Steinbrenner's Kinsman Stable just may be the one to beat in the first leg of the Triple Crown.
Bellamy Road, who captured his only other start this year by 15 3/4 lengths in an allowance race at Gulfstream Park, won in stakes-record time over Survivalist.
Bellamy Road covered the 1 1/8 miles in a sizzling 1:47.16. The stakes record was 1:47 1/5, which is 1:47.20 when converted to hundredths of a second, by Private Terms in 1988.
Bellamy Road now joins two other Zito horses already set for the Derby -- High Fly and Noble Causeway, the 1-2 finishers in last week's Florida Derby. Zito has two other hopefuls in Sun King and Andromeda's Hero.
`Galaxy' runs away
Greeley's Galaxy charged hard down the stretch to win the $500,000 Illinois Derby by 10 lengths at Hawthorne. The 9-5 favorite, ridden by Kent Desmoreaux, broke away from the pack after the final turn, leaving Monarch Lane to fight off Magna Graduate for second place.
Owned by B. Wayne Hughes and trained by Glen Stute, Greeley's Galaxy finished the 1 1/8 mile, Grade II race in 1:49.62.
Greeley's Galaxy paid $5.60, $3.80, and $2.80. Monarch Lane returned $5.00 and $3.40. Magna Graduate paid $3.00.
Hedgehunter won the $1.32 million Grand National steeplechase by 14 lengths at Liverpool, making up for last year's fall while leading at the final jump. The 7-1 favorite, ridden by Ruby Walsh, capitalized on a blunder by leader Clan Royal at Becher's Brook to charge ahead of the field and win the 4 1/2-mile race, the most famous in jumping.
Carrie Ford, trying to become the first female jockey to win the race in its 166-year history, was fifth on Forest Gunner.