May 10, 2008 · By
Like a Texas tornado, El Gato Malo
roared into Grand Prairie Texas did his damage and got out of town with a stirring victory in the $400,000 Lone Star Derby(G3)
. Making his first start on the dirt, El Gato Malo broke sharply and was more forwardly placed through the early stages of the race. El Gato Malo sat fifth behind quick early fractions of 22.4 and 46.1. Jockey Rafael Bejarano gradually eased El Gato Malo off the rail down the backstretch. He was still over five-lengths back with under a half-mile to run. Bejarano steered El Gato Malo out for the drive as he split horses in the stretch while continually gaining on the leaders. El Gato Malo seized command inside the sixteenth-pole and dug in determinedly to capture his second graded stake of the year by a half-length.
Jockey Rafael Bejarano
said, ""This horse runs like a machine. I knew I was going to win it when I came out of the turn into the stretch. It was just a matter of when I was going to make my final move. When I asked him he gave me everything I needed."
Trainer Craig Dollase
said, "All the pieces fell into place. I couldn't have scripted things any better. I thought this race would setup well for him, and everything went perfectly. This is a talented horse that we are going to have a lot of fun with all summer."
A three-year-old son of El Corredor
, El Gato Malo now has four wins and a second from six career starts. His career earnings now exceed $440,000.