July 14, 2024

Deterministic kicks clear in Gotham off layoff

Deterministic wins at Aqueduct
Deterministic made his stakes debut a winning one in the Gotham at Aqueduct (Photo by Coglianese Photography / credit to Chelsea Durand)

Deterministic put his name in the mix for the Kentucky Derby (G1) when returning from a seven-month layoff in Saturday’s $300,000 Gotham (G3) at Aqueduct, and offered a strong finishing kick to win by two lengths over the sloppy track. Joel Rosario was up on the promising son of Liam’s Map, and Deterministic improved to 2-for-2 for Christophe Clement.

Unraced since rallying to a fast debut maiden win at Saratoga, Deterministic stalked within a couple of lengths of longshot pacesetter Maximus Meridius, who established opening fractions in :23.42 and :46.63 before surrendering the advantage on the far turn to El Grande O, who surged to a clear lead in upper stretch.

Deterministic came with a wide rally into the stretch and caught El Grande O with about a sixteenth of a mile remaining, drawing clear and stopping the teletimer in 1:36.37.

“He was very impressive,” assistant trainer Miguel Clement said. “He confirmed what we believed all along that he’s top class. His works have been top class, as well as his win at Saratoga. He validated it all today.

“He’s very sensible. You can do whatever you want with him. You can be in front, you can be way off the pace, he can be right behind them. He’s push-button because he’s such an efficient mover. That makes Joel’s and our lives a lot easier.”

The one-turn mile event offered points on a 50-25-15-10-5 basis as a Road to the Kentucky Derby series qualifier, and Deterministic will stretch to two turns for his next start. The $750,000 Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct on April 6 will be an option.

“Let’s enjoy this for a few days and come up with a plan,” Clement added. “I thought he was very impressive today. I don’t think the distance is an issue with him whatsoever. We always thought he wanted to go long. The longer, the better.”

Campaigned by St. Elias Stable, Ken Langone, Steven C. Duncker, and Vicarage Stable, Deterministic was off as the 3.90-1 second choice.

“He felt great,” Rosario said. “He was more in the game today in his second time out and first time going long. He did everything really well and so we’re excited for him and where he’ll take us.”

Just a Touch, the 1.70-1 favorite following a convincing debut win at Fair Grounds in late January, was in position to challenge turning for home but failed to advance until belatedly for second, two lengths better than a weakening El Grande O in third at 5-1.

Maximus Meridius, Capital Idea, Deposition, Lightline, Bergen, Eliminate, Facenda, and Air Cav came next under the wire.

Bred in Kentucky by Hinkle Farms, Deterministic was purchased for $625,000 as a yearling at the 2022 Keeneland September sale. The dark bay colt is the first stakes winner from the Speightstown mare Giulio’s Jewel and there are stamina influences in his female family.