Maddie's Gold dominates the Oregon Derby
Maddie’s Gold rallied from off the pace to get up and score in the $25,000 Oregon Derby presented by XpressBet on Sunday at Portland Meadows. Sent off as the 4/5 favorite in the field of five, Maddie’s Gold ($3.60) settled back in third underneath jockey Luis Torres, who elected to let Jet Set Kitten go out and set the pace. Jet Set Kitten set a reasonable first quarter mile of 24.27 seconds but sped it up down the backstretch to get to a half-mile in 47.78 and open up a big lead.
“I thought he would be closer, but they were letting Jet Set Kitten run pretty free up front,” said Rolland Fergason one half of the husband and wife training team along with Debby Fergason whose name is listed in the program.
Maddie’s Gold started to make up ground as the field ran into the far turn and in what seemed like just a couple of strides, he blew by Stoney River who was in second and came right up alongside of Jet Set Kitten at the quarter pole. It looked as though Maddie’s Gold might blow by Jet Set Kitten, but that rival fought right back. Maddie’s Gold kept his momentum though, and down the stretch he gradually eased away to win by six and one quarter lengths. Jet Set Kitten finished second, nine lengths ahead of Stoney River who was third.
“I knew he would have a really good kick on the end,” said Rolland Fergason. “I just told Luis not to run out of horse. I didn’t think the distance would be a problem if he had any of his dam’s stamina, which it appears he does.”
Maddie’s Gold stopped the clock in 1:41.13 seconds for the one-mile journey. It was the fourth career score for Maddie’s Gold and it bumped his earnings up to $63,548 for owners Hurliman Enterprises LLC.
As far as what’s next for Maddie’s Gold Rolland Fergason didn’t hesitate to answer when asked.
“He’s gonna get a rest for a while,” said Rolland Fergason. “He’s had a great year and he’s earned some time off. I’m not sure where I’m gonna bring him back yet.”