The going was rough during the running of the $200,000 Governor’s Cup Derby, but after the dust had settled EG High Desert Farms’ Unclaimed Dividend (left) posted the upset of the night after winning at odds of 36-1. The race also featured the disqualification of Snitching from sixth place to tenth after a lot of bumping took place midway through the 400-yard dash.
Ridden by Jesus Rios Ayala for trainer Yanet Rodriguez, Unclaimed Dividend lugged out during the race after breaking from post one, but he did enough to hold off 4-5 favorite Thermonuclear Energy by a half-length while covering the distance in :19.972. The gelding by A Mere Chocolate was enjoying his first victory since his second lifetime start back on May 3, 2015.
“He ran several nice races as a freshman, but he had some bad luck and some rough trips,” said Enrique Gonzalez of EG High Desert Farms. “He got bumped around a lot (during his freshman year) and he became a little hesitant and nervous. We took him home to the ranch and gave him some rest. He had a few little issues we had to take and we did that. We brought him back and he’s been rejuvenated. He ran a nice race tonight and scored a nice surprising win. We needed the win. It feels good.”
Unclaimed Dividend’s odds in this race were the result of an eighth place finish in his 2016 debut against allowance competition and then a solid third to fastest qualifier Fervents Dynasty in a derby trial. The EG High Desert Farms homebred flew out of the gate in the final, opened up a half-length lead, and despite lugging out never relinquished his advantage. Unclaimed Dividend earned $81,900 for the win to take his career earnings to $95,428. This was his second win in 10 starts.
“We’ll run him in handicap races next,” Gonzalez added.
Parsons Family Limited Partnership’s Thermonuclear Energy had very troubled trip in the derby trials, but she recovered to post a superb 1 ¼ length victory. The Walk Thru Fire filly lugged out in the final, but still earned second place money of $33,150. Chris O’Dell saddled and Rodrigo Aceves rode the homebred filly.
Martha Wells’ Checkn Fire earned $23,400 for running third. Phoebes Dynast, the winner of last year’s Governor’s Cup Futurity, finished fourth and was followed by Fervents Dynasty, Sale Topper, Makin Moments, Chicks Fayvorite, Zendaya, and Snitching.