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Derby fits Day to 16-1 Tee Arazi eighth Leading jockey gets long-sought win; Casual Lies 1 back

THE BALTIMORE SUN

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- One myth exploded, but there was a happy ending to an old story yesterday when Lil E. Tee reached the wire first in the 118th Kentucky Derby.

Pat Day, who has been the nation's leading rider four times, but never had won the Derby, finally won the race in his 10th try.

The victory came at the expense of Arazi, the 4-5 favorite and hailed as the second coming of Secretariat, who wilted in the stretch and was a well-beaten eighth.

"I knew when Pat Valenzuela [jockey on Arazi] set his horse down [near the three-sixteenths pole] and didn't blow by me that I was in good shape," Day said. "I had a ton of horse left."

Day swept by Arazi and went on to collar another long shot, Casual Lies. Lil E. Tee won the race by a length in 2 minutes, 4 seconds, the slowest running of the Derby on a fast track since 1974.

Lil E. Tee, who is trained in Kentucky by Lynn Whiting and is owned by 82-year-old Cal Partee, from Magnolia, Ark., paid $35.60, $12.60 and $7.60. Casual Lies returned $22 and $11.60, and the exacta paid $854.40.

Dance Floor, the horse owned by rap star Hammer, finished third, 4 1/4 lengths behind Lil E. Tee.

Even though Lil E. Tee got the first call away from the gate, Day said the horse had a rough trip after he eased him back off the pace during the first half-mile.

"Going into the first turn, Thyer came out on me, and for a few strides, I was bouncing off his heels," Day said. "But after that I had a clean trip. At the half-mile pole, Arazi blew by me, and I thought if he fired like he did in the Breeders' Cup last fall, I was running for second money."

Day said he pulled his horse out and followed Arazi.

When Arazi faded in the stretch, Day rallied for the win.

"Words can't begin to describe how I feel," Day said. "I'm ecstatic. A couple of years ago when Unbridled won the Derby and I saw the look on Mrs. [Frances] Genter's face [owner of Unbridled], I said that's the reason I got beat on Summer Squall. I see that look on Mr. Partee's face today. It was his turn."

Lil E. Tee might be headed for the Preakness.

"We'll take a long look at Pimlico, but the horse will tell us," Whiting said. "It just depends on how he comes out of this race."

Lil E. Tee is a Pennsylvania-bred son of little-known stallion At The Threshold and was sold privately as a yearling by his breeder, Larry Littman.

Littman recently recalled the sale: "I sent the colt to Florida to be sold. After he arrived there, I was told that he didn't seem like much of a horse. He had had serious colic surgery earlier. I was told he didn't move well and that he wouldn't ever be a racehorse. Well, I sold him for $2,000."

After Lil E. Tee won a race at Calder Race Course in Miami by 11 1/2 lengths in his second start last fall, Partee purchased the horse privately from trainer Mike Trivigno for $200,000.

The defeat of Arazi reached staggering proportions. It was the worst performance by an odds-on favorite in the history of the Derby. A total of $1,460,470 was bet on him, more than on any other Derby starter.

The colt seemed to fight Valenzuela and never settled in the early stages of the race.

The horse's trainer, Francois Boutin, said he was "trop frais. Too fresh and brilliant. This was not his style of race," he said.

"We're going home," Boutin said. "I knew he was beaten the first time they came by the grandstand."

Boutin said Arazi would leave Kentucky immediately and probably will run next in the June 3 Epsom Derby in England.

During the winner's presentation ceremony, Day, who had visited cancer patients in a children's hospital in Louisville on Friday, wore a cap given to him by one of the young patients.

He dedicated his win to the children. He received a new car from the Chrysler Corp. for his victory. "I'll keep the car, and even if I don't drive it, I'll keep it in my garage and I'll give it a few pats every now and then. I want it painted orange with a white interior [Partee's colors]," Day said.

Day, a born-again Christian, said he would donate the monetary equivalent of the car to the Disabled Jockeys Fund.

Partee has tried to win the Derby on three previous occasions. The best he did was third with Lil E. Tee's sire, At The Threshold, in 1984. At The Threshold also was trained by Whiting.

Whiting, 52, is a third-generation horseman and is a fixture at Churchill Downs, where he has trained regularly for about 14 years.

He previously had won 11 stakes there and had been the leading trainer.

There were several surprises in the race. When no one went for the early lead, Jorge Velasquez shot to the front with Snappy Landing. His pace-setting position didn't last long. Snappy Landing was overhauled by Dance Floor coming out of the first turn. After that, Dance Floor held on gamely until he was passed at the eighth pole by Casual Lies and Lil E. Tee.

Chris Antley, who rode Dance Floor, was successful in setting a slow pace. The fractions, by seconds, for each quarter of a mile were: 24 2/5, 47 4/5, 1:12 1/5, 1:37 3/5 and 2:04. The final quarter was run in 26 2/5, considered extremely slow.

Casual Lies, the Cinderella horse in the field, ran a strong race. His owner-trainer, Shelley Riley bought the colt as a yearling for -- $7,500 and then turned down a reported $3 million offer before BTC the Derby.

In contrast, Dr Devious, who was purchased for $2.5 million just a few weeks before the race, finished seventh. He is owned by Sidney Craig, wife of Jenny Craig, who founded a chain of weight-loss centers that bear her name.

A total of 132,543 attended yesterday's Derby. It was the seventh-highest attendance figure in the history of the race. The crowd at the track and at two other betting facilities bet

$17,629,387.

Top 10 finishers

Lil E. Tee.. ..$35.60..$12.60.. $7.60

Casual Lies.. .. .. .. $22.00..$11.60

Dance Floor.. .. .. .. .. .. ..$12.80

Conte Di Savoya

Pine Bluff

Al Sabin

Dr Devious

Arazi

My Luck Runs North

Technology

Biggest payoffs

Highest payoffs for winners of the Kentucky Derby since $2 mutuel bets began in 1911:

Donerail, 1913.. .. ..$184.90

Gallahadian, 1940.. .. $72.40

Proud Clarion, 1967.. .$62.20

Exterminator, 1918.. ..$61.20

Dark Star, 1953.. .. ..$51.80

Gato Del Sol, 1982.. ..$44.40

Bold Venture, 1936.. ..$43.00

Zev, 1923.. .. .. .. ..$40.40

Ferdinand, 1986.. .. ..$37.40

Lil E. Tee, 1992.. .. .$35.60

Winners

1875 Aristides

1876 Vagrant

1877 Baden Baden

1878 Day Star

1879 Lord Murphy

1880 Fonso

1881 Hindoo

1882 Apollo

1883 Leonatus

1884 Buchanan

1885 Joe Cotton

1886 Ben Ali

1887 Montrose

1888 MacBeth II

1889 Spokane

1890 Riley

1891 Kingman

1892 Azra

1893 Lookout

1894 Chant

1895 Halma

1896 Ben Brush

1897 Typhoon II

1898 Plaudit

1899 Manuel

1900 Lieut. Gibson

1901 His Eminence

1902 Alan-a-Dale

1903 Judge Himes

1904 Elwood

1905 Agile

1906 Sir Huon

1907 Pink Star

1908 Stone Street

1909 Wintergreen

1910 Donau

1911 Meridan

1912 Worth

1913 Donerail

1914 Old Rosebud

1915 Regret

1916 George Smith

1917 Omar Khayyam

1918 Exterminator

1919 Sir Barton

1920 Paul Jones

1921 Behave Yourself

1922 Morvich

1923 Zev

1924 Black Gold

1925 Flying Ebony

1926 Bubbling Over

1927 Whiskery

1928 Reigh Count

1929 Clyde Van Dusen

1930 Gallant Fox

1931 Twenty Grand

1932 Burgoo King

1933 Brokers Tip

1934 Cavalcade

1935 Omaha

1936 Bold Venture

1937 War Admiral

1938 Lawrin

1939 Johnstown

1940 Gallahadion

1941 Whirlaway

1942 Shut Out

1943 Count Fleet

1944 Pensive

1945 Hoop, Jr.

1946 Assault

1947 Jet Pilot

1948 Citation

1949 Ponder

1950 Middleground

1951 Count Turf

1952 Hill Gail

1953 Dark Star

1954 Determine

1955 Swaps

1956 Needles

1957 Iron Liege

1958 Tim Tam

1959 Tomy Lee

1960 Venetian Way

1961 Carry Back

1962 Decidedly

1963 Chateaugay

1964 Northern Dancer

1965 Lucky Debonair

1966 Kauai King

1967 Proud Clarion

1968 Forward Pass

1969 Majestic Prince

1970 Dust Commander

1971 Canonero II

1972 Riva Ridge

1973 Secretariat

1974 Cannonade

1975 Foolish Pleasure

1976 Bold Forbes

1977 Seattle Slew

1978 Affirmed

1979 Spectacular Bid

1980 Genuine Risk

1981 Pleasant Colony

1982 Gato del Sol

1983 Sunny's Halo

1984 Swale

1985 Spend A Buck

1986 Ferdinand

1987 Alysheba

1988 Winning Colors

1989 Sunday Silence

1990 Unbridled

1991 Strike the Gold

1992 Lil E. Tee

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