BOSSIER CITY, La. -- Named after the famous tightrope walker, Wallenda pulled a wire act of his own Saturday at Louisiana Downs.
Dogwood Stable's 3-year-old came from nowhere in the stretch to score an upset victory in a wild Super Derby finish that was almost too close for the camera to call. The 20-1 Wallenda crossed under the wire a short nose in front of John Franks' Saintly Prospector, who had a head on heavily favored Canadian Triple Crown winner Peteski. Then it was another head back to fourth-place Kissin Kris, also owned by Franks.
Even after the finish was slowed down frame-by-frame on ESPN and racetrack cameras, opinions were divided as to which horse won.
"I don't think anybody in the world could have called it," Dogwood manager Cot Campbell said.
Wallenda rallied from last place under jockey Herb McCauley, capitalizing on the fastest pace in the 14-year Super Derby history. He paid $42.40, becoming the fourth consecutive long shot to triumph in the $750,000 race.
Wallenda went the one and a quarter miles in 2:02 3/5 and earned $450,000 for the five-man Dogwood partnership, increasing his career winnings to $856,994.