06/01/2007 11:00PM

Authorized gets Dettori his Derby


Authorized assumed command of the European 3-year-old division with an overwhelming five-length victory in the $2.47 million Epsom Derby on Saturday, giving Frankie Dettori his first victory in the 1 1/2-mile classic in his 15th try.

Despite breaking a step slowly, Authorized hardly had an anxious moment in outclassing his 16 rivals. Tenth coming down the hill approaching the turn at Tattenham Corner into the 3 1/2-furlong stretch, Authorized cruised into seventh at the quarter pole with Dettori sitting chilly. Producing a burst of speed that had become his trademark in winning last October's Racing Post Trophy and last month's Dante Stakes, Authorized was soon clear, crossing the line in glorious isolation.

Eagle Mountain proved the best of Aidan O'Brien's eight runners in second, 2 1/2 lengths in front of Lingfield Derby Trial winner Aqaleem. George Strawbridge's Dynaformer colt Lucarno, third most of the way and second when the real running began, lasted for fourth, a head behind Aqaleem.

The time for the 1 1/2 miles on a drying-out course labeled good was 2:34.77, making this the fastest Epsom Derby since 1998.

Not only was Authorized giving the irrepressible Dettori his first Derby victory, he was also giving trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam his second, his first having come 15 years ago with Dr Devious. In the late 90s Chapple-Hyam suffered a series of reversals and wound up training in Hong Kong, where he found little success. He returned to England three years ago, setting up shop in Newmarket. Among his clients are Saleh Al Homaizi and Imad Al Sagar, Saudi businessmen who are the owners of Authorized, a son of Montjeu. They bought him for $780,000, and turned a healthy profit on Saturday as his Derby win earned them $1,406,724.

As low as 4-5 in the betting on Thursday, Authorized began to drift on Friday as players were perhaps intimidated by O'Brien's Irish invaders. He went off the rather easy-to-back 5-4 favorite, with Archipenko, the O'Brien-trained winner of the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial, the second choice at 13-2. Archipenko, however, was near the back end throughout and finished dead last, beaten 50 lengths under Michael Kinane who, ironically, is one of Authorized breeders in Ireland along with Marengo Investments and Knighton House Ltd.

As for Dettori, he joins Gordon Richards, the great English rider who was British champion 26 times from 1925 and 1954, with a single Derby win. The 36-year-old Italian still has a long way to go, however, to catch Lester Piggott, who holds the record with nine Derby triumphs.