01/14/2006 12:00AM

Brother Derek upsets Stevie

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In a classic front-running effort under Alex Solis, Brother Derek (right) wins the San Rafael with Stevie Wonderboy and Garrett Gomez in futile chase.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Brother Derek, fourth behind Stevie Wonderboy in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile in October, denied Stevie Wonderboy a winning start to his 2006 campaign with a front-running win in Saturday's $150,000 at Santa Anita.

The victory confirmed Brother Derek's status as a 3-year-old to follow as the Triple Crown preps continue in coming months.

Ridden by Alex Solis for Dan Hendricks, Brother Derek ($4.60) led throughout the one-mile San Rafael, finishing 1 1/2 lengths in front of Stevie Wonderboy. Wanna Runner finished third in the field of four, followed by Woody Be Quick.

Brother Derek was in control of the race throughout and quickened in the stretch to score his third career stakes win.

Breaking from post 2, Brother Derek led into the first turn, closely followed by Wanna Runner. Woody Be Quick raced on the rail, with Stevie Wonderboy racing off the rail in fourth.

Brother Derek led by a length over Wanna Runner on the backstretch, through early fractions of 23.48 and 46.80 seconds. At that point, Brother Derek had a four-length advantage on Stevie Wonderboy, who was still last.

At the quarter pole, Brother Derek extended his lead by two lengths over Wanna Runner. By then, jockey Garrett Gomez had guided Stevie Wonderboy three wide and was beginning to close ground.

Through the stretch, Brother Derek maintained his advantage, finishing in 1:36.11.

Owned by Cecil Peacock, Brother Derek has won 4 of 6 starts and $592,080. He won the Grade 2 Norfolk Stakes over this course in October and the Grade 1 Hollywood Futurity at Hollywood Park in December.

The Grade 2 San Rafael was the second meeting between Brother Derek and Stevie Wonderboy.

Owned by Merv Griffin, Stevie Wonderboy vaulted to the top of the 2-year-old division with 3 wins in 5 starts last year. He won two stakes in that campaign - the Grade 2 Del Mar Futurity at seven furlongs by five lengths on Sept. 7 and the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Belmont Park on Oct. 29.

The San Rafael field was reduced to four by the scratches of M.J. Pkay and Sailors Sunset.