08/16/2012 3:40PM

Columbus: School's Out goes longer in Van Berg Derby


School’s Out comes off a strong victory to head a field of seven 3-year-olds in the $10,000 Van Berg Derby at a mile and 70 yards on Saturday night at the Columbus Races.

School’s Out, trained by Kelli Martinez, rallied from just off the pace to take the Hall of Fame Stakes locally on Aug. 4 by three lengths in his debut for his new connections. School’s Out was acquired privately out of Kentucky over the summer after winning his maiden at Churchill Downs and then finishing fifth against $40,000 claiming company there. This will be his first try beyond seven furlongs, but he appeared to have plenty left in his six- furlong win last out. Karlo Lopez will again ride.

Stellar Princess is one of the two fillies in this race and is also a recent acquisition for trainer Ken Hurley. Stellar Princess was claimed off a win in a maiden turf race at Colonial Downs on July 27. She made her Nebraska debut with a good second against entry-level allowance company last Saturday after getting off to a troubled start. Stellar Princess has been finishing up well in her turf route tries at Colonial and should be considered a strong contender here with Luis Robletto named to ride.

Trophy Club, the other filly in this spot, won the Inaugural Stakes here on July 28 to notch her fourth win of the year from 11 starts. She has a second against males going a mile in the Lincoln Derby on June 23 and should be a factor on the pace for trainer Tim Muckey. Leading rider Luis Ranilla has the mount.