10/13/2006 11:00PM

Dark Islander wins Oak Tree Derby in U.S. debut


ARCADIA, Calif. – Making his first start in the United States, Dark Islander rallied wide on the final turn to defeat the stakes winners Obrigado and A.P. Warrior in Saturday’s $150,000 at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Jose Valdivia, Jr., Dark Islander ($8.80) ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:46.21. He finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of Obrigado, who finished 2 1-4 lengths clear of A.P. Warrior in the field of six. A.P. Warrior was the 6-5 favorite.

Dark Islander raced behind the leaders for the first six furlongs, and reached contention quickly on the final turn. Valdivia tapped him with a whip on a few times and quickly got a response in the stretch.

Owned by Donald Kerr and trained by John Hills, Dark Islander has 4 four of 11 starts and $178,352. He won two minor handicaps in England in July and September.