01/01/2010 12:00AM

Fly by Phil upsets Tropical Park Derby

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MIAMI - Fly by Phil made his turf debut a winning one, wearing down 4-5 favorite Lost Aptitude over a yielding course to register a head decision in Friday's for 3-year-olds at Calder. The Grade 3 Tropical Park Derby is the first graded race decided in North America each year.

Fly by Phil, a homebred son of Act of Duty owned by Gilbert Campbell, brought a two-race win streak into the 1 1/8-mile Tropical Park Derby. Reserved close up and just off the pace of Lost Aptitude by jockey Eduardo Nunez, Fly by Phil went after the leader turning for home and just managed to forge past that rival in the final strides despite being carried well out past the middle of the soggy course by the tiring favorite.

Lost Aptitude, who also had won his previous two starts including Churchill Downs' Grand Canyon Stakes in his 2-year-old finale, set an uncontested pace, dug in gamely when challenged, but could not last while getting out steadily through the final furlong.

Cat Park rallied belatedly to finish third.

Fly by Phil, who is trained by the meet's leading trainer, Kathleen O'Connell, paid $49 after covering the distance in 1:52.89.