12/31/2016 5:25PM

Giant Run holds off Oscar Nominated in Tropical Park

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Lauren King/Coglianese Photos
Giant Run paid $19.80 in winning the Tropical Park Derby on Saturday.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Giant Run began his 3-year-old campaign by winning his maiden at Gulfstream Park on January 2. He ended it here 364 days later with a much more noteworthy victory, a 1 1/2-length decision over 2-1 favorite Oscar Nominated in the $75,000 Tropical Park Derby.

Perfectly ridden by Joe Bravo, Giant Run sat in the garden spot behind a trio of embattled leaders, rallied four wide to take command nearing the furlong marker, edged clear, then easily withstood a futile final try from Oscar Nominated. The latter moved up outside and just behind the winner into the stretch, but ultimately proved no match while outlasting 35-1 Two Step Time by a nose to be second.

Giant Run, a son of Giant’s Causeway, is trained by Tom Albertrani for owners Robert Baker and William Mack. The Tropical Park Derby was the fourth stakes win of the season for Giant Run, who completed 1 1/16 miles over a firm course in 1:40.02. He paid $19.80.          

“You couldn’t have asked for a horse to be in a better spot going into the first turn, just sitting there all by himself behind the leaders without anybody putting any pressure on him,” Albertrani said. “It just worked out in our favor. It looked like Joe had plenty of horse once he reached the three-eighths pole, I could see him peeking over his shoulder, kind of looking for the competition. He was just waiting to push the button, and he had an extra gear today. I was really impressed with that.”

Giant Run came into the Tropical Park Derby off his only poor performance of the year, a ninth-place finish in the English Channel at Belmont Park.

“His last race was just dreadful, he had such a hard trip right from the start, he was checked three or four times during the race.  Joe just didn’t have a chance to really get him into a rhythm,” Albertrani said. “Today he came back and showed his true talent.”