02/17/2010 1:00AM

Lentenor second in Gulfstream feature


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Lentenor's bid to secure a spot on the Kentucky Derby trail took a slight detour on Wednesday when he suffered a half-length setback at the hands of Doubles Partner in the featured eighth race at Gulfstream Park.

Lentenor, 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro's baby brother, contested the pace from the outset of Wednesday's $48,000 main event with another recent maiden winner Saint Eligius. The pair continued to battle on the front end through midstretch, where they were joined along the rail by Doubles Partner, who found just enough room inside the leaders to forge to a narrow victory. Doubles Partner paid $17.40, covering 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:48.41.

"I thought he performed well," said Michael Matz who trains Lentenor, as he did Barbaro, for the Lael Stables. "The pace was a little slow and he wouldn't pass the other horse right away. John [Velazquez] said he did some green things on the first turn and that he was also a little immature and green down the stretch. He just needs experience."

Matz said he was unsure what would be next for Lentenor although he didn't rule out the Grade 1 Florida Derby on March 27 as a possible option.

"We'll see how he comes out of this one," said Matz. "All these other horses have more experience than he does. It's just hard to play catch up at this time of year."