10/31/2014 3:59PM

Long On Value surges late to win Twilight Derby

Barbara D. Livingston
Long On Value (left) rallies under Rosie Napravnik to edge pacesetter Sawyer's Hill in the Twilight Derby.

ARCADIA, Calif. - From Saratoga via Minnesota, Long On Value won the most prestigious race of his career in Friday’s $201,500 Twilight Derby at Santa Anita.

Long On Value ($25) closed from fifth in a field of 11 to win the Grade 2 Twilight Derby over an unlucky pacesetter Sawyer’s Hill, a 9-1 shot.

The victory impressed trainer Bill Mott, who said he  thought the Twilight Derby over 1 1/8 miles on turf might have been be too far for Long On Value.

“I was concerned about the distance,” he said. “I wanted to give him a chance with the firm turf.”

Long On Value was timed in 1:46.82. Ridden by Rosie Napravnik, Long On Value closed between horses to be second in the stretch, 1 1/2 lengths behind Sawyer’s Hill. Long On Value made steady progress in the final furlong to reach the front in the final strides.

“She was very patient and did a great job,” Mott said of Napravnik.

Sawyer’s Hill, second in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby on Aug. 31, was a game second, finishing  a neck in front of 9-1 Divine Oath, who was followed by Flamboyant, Talco, Ring Weekend, Patriots Rule, Enterprising, Sammy Mandeville, Yard Line. and Crushed It.

Ring Weekend, the 8-5 favorite, was well-placed in the stretch, running in third with a furlong remaining, but could not sustain the effort.

The Twilight Derby was Napravnik’s second stakes win in as many days. She won the minor Big Bear Stakes with the millionaire Regally Ready on Thursday.

Long On Value races for George Kerr and Wachtel Stable. A colt by Value Plus, Long On Value was fourth in the Grade 2 National Racing Museum Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga at Saratoga on Aug. 8 and won his first turf stakes in the Mystic Lake Derby at Canterbury Park in Minnesota on Sept. 13. The Mystic Lake Derby is one of Canterbury’s top Thoroughbred races.

 “I always look for a Santa Anita prep race at Canterbury Park,” Mott said in the winner’s circle, smiling.

Long On Value has won 5 of 13 starts and earned $418,388. The colt will be considered for the $300,000 Del Mar Derby over 1 1/8 miles on turf on Nov. 29, Mott said.