Updated on 09/17/2011 11:17AM

Mr. Technique upsets California Derby

Vassar Photo
Mr. Technique edges clear of Apalachian Thunder to win Saturday's $100,000 California Derby at Bay Meadows by one length in 1:47.65 for the 1 1/8 miles.

SAN MATEO, Calif. - Mr. Technique ($20) benefited from a change in equipment and made a strong move down the stretch to win the $100,000 at Bay Meadows.

"He's a tough horse to ride and a tough horse to train," winning trainer Jeff Bonde said after his second victory in the California Derby. He also won the race in 1999 with Red Sky's.

Mr. Technique was last early in the field of six as stablemate Souvenir's Lad set fractions of 22.78 seconds, 45.37, and 1:08.42 for the 1 1/8-mile race. Apalachian Thunder sat just off him and took the lead into the lane, but Mr. Technique was moving well while wide and clear on the turn.

He was second, trailing by three lengths, in the lane and wore down Apalachian Thunder late to win by one length in 1:47.65.

"I knew those two were showing a lot of speed so I wasn't worried," winning jockey Roberto Gonzalez said. "Turning for home, I was running for second. But that last sixteenth, the margin got shorter and shorter."

Bonde made a change with Mr. Technique's reins, a move that paid off.

"This is a talented horse but a difficult horse," he said. "He was running with his head too high so we put draw reins on him to keep his head down."

The move paid off as Mr. Technique won for the first time since he captured the San Mateo Stakes here last Sept. 1.

Bonde said Mr. Technique would probably run next in the 1 1/16-mile Ascot Handicap on the turf here on May 10.