07/02/2007 12:00AM

O'Brien runners dominate Irish Derby


It was all Aidan O'Brien at the Curragh on Sunday as the master Irish trainer swept the first three places in Sunday's Irish Derby after taking the first two spots in the Railway Stakes.

Soldier of Fortune led home a parade of O'Brien trainees in the $2 million Irish Derby, slamming stablemate Alexander of Hales by nine lengths with the 3-2 favorite Eagle Mountain third, just a short head behind the runner-up. Fifth behind Authorized in the Epsom Derby, the 5-1 Soldier of Fortune was ridden to his impressive score by Jamie Heffernan, getting the 1 1/2 miles on soft to heavy ground in 2:36.00. British invader Boscobel was fourth while the French-trained duo of Royal and Regal and Shamdinan disappointed in eighth and ninth.

By 2001 Irish Derby winner Galileo, Soldier of Fortune is out of a half-sister to Irish Derby runner-up Sholokhov. He is the fifth Irish Derby winner for O'Brien, who just seven weeks ago trained three of the first four finishers in the classic French 2000 Guineas.

O'Brien has no certain plans for Soldier of Fortune, but suggested that "he might be an Arc horse."

Lizard Island and South Dakota, both by Danehill Dancer and both trained by O'Brien, finished one-two in the $170,000 Group 2 Railway Stakes for 2-year-olds. The 3-1 winner led throughout the six furlongs under Heffernan to win by three- quarters of a length while clocking 1:18.70.

On Saturday, O'Brien was also successful in the 1 1/4-mile Group 1, $340,000 Pretty Polly Stakes as his English Oaks runner-up Peeping Fawn defeated last year's 1000 Guineas winner Speciosa by two lengths with recent French Oaks winner West Wind third.

At Hamburg on Sunday, the 5-1 Adlerflug won the German Derby by seven lengths from Antek, traveling the 1 1/2 miles on soft ground in 2:36.57.