07/11/2009 12:00AM

Pocket Cowboys goes wire to wire in N.Y. Derby


Pocket Cowboys handled a sloppy track and the step up to stakes company to pull a mild surprise in Saturday's 37th running of the $150,000 New York Derby at Finger Lakes.

Sent to the front in the 1 1/16-mile race restricted to 3-year-old New York-breds by jockey Paul Nicol Jr., Pocket Cowboys ($14.60) was under pressure while setting fractions of 48.63 seconds and 1:12.60. Slevin, the 5-2 second choice in a field of six, and Legal Consent, the even-money favorite on the basis of his win in the first leg of the Big Apple Triple on June 21, made stretch bids on either side of Pocket Cowboys. Slevin got within a half-length of the leader with a furlong remaining, but Pocket Cowboys refused to fold and inched clear to prevail by 1 1/4 lengths while completing the distance in 1:45.12.

Slevin, runner-up to Legal Consent in last month's Mike Lee at Belmont Park, held second, a length in front of Uncle T Seven, who got third by a neck over Legal Consent.

Pocket Cowboys, a son of Wild Event owned and trained by Scott Schwartz, needed five starts to win his maiden and came into the derby still eligible for a second-level allowance. He had previous experience over wet surfaces, posting a pair of seconds and a win over tracks rated sloppy and good in his last three starts.

Pocket Cowboys's third win in nine lifetime starts means there will be no sweep of the Big Apple Triple. The series concludes with the $150,000 Albany at Saratoga on Aug. 26.