Updated on 09/16/2011 8:50AM

Premeditation takes Yuletide Derby

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Sunland Park, N. M. - In Saturday's $50,000 Yuletide Derby William L. Clifton's heavily favored Premeditation benefited from an early speed duel that left front-running Lou's Expectation weary in deep stretch. Lou's Expectation set fractions of 21.80 and 44.13 under Daryl Montoya, racing along the rail while being pressured by longshot Mr. Crimson. Lou's Expectation and Montoya shook off that rival entering the stretch to be three in front at the eighth pole. Meanwhile, Garrett Gomez aboard Premeditation, had been content to sit six or seven lengths off that pace, waiting until near the stretch to angle five wide and go after the leader. Lou's Expectation was still holding onto a clear advantage approaching the sixteenth but it was soon evident that he was becoming wobbly-legged. Premeditation took over fifty yards out and edged away, getting the six and one-half furlongs in 1:16.01. Lou's Expactation held on for second and 25-1 shot Pacer made a mild late bid to gain the show.

Premeditation, a three-year-old Afternoon Deelites colt out of the Jade Hunter mare Berga, was bred in Kentucky by the late Allen Paulson. Purchased for $190,000 at the Keeneland September 2000 yearling sale, the $32,370 Premeditation earned in the Yuletide put his seasonal earnings at $193,927 with a record 9-3-1-1 on the year. Trained by Bill Leach, all of Premeditation's wins this season have come in stakes, having accounted for the Borderland Derby here last spring and the Alysheba Breeder's Cup at Lone Star in July. In his last race Premeditation had finished third in the Grade 3 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park.