08/13/2008 11:00PM

Rule by Force sharp for Yavapai Derby

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Rule by Force looks to firmly establish himself as the king of Yavapai Downs when he heads Saturday’s $21,000 Yavapai Downs Thoroughbred Derby. The 1 1/16-mile event for 3-year-olds lured a field of nine. Rule by Force has, as expected, been pegged the favorite on the morning line at 9-5.

Owned by the Sandra Hall Trust and trained by Lyman Rollins, Rule by Force has won 5 of his 12 starts and earned over $96,000. His form at Yavapai has been exceptional. He won his maiden there last August and was then second in a trial for the Yavapai Downs Futurity. He gained revenge in the Futurity, rallying from just off the pace to score by a head.

A successful run during the first part of the Turf Paradise meet last winter saw him win twice more, including taking the Sail on By. He also ran second in the Fool the Experts. After finishing sixth in the Lost in the Fog Dec. 29 he wasn’t seen again until action returned here. He came back to be second in the Inaugural Handicap May 24 and got back on track with an easy win in the Yavapai Downs Handicap July 14. Miguel Hernandez has the mount again and the pair must deal with the outside post 9.

Claim the Throne opens the second choice on the morning line at 5-2. Trained by Jeff Faulkner, Claim the Throne comes into this off a smart allowance win over elders here Aug. 2 after over three months on the bench. Vince Guerra rides.

Darl’s Gem rates a look for trainer Dennis Sowers as the gelding comes into this having won three of his last four, including two over this track. They came against weaker but he may have turned the corner. Dennis Collins rides.