10/29/2017 2:36PM

Sharp Samurai changes tactics in Twilight Derby

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Sharp Samurai wins the Twilight Derby by 2 3/4 lengths over Big Score.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Sharp Samurai extended his winning streak to four races, all in stakes, with Saturday’s Grade 2 Twilight Derby at Santa Anita.

This time, Sharp Samurai showed a different style of racing than his recent victories.

Jockey Gary Stevens had Sharp Samurai disputing the pace throughout the $201,380 Twilight Derby at 1 1/8 miles on turf. In his three previous wins, at distances ranging from 1 1/16 miles to 1 1/8 miles, Sharp Samurai closed from three or four lengths off the pace and took the lead in the final quarter-mile.

The way Sharp Samurai responded to Stevens on Saturday left trainer Mark Glatt confident the gelding continues to develop.

“He let him do what he wanted,” Glatt said.

Sharp Samurai won the Twilight Derby by 2 3/4 lengths over Big Score, who was a half-length in front of Bowies Hero. They were the first three finishers of the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby on Sept. 3.

Owned by Jed and Tim Cohen, Sharp Samurai is likely to have his Grade 1 debut in the $300,000 Hollywood Derby at 1 1/8 miles on turf at Del Mar on Nov. 25.

Sharp Samurai has won four of five starts on turf, beginning with a first-condition optional claimer in April. His only loss on the surface was a fourth in the Singletary Stakes at 1 1/8 miles when he was part of a quick pace. The pace was not as fast Saturday.

“When he won that first allowance condition, I knew he’d develop into something good,” Glatt said. “Did I think he would win as easy as he did yesterday? No. He picked it up yesterday.”