Updated on 09/17/2011 11:38AM

Stroll stars in derby (at $2.40)

Jean Raftery
Jockey Gary Bain guides Love Sting to victory in the $200,000 Calder Oaks for trainer Jennifer Hayford and owner Emerald Pastures Corp. Inc.

MIAMI - Stroll looked like the surest bet on Saturday's $1.5 million Festival of the Sun program, and sure enough he delivered as promised, getting through along the hedge en route to a 3 3/4-length victory over runner-up Certifiably Crazy in the $200,000 Calder Derby. The win was the third on the day for jockey Jerry Bailey, who also won the Birdonthewire Stakes aboard Wynn Dot Comma and the My Dear Girl with Chatter Chatter.

Stroll was clearly the class of the Grade 3 Calder Derby field, entering the race with a four-race win streak that included two Grade 2 victories. Bailey rode the son of Pulpit with complete confidence, stalking the early pace of Certifiably Crazy, slipping inside of the leader to wrest control on the far turn, and drawing away gradually through the stretch. Super Frolic rallied belatedly to finish a well-beaten third.

Stroll paid $2.40 and covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.39 over a firm course. Stroll is owned by his breeder, Claiborne Farm, and trained by Bill Mott.

"He had a little tendency to be rank in his earlier races, particularly when there was a slow pace," said Mott. "Fortunately, Jerry was able to get him over to the inside and he got through. We talked about going to the Breeders' Cup but I leaned toward the conservative side. Next year might be another story if he progresses."

Love Sting posts $39 upset

Love Sting scored the day's biggest upset, a 1 3/4-length victory over Miss Tassy and nine other 3-year-old fillies in the $200,000 Calder Oaks. The Oaks was Love Sting's stakes debut.

Love Sting, who won first- and second-level allowance races in her previous two starts, rallied from just off the early pace of Gypsy Dot, drew off to a four-length advantage in early stretch, and was not seriously threatened by Miss Tassy's closing surge. Formal Miss, the even-money favorite, raced within striking distance but had no rally and finished third.

Love Sting, a daughter of Lit de Justice, is owned by Emerald Pastures Corp. and trained by Jennifer Hayford. Love Sting has given Hayford all three of her wins at the meet. Love Sting was ridden by regular jockey Gary Bain, who was posting his first stakes win since the 1996 Emerald Dunes Handicap on That's Our Buck.

Love Sting paid $39 and combined with the 12-1 Miss Tassy for a $411.60 exacta return. She ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.73.

"I'm probably the happiest person but not the most surprised," said Hayford, a former rider. "I felt good about her chances going into the race."