Social Paranoia wins the Dueling Grounds Derby at Kentucky Downs
The Elkstone Group's Social Paranoiawas less than a length away from being a stakes winner—and a grade 1 winner at that—when he was entered in the $600,000 Exacta Systems Dueling Grounds Derby Sept. 8 at Kentucky Downs.
After competing in the first two legs of the New York Racing Association's Turf Trinity series, trainer Todd Pletcher detoured the Street Boss colt through Kentucky, and the 3-year-old will be returning home with a black-type score to his name.
"He's always trained like a nice horse, always run well on both surfaces," Pletcher said. "He's obviously been really holding up with top competition. We felt like he'd handle the course, hoped to get an inside draw and a good trip and it worked out."
Social Paranoia missed Henley's Joyby three-quarters of a length, finishing second in the July 6 Belmont Derby Invitational (G1T), then was out of the money for the first time with a fourth in the Aug. 4 Saratoga Derby. He was bet down to the 1-2 favorite in Sunday's race.
The dark bay settled in third under jockey Jose Ortiz in the 1 5/16-mile test for sophomores. Templeshowed the way through a :49.87 half-mile over Ry's the Guyand Social Paranoia. The three remained locked in battle ahead of their seven rivals, with Bundibunanthrowing his hat in the ring from seventh and moving Social Paranoia back to fourth with five-sixteenths left to go.
But the favorite fought back and got up this time, scoring by half a length. He hit the wire in 2:08.50 on firm turf.
"He got up the hill beautiful, down the hill beautiful, and then I had to work my way out from the three-eighths pole to the quarter pole, follow the two leaders," Ortiz said. "Finally, I knew when Chris (Landeros on Ry's the Guy) would make his horse to switch leads, I would have an opening."
Ry's the Guy finished second ahead of Temple and Bundibunan.
The Dueling Grounds Derby improved Social Paranoia's record to 2-4-4 in 11 starts with $780,100 in earnings. That's more than 10 times what the colt cost at The July Sale, Fasig-Tipton's select yearling sale in Kentucky, when Elkstone purchased him for $75,000 from Brookdale Sales' consignment.
Social Paranoia was bred in Kentucky by Mineola Farm and Silent Grove Farm out of the Deputy Minister mare Shutterbug. His full yearling brother was entered in the Keeneland September Yearling Sale as Hip 82 with Brookdale, agent for Mineola, but has been scratched. Shutterbug foaled another Street Boss colt May 4 before being bred to Bernardini .