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Perfect Spy Holds Off Forty Niner, Early Favorite for Kentucky Derby

February 04, 1988

Perfect Spy took the lead at the top of the stretch and held on to upset Forty Niner, the 1987 Eclipse Award winner as a 2-year-old and early favorite for the Kentucky Derby, in the Hutchinson Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Forty Niner, a winner of five of six starts last year, finished second, one length back in the seven-furlong prep for the Florida Derby, a steppingstone to the Kentucky Derby.

Forty Niner's trainer, Woody Stephens, said he wasn't disappointed.

"This was Forty Niner's first start in over two months," he said. "The year is young. He was in between two horses and they were really rushing him. (Jockey Eddie) Maple said these horses will never beat him again and I believe him. We were giving eight pounds to the winner. This race has got to help him."

Perfect Spy, which had not been nominated to the Florida Derby but will now receive an automatic nomination, has won 4 of 10 career starts, earning $100,455. The brown gelding, ridden by Jean Luc Samyn, paid $19, $5 and $2.40. Forty Niner paid $2.80 and $2.10. Eugene Klein's Notebook paid $2.20 to finish third.

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