Neither the fans at Fairplex Park, where the race was telecast, nor those at Louisiana Downs, where the Super Derby was run, gave Wallenda much of a chance Saturday.
Wallenda was 8-1 on the morning line at Fairplex, but he paid $47.40 at Pomona and $42.40 in Louisiana after winning a four-horse photo finish that also involved Saintly Prospector, favored Peteski and Kissin Kris. The finish was so close that none of the jockeys, including Wallenda's Herb McCauley, was sure who won.
Southland-based Devoted Brass was beaten by less than a length in fifth place and was closing ground about as fast as Wallenda before he ran into traffic problems in the last sixteenth of a mile.
Wallenda was a prominent 3-year-old early this year, running third in the Florida Derby and second in the Blue Grass Stakes, but he was 13th in the Kentucky Derby, got sick after the race and didn't race for three months. His victory in the Pennsylvania Derby, about a month ago, was his first in nine starts this year.
"He made up a lot of ground in the stretch," McCauley said. "He was making tremendous strides."