LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Meetyouathebrig, a bay gelding named after a Southern California restaurant, found the Derby Trial more to his taste than his previous two races and won the Grade III event by 6 1/4 lengths Saturday over a fast Churchill Downs track.
Jockey Robby Albarado was content to bide his time in the one-mile race, waiting until the final quarter to make his move, and then won with ease in 1:36 2/5.
Dream Run, with Pat Day aboard, was sent off as the 5-2 favorite by the crowd of 16,004 on opening day at Churchill Downs and finished second, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of One by the Knows, ridden by Mark Guidry.
Day and Guidry both will be riding in the 127th Kentucky Derby next Saturday, but while Albarado said Meetyouathebrig "might like the extra [quarter-mile] distance fine," trainer Elliott Walden said the gelding will not be entered.
"No, I don't think so," Walden said. "We gave him his chances to prove he belonged in that race, but he didn't get there. He looked good today, but I think it's too late."
Meetyouathebrig finished eighth in the Grade I Fountain of Youth in Florida in February. He fared only slightly better in the Grade II Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park in March, coming in seventh.
Saturday's 11-horse field was more to his liking, although he was overlooked in the betting and went off at 8-1.
"I had a lot of confidence in him today," Albarado said. "He [Walden] said to get him snugged up from the start, then make a run."
Owned by Mansell Stable and James H. Stone, Meetyouathebrig earned $72,602 for his fourth victory in eight starts and increased his career earnings to $207,594.
"This horse has lots of talent, he just hasn't shown it to everyone this year," Walden said.