Derby Contenders

Prep Race History

Date Race Grade Distance Finish Chart Replay
May 2 2009 135th Kentucky Derby presented by YUM! Brands Churchill Downs I 1 1/4 4 REPLAY

Connections

Gary Stute

Trainer

Gary Stute, 52, has training in his blood. His father Mel has been a fixture on the Southern California circuit for decades, conditioning such standouts as champion Snow Chief, hero of the 1986 Preakness S. (G1); champion Brave Raj, victorious in the 1986 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1); and the speedy filly Very Subtle, who defeated males in the 1987 Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1). Mel's brother Warren, who died in August 2007, likewise enjoyed high-profile success over the years, ranging from 1969 Hollywood Gold Cup winner *Figonero through 2002 Del Mar Debutante (G1) queen Miss Houdini, the dam of Papa Clem. Based at Santa Anita, Gary oversees a small string of just six horses. He has trained several stakes performers in recent years, including a promising juvenile in 2006 named Roman Commander, who won the Real Quiet S. and Barretts Juvenile S. and finished a good third in the Hollywood Futurity (G1). Roman Commander might have progressed onto the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail, but he unfortunately suffered an injury that cost him the first half of his three-year-old campaign. Hence Papa Clem is his first Kentucky Derby contender. "My dad trained Snow Chief, who I thought could do anything," Gary said after Papa Clem won the Arkansas Derby (G2). "When he went to the Kentucky Derby I thought he had a legitimate shot, but he disappointed (in 11th). Then he went to the Preakness and did so well. Up until today the Preakness was the happiest day of my life. He (Papa Clem) has done everything so perfect here at Oaklawn. He just doesn't want to get beat. He has a ton of heart."

Rafael Bejarano

Jockey

Bejarano fell in love with horse racing while attending the races in his native Peru. He studied at the country’s jockey school and groomed horses in the mornings to pay for his tuition. In May of 2002 he came to the United States and won his first race in July that same year. He has won riding titles at all major tracks in California and Kentucky. He won the 2010 Kentucky Oaks aboard champion Blind Luck.He was the regular rider for Breeders Cup winners Intercontinental and Ginger Punch. Other top horses from 2011 include Liaison, Weemissfrankie and Euroears.

Bo Hirsch

Owner

Papa Clem is a homebred campaigned by Bo Hirsch, who named the colt after his father, the legendary Clement L. Hirsch. A successful owner and breeder in California for about 40 years until his death in 2000, the elder Hirsch was instrumental in the establishment of the Oak Tree Racing Association. Clement Hirsch served as the first president of the not-for-profit organization, which has operated a meeting at Santa Anita every fall since 1969. Proceeds from the Oak Tree meetings are directed to deserving projects, including the Center for Equine Health and Performance at the University of California at Davis, the Race Track Chaplaincy and the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. During his tenure as president, Clement Hirsch also helped Oak Tree to stage the Breeders' Cup in 1986 and 1993. In recognition of his accomplishments, two major races have been named in his honor -- the Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship S. (G1) at Oak Tree and the Clement L. Hirsch H. (G2) for distaffers at Del Mar. As an owner, he raced such notables as *Figonero, winner of the 1969 Hollywood Gold Cup, and Magical Maiden, victress of the 1991 Hollywood Starlet S. (G1) and 1992 Las Virgenes S. (G1). Magical Maiden went on to produce Miss Houdini, who captured the 2002 Del Mar Debutante S. (G1) for Bo Hirsch. Miss Houdini later became the dam of Papa Clem. In keeping with the all-in-the-family connections, Figonero, Magical Maiden and Miss Houdini were all trained by Warren Stute, the late uncle of Papa Clem's trainer, Gary Stute.

Bo Hirsch

Breeder

Papa Clem is a homebred campaigned by Bo Hirsch, who named the colt after his father, the legendary Clement L. Hirsch. A successful owner and breeder in California for about 40 years until his death in 2000, the elder Hirsch was instrumental in the establishment of the Oak Tree Racing Association. Clement Hirsch served as the first president of the not-for-profit organization, which has operated a meeting at Santa Anita every fall since 1969. Proceeds from the Oak Tree meetings are directed to deserving projects, including the Center for Equine Health and Performance at the University of California at Davis, the Race Track Chaplaincy and the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. During his tenure as president, Clement Hirsch also helped Oak Tree to stage the Breeders' Cup in 1986 and 1993. In recognition of his accomplishments, two major races have been named in his honor -- the Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship S. (G1) at Oak Tree and the Clement L. Hirsch H. (G2) for distaffers at Del Mar. As an owner, he raced such notables as *Figonero, winner of the 1969 Hollywood Gold Cup, and Magical Maiden, victress of the 1991 Hollywood Starlet S. (G1) and 1992 Las Virgenes S. (G1). Magical Maiden went on to produce Miss Houdini, who captured the 2002 Del Mar Debutante S. (G1) for Bo Hirsch. Miss Houdini later became the dam of Papa Clem. In keeping with the all-in-the-family connections, Figonero, Magical Maiden and Miss Houdini were all trained by Warren Stute, the late uncle of Papa Clem's trainer, Gary Stute.

Pedigree

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Papa Clem

7

Pts

32