Colonelsdarktemper seized the advantage breaking from the starting gate and led all the way in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (G3) at Mountaineer, notching his first stakes victory with a one-length decision. An allowance winner at Churchill Downs in late May, the Jinx Fires-trained colt was ridden by Jon Court.
By Colonel John, Colonelsdarktemper didn’t compete in the Triple Crown but flattered Kentucky Derby participants McCraken and Irap after finishing second to those rivals in the Matt Winn (G3) at Churchill Downs and Indiana Derby (G3) at Indiana Grand, respectively. The dark bay colt is owned by A.J. Foyt Jr.
The winner recorded splits in :23.78, :47.85 and 1:13.05 on a short lead and spurted clear leaving the far turn. He was off as the 7-1 odds. Game Over, the 4-1 second choice, stalked up close during the early stages and gamely tried to run down the winner in the stretch before settling for runner-up honors.
It was 3 ¼ lengths back to Kentucky Derby runner-up Lookin at Lee, who was off at 9-2 following a fourth in the Preakness and a seventh in the Belmont Stakes. Patch, the 2-1 favorite after finishing 14th in the Kentucky Derby and third in the Belmont Stakes, wound up another neck back in fourth.
Bred in Kentucky by Hargus and Sandra Sexton and SilverFern Fam LLC, Colonelsdarktemper has proved to be a bargain weanling purchase for $35,000 at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October sale. He hails from the Stormy Atlantic mare Sweet Temper and counts Grade 1 winner Pattern Step as his second maternal dam.
Colonelsdarktemper won his career debut at Oaklawn Park in mid-February and has now earned $653,050 from an 8-3-2-1 record.