Ancient Rome To Stretch Out in Gulfstream Park Derby

Ancient Rome To Stretch Out in Gulfstream Park Derby

12/27/2011

Trainer Anthony Dutrow admits he isn’t sure if his soon-to-be-3-year-old Ancient Rome will be able to stretch out around two turns, but by the time the field for Sunday’s inaugural running of the Gulfstream Park Derby hits the wire he should have a pretty good idea.

“I honestly don’t know what to expect,” Dutrow said.  “Ancient Rome certainly has the talent, and if he can get the distance, he’s going to be a useful 3-year-old this year.  It’s all about experimenting here.”

Dutrow says the year’s first Derby – run at 1 1/16 miles – will help him decide on a path for the remainder of 2012 with his son of Roman Ruler.

“There are so many opportunities for 3-year-olds throughout the year,” he said.  “That’s why we’re stretching him out sooner rather than later.  If it doesn’t work out, we’re not going to argue.  We’ll just campaign him as a sprinter.”

Michael Dubb’s Anicent Rome is exiting a win at Gulfstream Park in the six-furlong Spectacular Bid.  The Roman Ruler colt battled for the lead throughout and fought back gamely in the stretch when passed by eventual runner-up For Oby.

“He’s always shown that toughness,” Dutrow said.  “That’s one thing we know for sure about him.  I would anticipate coming out of those sprint races he would be out on the lead or at least with the pacemakers.”

While Dutrow reiterates that Ancient Rome’s start in the Gulfstream Park Derby is an experiment, the conditioner is looking to his horse’s pedigree for hints on the result.

“He’s by Roman Ruler so we’re looking at that when thinking about the stretch out,” Dutrow said.  “His daddy has produced a Belmont winner (Ruler on Ice) so we’ll just have to wait and see.”