Gayego takes Arkansas Derby

AP Sports Writer
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) - Gayego held off hard-charging Z Fortune
down the stretch to win the $1 million Arkansas Derby in a race
that should bolster both colts' Kentucky Derby prospects.
Gayego, the morning-line favorite, went to the lead along the
backstretch but had to hold off Z Fortune. He won by about a
half-length, covering the 1 1-8 miles in 1 minute, 49.63 seconds -
slightly faster than 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin ran the race
last year.
In years past, the Arkansas Derby has been a proving ground for
some of the world's finest 3-year-olds. Smarty Jones, Afleet Alex,
Lawyer Ron and Curlin all won it, cementing the race's status as
one of the top Kentucky Derby preps.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)