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Art Collector wins Ellis Park Derby, earns Kentucky Derby points

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A general view of the horses breaking at the gate during Opening Day at Del Mar, 5 1/2 Furlongs Southland Title Children’s Foundation Race on July 19, 2006 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Del Mar, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

HENDERSON, Ky. (AP) Blue Grass winner Art Collector led all the way in winning the $200,000 Ellis Park Derby by 3 1/4 lengths on Sunday, and earned 50 qualifying points for next month’s Kentucky Derby.

Ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., Art Collector ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.02 and paid $2.80, $2.20 and $2.10.

“We’re going into the Derby now with a legitimate horse,” Hernandez said. “Like we said after the Blue Grass, he’s proven he’s getting better and better with each race. He showed it again today. He put everyone away.”

Attachment Rate returned $8 and $5.40 and earned 20 Derby points. Necker Island was another 2 1/2 lengths back in third and paid $8 to show. He earned 10 points. Rowdy Yates was fourth and earned five points.

Art Collector improved to 4-0 since joining trainer Tom Drury’s barn. The colt has 150 total points and is third on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard for the Sept. 5 race.

“How do you knock a horse like that?” Dale Romans, who trains Attachment Rate, said of the winner. “He’s pretty versatile. He’s won in front, come from behind. He’s a really good horse, for sure.”

It was the first time in the track’s 98-year history that it hosted a Kentucky Derby qualifier. It did so as a result of changes to the qualifying races caused by the coronavirus.