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Japan-bred colt Master Fencer could run in Kentucky Derby

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Master Fencer could become the first Japan-bred colt to run in the Kentucky Derby.

The 3-year-old chestnut has two wins in six career starts and earnings of $234,392. Master Fencer finished fourth with 19 points on the Japan Road to the Derby on May 5. But the top three finishers weren’t nominated to the Triple Crown series and declined the invitation.

The four-race Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby began in 2017 and is separate from the 35 races that U.S.-based horses compete in to earn qualifying points for the 20-horse Derby field.

Master Fencer is trained by former jockey Koichi Tsunoda and owned by Katsumi and Yasuyo Yoshizawa.

Two horses based in Japan have run in the Derby. Ski Captain finished 14th in 1995 and Lani was ninth in 2016.

Rafael Bejarano rides 4,000th winner at Santa Anita

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ARCADIA, Calif. — Jockey Rafael Bejarano rode his 4,000th career winner at Santa Anita.

He guided filly Portal Creek to a 3 }-length victory in the third race Saturday for trainer Bob Hess Jr.

The 36-year-old Peruvian jockey says Santa Anita has always been a special place for him. He won six races at the Southern California track in his first day riding there on April 8, 2006.

Bejarano came to the U.S. in 2002 after training at a national riding academy in Peru. He led the U.S. in victories with 455 in 2004.

He has career purse earnings of $200,611,833 and five victories in the Breeders’ Cup.

Maximum Security to race for first time since Kentucky Derby

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OCEANPORT, N.J. — Maximum Security will race this weekend for the first time since being disqualified in the Kentucky Derby.

The Jason Servis-trained colt was among six 3-year-olds entered Thursday for the $150,000 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park on Sunday.

The 1 1/16-mile race in New Jersey will be the first in more than two months for Maximum Security. The colt galloped 1 1/8 miles here Wednesday.

In the Derby on May 2, Maximum Security got to the finish line 1}-lengths ahead of Country House. The victory was overturned 22 minutes later when the stewards disqualified the 9-2 second choice because of interference with eventual Preakness winner War of Will and other horses.

It marked the first time in the 145-year history of the Derby that the first-place finisher was disqualified for interference.