Sense(sational) Finish

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 3, 2007

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A mile into the Kentucky Derby, all the other horses were motoring along in fourth gear when Street Sense kicked it into fifth. Then he zeroed in on his last challenger, Hard Spun, went wide, and burned up the final quarter-mile like a dragster.

‘‘After that,’’ jockey Calvin Borel said, ‘‘it was just a matter of how far he’d win.’’

Street Sense showed plenty of that Saturday by smartly picking his way through traffic, roaring from next-to-last in a 20-horse field to win by 2 1/4 lengths. His final move was so powerful, it looked as though he might knock rival Any Given Saturday into the grandstand.

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‘‘Street Sense came blowing through there and it was like a big old wave,’’ jockey Garrett Gomez said. ‘‘He knocked my horse out from under me and knocked him off his feet again.

‘‘But that’s the Kentucky Derby.’’

The dark bay colt was so commanding that he broke two Derby jinxes and put a couple of guys in the winner’s circle late in their careers.