American Dream Derby
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Because they're running out of card games to show, GSN decides to take a perimutual approach to reality TV and give one of twelve people the chance to not only win $250,000 but a stable of eight racehorses! It's the American Dream Derby from Santa Anita Park! Place your bets and get to the post because... THEY'RE OFF!

Recaps by Chris Wolvie, GSNN


Steve Santagati
Trainer: Alex Hassinger
Creator: Richard Cronin
Scott A. Stone, Sharon Levy, Anthony Ross, Kathy Sutula
Packager: Stone & Co. Entertainment Productions for GSN Originals
Airs: Mondays at 9p ET on GSN

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Episode 3 - January 17

Previously on AMERICAN DREAM DERBY, Dean won a weighted foot race in the Owner's Challenge and picked Jewel, Levar and Chris to join her in the mansion. Aaron was the winner of a MESSY Stablehand Challenge by noticing horses and digging through oats to get the names right. Jewel and Deanna were picked to go through the Guts Match and, like last time, Deanna won it, earning $5000 more for herself and making Jewel depart.

The next day, the ten remaining owner-wannabes have a hot lunch in the clubhouse. They're all thinking about yesterday and how Gad-awful Jewel's choice of horses was. Even Deanna, who has won TWO Guts Matches so far, couldn't believe how poorly Jewel chose. Aaron thinks it was just luck and Susan thinks she can out-think her. Dean and Levar are close to an alliance.

OK, it's time for another Owner's Challenge to find out who's sleeping in luxury and who's sleeping in the hay tonight. Your host Steve Santagati explains the game. On the DiamondVision toteboard, horse-related questions will appear. The answer to each question is a number. Steve will go down the line asking for answers. If they're wrong, Steve will say higher or lower for the next player to answer. Whoever gets it right can knock out any player of their choosing. After nine questions, the last one standing gets $1000 added to their cash card, becomes Lead Owner and chooses three players to join them and give $500 to.

Question #1: How many horses played the role of "Seabiscuit"? Tara C. says 6, but it's higher. Chris says 10...and is right! He kicks out Deanna.

Question #2: By how many lengths did Secretariat win the 1973 Belmont Stakes? Eric says 6 1/2 (higher), Susan says 31 (right). Dean is gone.

Question #3: How many months did the Pony Express operate? Aaron: 124 (lower). Sara: 3 (higher). Levar: 36 (lower). Tara W.: 12 (higher). Tara C.: 22 (lower). Chris: 18 (right!) He KOs Susan.

Question #4: When Seattle Slew retired, he was valued at $12 million... but how much was his original purchase price? It takes some time but, when it comes around to Eric again, he gets $17,500 right. He offs Chris for being too lucky.

Question #5: What is the official length, in centimeters, of a pommel horse? (Oh, no fair throwing gymnastics into a horse racing show!) Again, it takes time. But Levar stumbles upon 160cm as the right answer and ditches Aaron.

Question #6: When was the last year that thouroughbred horse racing's Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes) was won by one horse? Eric manages to get 1978 (Affirmed) and knocks off Tara W.

Question #7: How many inches tall was legendary jockey Bill Shoemaker? Sara gets 59 inches (which means I'm a half-foot taller than he was) and puts away "her friend" Tara C.

Question #8: How many total episodes of Mr. Ed aired? Sara gets it narrowed down to 143 and puts away Eric because "Levar wants to stay". Whoever gets the last question right becomes the new Lead Owner.

Last Question: In what year was the first Kentucky Derby run? It goes back and forth...and Sara mutters, "1875?" She's right for the third time and becomes the Lead Owner! Not bad for someone who joined the game just to learn how to ride a horse. She chooses Tara C., Levar and Eric to join her...much to Deanna's chagrin.

First order of business for the new Owners: a soak in the jacuzzi. Levar tells the whole story: "It was was bubbly...there were boobs." It was hedonistic...especially between him and Sara. They think that Deanna will be chosen for the Stablehand part of the Guts Match.

Meanwhile, the Stablehands are being hassled by trainer Alex Hassinger into doing work for him. See, he let the REAL stablehands have some time off... so THESE Stablehands have to pick up the slack. They have to change out the straw in the stables, wash out the feed buckets, make hay bails for the horses to munch on, etc. It's a LOT of work... especially with Alex all but yelling at them the whole time.

After the long day, the six Stablehands talk things over for the Guts Match coming up. They think Sara goofed in not picking owners that were good handicappers... but Deanna is the most furious... not just for Sara but the whispering being done behind her back. She's exhausted of being the target... and with Susan being the know-it-all! And she takes it all out on the others.

And now it's time to introduce the horses that they get to choose from:

The Stablehands later meet Steve in the "Directors' Room", where most owners watch clips of horse races to get a feel for the opposition. The six Stablehands will compete in a Stablehand Challenge here. They're going to handicap a race...but not a HORSE race. They'll handicap an EATING competition between the Owners, who are just now having lunch in the Clubhouse. The one who can handicap the field the best becomes Lead Stablehand.

And, to help them, we have a special guest: country superstar Leann Rimes (who, coincidentally, provided the theme song for the show ["You Take Me Home"] and will be performing live at the Derby Race). She is going to give info on the owners (but won't specify WHICH owner) to help the Stablehands pick a winner. According to her, one likes to eat slow in company (Eric), one says lunch is their favorite meal (Tara C.), one is a former vegetarian (Sara) and one likes their steak cooked medium-well (Levar). The challenge will be deciding who eats an 8 oz. medium-rare steak in the shortest amount of time. Each Stablehand chooses an Owner and a time it'll take for him/her to eat said steak. If no one or MORE than one picks the right Owner, the time written down will be the tie-breaker. Their choices for the winner:

SUSAN - Eric CHRIS - Eric
AARON - Eric TARA W. - Levar
DEANNA - Levar DEAN - Levar

(Guess they thought the ladies wouldn't be chowing down a steak too fast.)

Now it's time to take Leann down to the Owners. She says hello to them and then departs along with Steve as the steaks get brought in. As soon as the covers on the plates are lifted off, the timer starts and the Challenge begins (unbeknownst to the Owners).

Tara C., however, IS a vegetarian and will not eat the steak. While they wait for a more veggie meal, the other Owners wait to start on THEIR steaks, even though Tara wants them to continue. It's about five minutes before her new meal arrives and they finish saying grace before they chow down. Eric goes for the baked potato first (much to Susan's chagrin)... but, then, he starts chomping on HUGE hunks of his steak while Levar picks on his own. You'd think this was the Kentucky Derby the way the Stablehands are cheering for their respective guy to finish their steak. It's neck and neck down to the wire...and it's LEVAR by about 2 ounces of meat in 11 minutes, 54 seconds. So who won? Deanna, Tara W. or Dean?

DEANNA - 7:30
TARA W. - 6:45
DEAN - 6:45

Deanna wins her first Stablehands' Challenge! She can RELAX!

Now it's time to tell the Owners to smile...'cause they're on Stablehand Camera! The Owners can now bet on who they think won the challenge. After thinking about it, Levar says he didn't bet anything on this challenge. Eric bet $200 on Dean, dropping him to $2037. Tara C. bet $100 on Chris,
lowering her to $720. And Sara bet $150 on Chris, meaning SHE'S down to $1700. But the IMPORTANT thing is that it'll be Sara vs. Deanna as to who will face off in the Guts Match for $5000... or a ticket home!

Back at the mansion, the Owners talk about strategy going into the Guts Match. Tara C. thinks Eric is ready to step up or shut up. In fact, he WANTS to be in the Match. Still, Sara is nervous about this.

In the stables, Susan is CERTAIN she'll be asked to do the Match... if only because she's Deanna's biggest rival right now. Deanna, however, is still thinking about it... though she's OFFERED the spot to Chris. Aaron wants to help Susan as best he can, so they look at the Racing Forum to make sure they're BOTH ready for whatever happens tomorrow.

The next day, at the Santa Anita Chandelier Room, the Guts and Glory Ceremony commences. For the Owners, Sara, of course, nominates a supremely confident Eric. For the Stablehands, Deanna chooses... Aaron.

The two are again allowed to ask Alex one question about one horse. But there's a hitch here: any horse that has already run in a Guts Match is no longer eligible for this one. Eric asks if Lauren's Halo, a filly, can keep up with "the boys". Alex says yes because she's competative. Aaron asks about Free to Please and her sutures under his neck. Alex says that he was cleared to race before they even purchased him.

And the choices are...Eric going for #4 Free To Please, the 3-year-old son of champion horse Free House, based on the Racing Forum. And Aaron, surprisingly, goes with #2 Sharp As A Fox because the 3-year-old filly is "a true pisser" and will show "her true colors" today.)

It's the "Call to the Post" for the Guts Match between Aaron and Eric. The two horses will race 2 furlongs (1/4 mile) in a straight line on the front stretch of the track. The winning horse nets its picker $5000 and the other one has to go home broke. And, as always, the others get to bet up to $500 with even odds for whichever horse they think will win. The wagers:

DEAN - $500 on #4 CHRIS - $500 on #4
SARA - $500 on #4 LEVAR - $500 on #4
TARA W - $250 on #2 SUSAN - $100 on #2
DEANNA - $500 on #4 TARA C - $500 on #4

(Levar even has a spur on his sneaker.)

So the filly is the major underdog. Not only are 6 out of 8 betting AGAINST her... but the bets for her are the only bets that are NOT $500.

The horses are in the gate...and it's Post Time!

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd they're off! And DOWN THE STRETCH THEY COME! And they're neck-and-neck all the way. Free to Please inching up the outside, but Sharp As a Fox is taking the inside lane like a champ. Free to Please kicks in the afterburners! He's starting to pull away as they head for the line...

...and it's #4 Free To Please by a length and a half! Eric earns $5000 and puts a chokehold on second place! Everyone but Susan and Tara W. wins $500!

And, unfortunately, Aaron has been "scratched" from the game. Sara and Susan are bummed (Suasn mostly) as says his good-byes and goes back to GROOMING horses instead of OWNING them.


9 are left. Who will be Owners? Who will be Stablehands? Who will be scratched next?

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