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Because they're running out of card games to show, GSN decides to take a pari-mutuel 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


FACT FILE:

Host:
Steve Santagati
Trainer: Alex Hassinger
Creator: Richard Cronin
EP:
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 4 - January 24

Previously on AMERICAN DREAM DERBY, Sara lucked out in a knockout horse trivia game to become the new Lead Owner and asked Tara C., Levar and Eric to live in the Owner's Mansion with her. Deanna, sick and tired of being picked for the Guts Match, won the Stablehands Challenge and chose Aaron to pick his horse for the Guts Match. Eric was much smarter, though, and his horse won in a rout. He is finally creeping up on Deanna for the top money spot and, thus, the chance to pick first in the Dream Derby.

Another day, another big breakfast at Santa Anita Park for the nine left to fight for a quarter-mil and a stable of thoroughbreds. Chris has alliances with almost everybody... and Deanna knows it. Some of the players ALSO agree that Tara C. is not as dumb as she looks.

Steve Santagati meets and greet the guys for the next Owner's Challenge. The challenge is out in the Walking Circle where five horses are stationed. One of the five is a former Breeder's Cup Sprint champion with millions in earning to his name. The other four can barely break $43,000 together... and two are still "maidens", meaning they haven't won a cent yet. The players' job is to find the champ, with a little help from clues by Steve. Those who choose the champ go on to the next part of the Challenge.

Horse #1: He's a Kentucky-bred two-year-old son of "Yankee Victor" and runs best on fast dirt tracks.

Horse #2: He's a Bay gelding, sired by "Java Gold" and has 30 starts on 8 tracks.

Horse #3: Washington-born chestnut gelding who runs best in two-turn races.

Horse #4: He's a Cali-born chestnut who HAS been know to appear in more than one race a day.

Horse #5: This gelding's a Cali-bred son of "Smokester" and has a lifetime-high Beyer Number (speed rating) of 81.

One-by-one, the players choose their horses in secret after sizing them up. Some looked carefully, some went for who they thought looked best... and Sara was embarrassed as #1 was... ahem... "aroused" for some reason. Their picks:

 
CHRIS - #5 LEVAR - #2
TARA C - #1 ERIC - #1
TARA W - #1 SARA - #2
DEANNA - #2 DEAN - #2
SUSAN - #1  


#4 is Levis... and the only reason he appears in more than one race a day is because he's a "lead pony" who guides the race horses to the post. #3 is Big Wagger and he's one of the horses in the Dream Derby stables. #5 is I Can Cook... and a Beyer Number of 81 is WAY too low, so Chris is out.

After dividing the other eight depending on who chose which, the champion is uncovered: #2 is Kona Gold, who set a record in the 2000 Breeder's Cup Sprint at 1:07. #1 could not have POSSIBLY been a millionaire because two-year-olds can't run in the big races.

OK, that means Deanna, Sara, Levar and Dean are into the second round. They must write down how much money they think Kona Gold earned in his career. The closest without going over becomes Lead Owner.

 

DEANNA - $3,850,000.00 LEVAR - $2,221,033.00
DEAN - $4.327,651.27 SARA - $300,000.00 (oops)


The actual retail earning of Kona Gold iiiiiiiiisssss...

$2,293,384! Levar is the Lead Owner! He earns a grand for himself and chooses Tara C., Eric and Sara to get $500 apiece and become the Owners once again! The other five... have to shlep back to the stables

 

CURRENT STANDINGS
1
DEANNA
$11,560
2
ERIC
$7537
3
LEVAR
$2750
4
SARA
$2650
5
SUSAN
$1890
6
CHRIS
$1750
7
TARA C
$1720
8
DEAN
$1644
9
TARA W
$1080

Back at the stables that night, the once-again Stablehands stare down the chalkboard that tells the cash leaders so far. Dean is mad at Levar for not helping him like he helped Levar a week or so ago. Chris volunteers to run the Guts Match... but Tara W ain't buying it.

Meanwhile, at the mansion, the same four Owners enjoy their friendship again. Eric and Sara seem to be hitting it off. And, when Eric gets almost piss drunk, he talks with Levar about who Sara likes more. Levar thinks Sara gives Eric more attention... just to keep him in the game.

The next day, the Stablehand Challenge approaches. An inebreated Eric and the other Owners meet the Stablehands in the infield. The Stablehands are all padded up. That's because they're going to be racing tricycles through a course of benches, hay bales and plastic horses. The first one to cross the finish line becomes the Lead Stablehand. So... why the padding? Well, they'll be BIKING like four-year-old HUMANS... but they'll have goggles on that will make them SEE like four-year-old RACEHORSES... which means they'll only see in a peripheral view (since a horse's eyes are on the side of his head). As always, the Owners can bet up to $500 on who they think'll survi... er, win.

Annnnnnnnnnnd they're off! And it's Susan running smack dab into a bench on the outside. Chris makes a break into first, Deanna is second on the rail. Dean and Tara are bottenecked with Susan. Into the S-turn, it's Chris extending his lead with Deanna stuck on the first turn. But... OOOO! Chris nails a hay bale and falls off his trike! Deanna comes out of the S-turn and into the hay. Chris is back on the trike and bolts around the benches and rounds the final turn and DOWN the str... OOOO, he's down again! And HERE COMES DEANNA! They bump wheels as DOWN the stretch they come!! It's a race to the wire as it's Chris and Deanna... Deanna and Chris... wheel-to-wheel towards the Finish Line.......

And Deanna hits a hay bale at the side of the line! And CHRIS TAKES THE WIN! Chris is the new Lead Stablehand and will decide who goes to the Guts Match!

As for the bets, Eric lost a whopping FIVE BUCKS on Susan, Levar once again didn't bother to bet, Sara didn't either... and neither did Tara C!

Back in the stables, Chris is in a jam. He has alliances with all four of the others... so he can't decide who to choose. Deanna calls him out about what he suggested the other day about taking the Guts Match himself. But he back-pedals and says he's thinking about it. Chris tells Dean he's safe and the girls think Susan is lunch meat. Dean tries to convince him to take Tara W as well because she's distracting them both.

At the mansion, Levar confronts Sara about Eric, who he thinks is trying to win a girl instead of the game. He tells Sara that he and Tara C. are expendable. Sara thinks that whoever said it was trying to break the alliance. Levar and Eric seem to be at odds during dinner because Sara is upset. Sara actually goes to cry in the bathroom... and that convinces Levar that she'll do anything for Eric and vice-versa.

The Santa Anita Chandelier Room call the players to the Guts and Glory Ceremony. For the Owners, after Eric says he'll back up whatever Levar says, Levar chooses Eric. For the Stablehands, Chris chooses... himself!

The two men now get to ask trainer Alex Hassinger one question about one horse, excluding those that have already been in a Guts Match. Eric asks if #10 Nigel No Hates, a New Zealand-bred horse, can do dirt as well as turf. Alex says the horse has done well in longer dirt races but he's still developing. Chris asks about Ready To Flirt about his experience. Alex says that the horse has done well in races twices as long as the Guts Match, but hasn't done much else.

And the choices are...Eric going for #3 Archie's Dream, the 3-year-old Cali gelding whose sire won the '96 Preakness. And Chris, goes with #1 Regal Cruiser, the 4-year-old Kentucky-bred 4-year-old grandson of Alydar.

It's the "Call to the Post" for the fourth Guts Match of the competition. Eric and Chris have their shot at the stable and the money on the line. 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 #1 TARA C - $500 on #3
SARA - $400 on #3 LEVAR - $500 on #3
TARA W - $500 on #1 SUSAN - $500 on #1
DEANNA - $500 on #1  

Everyone has bet with their taeammate. This will end up very good for one group, and very bad for the other.

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

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd they're off! Annnd it's Regal Cruiser all over the track as DOWN da stretch they come! Regal Cruiser straightens out and flies right down the path, but Archie's Dream is right on his tail. Archie's Dream kicks into third gear and starts to pull ahead on the outside. Regal Cruiser is trying to catch up as they come to the wire...

...and it's #3 Archie's Dream by two lengths! Eric earns another $5000 and takes the lead from Deanna! The Owners all win money while the Stablehands all lose for their loyalty!

And, unfortunately, Chris lost the most. He decided to put up... but now he was to shut up. He has to write his own prescription for some painkillers because he's out of the running for the stable and the money. That's what he gets for listening to Deanna.

CURRENT STANDINGS
1
ERIC
$12,532
2
DEANNA
$11,060
3
LEVAR
$3250
4
SARA
$3050
5
TARA C
$1720
6
SUSAN
$1390
7
DEAN
$1144
8
TARA W
$580

8 are left. Who will be Owners? Who will be Stablehands? Who will be scratched NEXT?

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