Calumet Farm homebred Hence (Street Boss) rebounded from a lackluster performance in the GIII Southwest S. with a decisive victory in the GIII Sunland Derby Sunday evening. A bit overlooked at 10-1, the chestnut ran alongside Shareholder Value (Uncle Mo) in last as Hedge Fund (Super Saver) was chased by favored Bronze Age (Mineshaft) through opening splits of :22.26 and :45.72. Picking off rivals to sit in a two-wide third approaching the far turn, the Steve Asmussen pupil looked previously undefeated leader Conquest Mo Money (Uncle Mo) in the eye for a few brief strides in early stretch before rolling clear to a 3 3/4-length victory. Hometown hopeful Conquest Mo Money checked in second, 4 1/2 lengths clear of third-place finished Hedge Fund. Bronze Age came home last after being eased.
“I broke almost dead last, so I just tried to save ground going into the first turn and then I swung out a little bit just to get my momentum going,” winning rider Alfredo Juarez, Jr., remarked. “When I started going from the 3/8ths pole to the wire, he was going at a good pace. When I got to the quarter-pole and he really started running, it was so emotional. It was really, really fun and I was just enjoying it every step of the way.”
The pilot added, “This win is very special to me. Thank you to Steve Asmussen for believing in me.”
A non-factor seventh behind stablemate Reckling (Dialed In) and GII Remsen S. hero Mo Town (Uncle Mo) in his six-furlong debut at Saratoga Aug. 27, Hence improved to third behind eventual GIII LeComte S. winner Guest Suite (Quality Road) when stretched to 1 1/16 miles at Keeneland Oct. 8 and missed by a neck next out at Churchill Downs Nov. 13. Stumbling at the start of his sophomore bow in the slop at Oaklawn Jan. 16, the chestnut looked an easy winner turning for home before ducking in sharply in the final furlong and brushing the rail, but re-rallied gamely to earn a narrow victory. He failed to fire last time when checking in seventh in the GIII Southwest S. in Hot Springs Feb. 20.
Brad Kelley’s Calumet Farm purchased Floating Island with the winner in utero for $55,000 at the 2013 Keeneland November sale. The 15-year-old mare also produced the 2-year-old filly Mad Grace (English Channel) and a yearling filly by Risque Remarque, a black and white paint Thoroughbred stallion, privately purchased by Kelley, who currently stands in Arizona. She was bred back to Calumet’s GI Preakness S. winner Oxbow last term. Floating Island is a half-sister to MGSW Pico Teneriffe (Red Ransom), the sam of two-time Canadian champion Marchfield (A.P. Indy). This is also the family of the late Darley Sire Regal Ransom (Distorted Humor), a graded winner in both the U.A.E. and the U.S.; and MGISW Devil May Care (Malibu Moon ).
Sunday, Sunland Park
SUNLAND DERBY-GIII, $800,000, SUN, 3-26, 3yo, 1 1/8m, 1:48.10, ft.
1–#@HENCE, 122, c, 3, by Street Boss
1st Dam: Floating Island, by A.P. Indy
2nd Dam: Ballerina Princess, by Mr. Prospector
3rd Dam: Aladancer, by Northern Dancer
O/B-Calumet Farm (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen; J-Alfredo J.
Juarez, Jr. $480,000. Lifetime Record: 6-2-1-1, $542,601.Werk Nick Rating: A+. Click for eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Conquest Mo Money, 122, c, 3, Uncle Mo–Stirring, by
Seeking the Gold. ($180,000 Ylg ’15 SARAUG; $8,500 2yo ’16
KEENOV). O-Judge Lanier Racing; B-Twin Creeks Farm (NY);
T-Miguel L. Hernandez. $176,000.
3–Hedge Fund, 122, c, 3, Super Saver–Rosy Humor, by
Distorted Humor. O-WinStar Farm LLC, China Horse Club
International Ltd. & SF Racing LLC; B-WinStar Farm, LLC (KY);
T-Todd A. Pletcher. $80,000.Margins: 3 3/4, 4HF, NK. Odds: 10.80, 4.20, 7.50.
Also Ran: Irap, Total Tap, Dilettante, Balandeen, Oxford Lane, Shareholder Value, Wine N Divine, Bronze Age. Scratched: Kimbear. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.