Once a year, a small track in New Mexico plays host to some big names as everyone chases points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby in the GIII Sunland Park Derby. While Tim Yakteen scratched his transfer in Fort Bragg (Tapit) Saturday, the field still included Bob Baffert's Hard to Figure (Hard Spun) and Steve Asmussen's How Did He Do That (Good Magic), as well as local Mine That Derby winner Henry Q (Blame). But for all the big connections, it was the longest shot on the board that took home the prize –Texas-bred Wild On Ice (Tapizar) at 35-1.
After a brief gate delay caused by One in Vermillion (Army Mule), the speed took off with top choices Hard to Figure and Henry Q taking it to one another from the opening strides. Wild On Ice was three wide with that pair into the first turn but wisely took back under jockey Ken Tohill to race with Low Expectations (Nyquist) in the second flight. The first quarter blitzed by in :20.58 but the top four stayed compact with two rivals distanced out the back.
Kept outside in the clear the whole way, Wild On Ice stayed right off the favorite's flank into the far turn and pounced as the speed began to fade with a quarter to run. Low Expectations kept him honest to the line but Wild On Ice was clearly best to win going away. The gelding, who is not currently nominated to the Triple Crown, picked up 50 points for his effort.
GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner Tapizar, who we tragically lost in 2020, is best known for siring dual Eclipse champion Monomoy Girl. Wild On Ice becomes the 7th individual graded-stakes winners for his sire who has one more crop of 2-year-olds to race. Dam Slamitagain, herself a half-sister to the dam of MGSP Pioppo (Brz), has now produced three winners from as many foals. This is also the family of GI Florida Derby and GI Fountain of Youth hero Vicar (Wild Again) as well as French Two Thousand Guineas winner Astronomer Royal (Danzig).
Sunday, Sunland Park
SUNLAND PARK DERBY-GIII, $600,000, Sunland, 3-26, 3yo,
1 1/8m, 1:51.39, ft.
1–WILD ON ICE, 122, g, 3, by Tapizar
1st Dam: Slamitagain, by Grand Slam
2nd Dam: Oonagh, by Wild Again
3rd Dam: Escrow Agent, by El Gran Senor
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. O/B-Frank
Sumpter (TX); T-Joel H. Marr; J-Ken S. Tohill. $356,400.
Lifetime Record: SP, 5-3-0-1, $405,400. Werk Nick Rating: A+.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the
free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Low Expectations, 122, g, 3, Nyquist–Eloquent Tribute, by
Tapit. 1ST BLACK TYPE, 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. ($192,000
Ylg '21 FTKOCT; $17,000 RNA 2yo '22 OBSOPN). O-Reddam
Racing LLC; B-Mount Riga Bloodstock (KY); T-Antonio C. Garcia.
3–Henry Q, 122, c, 3, Blame–Lunar Empress, by Malibu Moon.
1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. ($125,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP). O-The
Del Mar Group; B-Fred W. Hertrich lll & John D. Fielding (KY);
T-Todd W. Fincher. $59,400.
Margins: 1 1/4, 2HF, 6 3/4. Odds: 35.40, 21.00, 1.60.
Also Ran: How Did He Do That, One in Vermillion,
Hard to Figure. Scratched: Fort Bragg.
Click for the Equibase.com chart and the TJCIS.com PPs.
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