Wild On Ice Lands 35-1 Upset in Sunland Park Derby

After stalking simply behind wicked-fast fractions early, Texas-bred Wild On Ice  produced a 35-1 upset within the $600,000 Sunland Park Derby (G3) when he surged to victory March 26 on the New Mexico oval.

Although extremely regarded California shipper Fort Bragg  scratched out of the race, the Bob Baffert-trained stakes winner Hard to Figure  appeared poised to offer Baffert his fourth Sunland Park Derby earlier than abruptly shortening stride turning for house. The son of Hard Spun  , most lately a gallant runner-up to Newgate  within the Robert E. Lewis Stakes (G3), faltered after dueling with the speedy Henry Q  via a blazing opening half-mile in :45.96 and three quarters in 1:10.64.

Sunland Park-based Wild On Ice, racing simply off the pacesetters within the three-path underneath native driving legend Ken Tohill, cruised vast across the flip and bounded previous a weary-legged Henry Q with a furlong to go. Wild On Ice continued to drive to the wire, repelling a rail problem from Reddam Racing’s Low Expectations .

Trained by Joel Marr, Wild On Ice hit the wire secure by 1 1/4 lengths in a ultimate time of 1:51.39 for the 1 1/8 miles on a quick monitor. He returned a whopping $72.80 on the home windows for a $2 win wager.

Tohill, who has received over 4,000 races in his lengthy profession, earned his first graded stakes victory within the Sunland Park Derby.

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Low Expectations and Henry Q rounded out the trifecta. Favored Hard to Figure completed final of six.

Wild On Ice, a homebred for proprietor Frank Sumpter, shouldn’t be Triple Crown-nominated and due to this fact at present shouldn’t be eligible for the 50 qualifying factors to the Kentucky Derby (G1) granted to the winner of the Sunland Park Derby. 

Hailing from the ultimate crop of the late Tapizar, Wild On Ice is the third winner produced by the Grand Slam mare Slamitagain 

Flying Connection wins 2023 Sunland Park Oaks at Sunland Park
Photo: Coady Photography

Flying Connection goes gate-to-wire within the Sunland Park Oaks

Two races earlier on the cardboard, Sunland Park locals took house the highest prize once more when Flying Connection  rolled to a gate-to-wire tally within the $300,000 Sunland Park Oaks.

Entering off a powerful 9 1/4-length romp in Sunland’s native prep, the Island Fashion Stakes, Flying Connection blasted from the gates and sailed up the fence to take command early from California invader Doinitthehardway . Paving the way in which via demanding splits of :22.89 and :46.09, Flying Connection shook off Doinitthehardway after three quarters in 1:11.14 and took off once more down the lane, holding her rivals at bay by 2 1/4 lengths underneath the wire.

Guided by jockey Alfredo Juarez Jr., Flying Connection ($4.60) raced 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.90.

Longshots Love Tank  and Don’t Get Pickled , who closed from final, rounded out the highest three.

Flying Connection, skilled by Todd Fincher, picked up 50 factors on Sunday on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks (G1), vaulting to the quantity six slot on the board.

Campaigned by Brad King, Randy Andrews, Chris Coleman, Jim Cone, Suzanne Kirby, and Lee Lewis, Flying Connection was a $250,000 buy for her connections on the 2021 Keeneland September Sale. The 3-year-old daughter of Nyquist  , bred in Kentucky by Liberty Road Stables, is out of the a number of stakes-winning Quiet American mare Free Flying Soul .

Video: Sunland Park Derby (G3)

Video: Sunland Park Oaks (BT)

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