Wicked Indeed Leads Mine That Derby Field
There are no Kentucky Derby points in Sunday's $100,000 Mine That Bird Derby, but it's the lead local prep race for the $800,000 Sunland Derby on March 24, a race that carries a 50-20-10-5 Derby point structure.
Wicked Indeed looks like he'll be the favorite for trainer Steve Asmussen, who won last month’s Riley Allison Derby with Nitrous.
Wicked Indeed is a Tapit colt that ran fourth from post 1 to War of Will in the LeComte Stakes at the Fair Grounds on Jan. 19. War of Will, of course, came back last weekend to take the Risen Star Stakes. Asmussen’s charge is owned by Ron Winchell's Winchell Thoroughbreds, the same operation that won last year’s Mine The Bird Derby with Reride. Luis Contreras will ride
Asmussen has won the Sunland Derby twice, with Daddy Nose Best in 2012 and Hence in 2017.
The biggest local threat on paper may be Hustle Up, winner of the Red Hedeman Mile on Feb. 2. The New Mexico-bred has won six restricted stakes races, including the 2018 Copper Top Futurity at Sunland Park, and seven of nine races overall. Two of the stakes were at two turns. Trained by last year’s winning trainer of the Sunland Derby with Runaway Ghost, Todd Fincher, Hustle Up is likely to try to control the pace.. Shane Laviolette gets the riding call.
Mc Awesome, third place finisher in the Riley Allison Derby, is a legitimate threat for high percentage trainer Dick “Flaco” Cappellucci. He finished 5 3/4 lengths behind in the Allison. Elvin Gonzalez is name in the saddle.
Multiple Kentucky Derby and Sunland Derby winning trainer Doug O’Neill is shipping in the well-traveled One Flew South, a son of Giant's Causeway. His sole start resulted in a 5 3/4-length win going six furlongs at Turfway Park on Nov. 30. One Flew South's last three workouts have been at Turfway Park, Fair Grounds and Santa Anita, in that order. O’Neill won the Sunland Derby in 2003 and 2005, with Excessivepleasure and Thor’s Echo, respectively.
The 1 1/16-mile Mine That Bird Derby is named for the legendary 50-1 longshot who won the 2009 Kentucky Derby and placed in both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes for trainer Chip Woolley. Mine That Bird prepped for the Kentucky Derby at Sunland Park.
It's race 9 on the card and set to go at 4:18 Mountain Time.
Edited release with additional content by Dick Downey
Entries at Equibase