New Mexico-Bred Wins Eighth Race of Careeer
New Mexico-bred Hustle Up scored a wire-to-wire win in the 19th running of the $100,000 Mine That Bird Derby on Sunday at Sunland Park, holding off a late run by Wicked Indeed.
Under a front-running ride from Shane Laviolette, Hustle Up controlled the pace and won by one length after setting fractions of 23.64, 47.34 and 1:11.09. The winning time was 1:42.31 for 1 1/16 mile.
With the win, Hustle Up remained unbeaten at the track in four outings. He now has eight wins from 10 starts, seven of them having come against fellow New Mexico-breds in all his prior starts, and gave trainer Todd Fincher career win number 1,000.
Fincher trained Runaway Ghost to victory last year in the Sunland Derby. That one captured a race for Fincher on the Mine That Bird undercard.
Hustle Up earned the winner's share of the purse, $60,000, for owner Dale Taylor, Bobby McQueen and Suzanne Kirby. He paid $7.00 to win as the second betting choice at 5-2 odds. Wicked Indeed was 4-5.
After breaking slowly, Wicked Indeed was multiple paths wide on both turns under Luis Contreras for trainer Steve Asmussen and Winchell Thoroughbreds.
Walker Stalker finished four lengths behind the winner in third place. He was followed home by Pasamonte Man, One Flew South, Collusionist, Eye Cloud and Thunderousapplause. Mc Awesome was pulled up and vanned off.
Hustle Up was not early-nominated to the Triple Crown.