11/24/2014 3:24PM

Bay of Biscay, Tonito M. get rematch in Zia Park Derby

Dustin Orona Photography
Tonito M. scores in the Oklahoma Derby on Sept. 28.

Bay of Biscay will be out to turn the tables on Tonito M. on Wednesday in the $200,000 Zia Park Derby, and the race is one Bay of Biscay has been under consideration for since August, according to trainer Robertino Diodoro.

“Actually, before we even bought the horse, before we did the final negotiations, we went through what options there were with him, and this race was on the map,” he said.

Diodoro, who captured the Zia Park Derby in 2011 with First Strike, said Bay of Biscay, the runner-up to Tonito M. in the Oklahoma Derby, arrived at Zia Park a week ago from Turf Paradise.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 3 Tonito M. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is 15-1-3-3 with a $0.37 ROI over the past two years with last-out winners in races outside of California. Click for more details. Mike Hogan

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“He’s training over the track and doing real good,” he said.

The Zia Park Derby is one of the main events on the $1.1 million Land of Enchantment card Wednesday. Other major races making up the most important card of the meet include the $300,000 Zia Park Oaks and the $150,000 Distance Championship. In all, there are five stakes for Thoroughbreds, while Quarter Horses will be featured in the Grade 1, $150,000 Zia Park Championship, led by Hes Relentless, and the $140,000 New Mexico Fillies and Mares Championship.

Zia Park Derby (Race 7)


Bay of Biscay (Last 3 Beyers: 74-92-66)

◗ He seemed home free in the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby on Sept. 28 before being overtaken in the later stages by Tonito M. Since that start, Bay of Biscay has won a first-level allowance on the grass at Turf Paradise.

“We wanted to get a race into him,” said Diodoro, who trains Bay of Biscay for Fouad El Kardy, Charles Garvey, and Rick Running Rabbit. “We definitely didn’t want to run him on the grass because I think he’s better on the dirt, and we wavered between putting a couple more stiff works in him or running him. He won fairly easy, and a win is always good for a horse’s heart. He really ran his guts out in Oklahoma. It’s nice to go into this race on a winning note.”

◗ Bay of Biscay will break from post 2 under Jorge Carreno.

“I think he’ll be close to the pace,” Diodoro said.

Tonito M. (Last 3 Beyers: 96-79-83)

◗ He was a 2 3/4-length winner of the Oklahoma Derby in his most recent start, when he rallied from off the pace in a change of style from his four front-running group wins in Puerto Rico.

◗ Rafael Bejarano was aboard for the Oklahoma Derby and has the mount again in the Zia Park Derby. The pair will break from post 3.

◗ Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer trains Tonito M. for M Racing Group.

Alert Bay (Last 3 Beyers: 86-89-83)

◗ He’s won a pair of Grade 3 races at Hastings in his last two starts, the British Columbia Derby and the Premiers Handicap.

◗ Alert Bay will be cutting back from 1 3/8 miles but has shown tactical speed in his races.

◗ Rico Walcott is in to ride for trainer Blaine Wright.

In a Zia Park Derby defection, track officials said Can the Man has been declared by trainer Bob Baffert.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 8 Can the Man. Trainer Bob Baffert is 13-8-2-1 with a $2.56 ROI over the past five years in dirt routes outside of California following a layoff of 61 days or more. Click for more details. Mike Hogan

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DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 4 Proceed. Trainer Joel Marr is 37-8-10-9 with a $2.95 ROI over the past five years going sprint to route with last-out winners. Click for more details. Mike Hogan

In other stakes Wednesday:

◗ Blueskiesnrainbows, a multiple Grade 2 winner, takes on local favorites Isn’t He Clever and Ol Winedrinker Who in the Distance Championship at 1 1/8 miles. Broadway Empire, who was among those entered, has been declared from the race, said trainer Diodoro.

Blueskiesnrainbows is making his second start since March. He also picks up more distance off his one-mile comeback race, in which he dueled between horses and finished seventh in the $80,000 Big Bear at Santa Anita on Oct. 30. Bejarano has the mount for Hollendorfer.

:: ZIA PARK: Get PPs, watch Wednesday's card live

◗ Hollendorfer and Bejarano, who have several strong contenders together Wednesday, will chase after the $75,000 Zia Park Distaff with Doinghardtimeagain. She was a Grade 2 winner in July and will be looking to recapture that form in the six-furlong race for fillies and mares Wednesday. Her chief rivals include Fast N Fine Lookin, a winner of her last four starts for owner-trainer C.R. Trout.

◗ The $140,000 Eddy County at a mile is for 2-year-olds bred in New Mexico.

◗ First post is 12:15 p.m. Mountain.