02/07/2012 5:21PM

Oaklawn: Borderland Derby one option for No Spin


No Spin, an overnight stakes winner at Hawthorne who finished 10th to Junebugred in the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park, will be entered back in the Southwest Stakes but is also being considered for the  $150,000 Borderland Derby at Sunland Park on Feb. 25, said trainer Tim Ice.

Ice said there are a couple of reasons to look at the Borderland, a prep for the Grade 3, $800,000 Sunland Park Derby. For one, No Spin’s ownership includes New Mexico residents Leonard Blach, who co-owns 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, and Ray Willis. Ice also was concerned with No Spin’s demeanor in the paddock prior to the Smarty Jones. The horses are saddled indoors at Oaklawn, and patrons look down on them in what can be unnerving for some horses. 

“He washed out real bad in the paddock and that’s not him,” Ice said. “I’ll be schooling him in the paddock and we’ll kind of see how he does.”

Ice is reserving judgement because No Spin also ended up scoping with mucus following the Smarty Jones. He said that might have been what was behind the horse’s anxiousness in the paddock. Ice called the mucus a “legitimate excuse,” for No Spin’s finish, and one he did not learn about until after the race. Sometimes it takes the stress of racing to bring illness to light. 

“He showed no signs of that going in,” said Ice.

No Spin has worked back twice since, and will remove blinkers for his next race, said Ice. Last year, the horse ran fourth in both the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity and $315,000 Springboard Mile.

◗ Now I Know, undefeated winner of the Grade 3, $500,000 Delta Downs Princess, figures to be part of a small field Saturday in the $75,000 Martha Washington for 3-year-old fillies. Amie’s Dini, second to Now I Know in last month’s $50,000 Dixie Belle, will likely run, said her trainer, Ron Moquett. Other probables are Devious Intent and Lulu Wong.

Grade 3 winner Rocket Twentyone will pass and still has a long-term goal of the Fantasy, said trainer Tom Howard.

◗ Jockeys Gabe Saez and Ramon Vazquez have each been suspended three days, through Saturday, for separate riding infractions.