03/21/2012 4:27PM

Sunland: Former rivals Blach, Ice team up with No Spin for Sunland Derby

Tom Keyser
No Spin is among eight 3-year-olds entered for Sunday's Sunland Park Derby.

Leonard Blach and trainer Tim Ice were adversaries during the 2009 Triple Crown series, when Blach co-raced Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird and Ice sent out Summer Bird to take the Belmont Stakes.

Sunday, the men will be on the same team. No Spin, co-owned by Blach and trained by Ice, is one of eight 3-year-olds set to start in the Grade 3, $800,000 Sunland Park Derby. Entries for the 1 1/8-mile race were drawn on Wednesday.

The Sunland Derby is the richest race of the meet and one of seven stakes on Sunday’s card. It will go as the 12th race of 13, with a scheduled post of 5:45 p.m. Mountain. The program includes the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks, a 1 1/16-mile race in which the undefeated Princess Arabella will meet recent stakes winner Glinda the Good.

Castaway, winner of the first division of the Grade 3, $250,000 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park, and Daddy Nose Best, who accounted for the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields, should vie for favoritism in the Sunland Derby. The complete field from the rail with riders is Castaway, Rafael Bejarano; Ender Knievel, John Velazquez; Stirred Up, Martin Garcia; Isn’t He Clever, Luis Contreras; No Spin, Channing Hill; Daddy Nose Best, Julien Leparoux; Tequila Factor, Miguel Hernandez; and Justanoldsong, Ry Eikleberry.

No Spin vanned out of his Oaklawn base early Wednesday morning headed for Dallas, where he was to catch a flight to El Paso, Texas. El Paso borders Sunland Park, the New Mexico track that was Mine That Bird’s base leading up to the Kentucky Derby. In his final prep for the classic, the horse was fourth in the Sunland Derby.

Ice said it was during the Triple Crown series in 2009 that he came to know Blach. No Spin races for Blach as well as Ray Willis, both of whom are residents of New Mexico. The horse is a son of Johannesburg and began his career at Arlington Park, where he won a maiden special weight in August then ran fourth in the Grade 3 Arlington Washington Futurity.

No Spin proceeded to win an overnight stakes at Hawthorne in October, then was fourth in the $315,000 Springboard Mile at Remington Park in December. He comes into the Sunland Derby off a sixth-place finish to Castaway in the Southwest. No Spin, under James Graham, closed from 10th and was beaten six lengths by the front-running winner Castaway to equal his best career Beyer Figure, an 80.

“I thought he ran well,” Ice said. “James said he may have had him too far back, the speed really didn’t come back to him. James also thought the mile might have been too short for him, just needed a little more ground.

“It will be interesting to see him go a mile and an eighth. I do think that he wants more ground for sure. He’s got a good kick to him and I think the further he goes the more he’ll be able to show it.”

Other stakes on the Sunland Derby card include the $100,000 Harry Henson, a one-mile handicap for fillies and mares that drew defending champ Twelve Twenty Two, and the $100,000 Bill Thomas Memorial. The six-furlong race drew a handful of local stakes winners as well as the well-traveled maiden mare, Nicky Boy. There are also three stakes on the card for horses bred in New Mexico.

TVG will produce a live, one-hour broadcast covering the Sunland Derby. It airs from 5-6 p.m. Mountain, and the show can also be seen on selected FSN regional networks. In other Sunday activities at the track, retired Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day will speak in the Mt. Cristo Rey Room at 10:45 a.m., and author Steve Davidowitz will conduct a free handicapping seminar in the Signature Showroom starting at 11 a.m.

Saturday morning, the radio program “Down the Stretch” that is hosted by Dave Johnson and Bill Finley will preview the Sunland Derby card, from 8-11 a.m. Mountain. The show can be heard on Sirius Channel 93.


Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
KRISTY , What an AWESOME RIDE by LEPAROUX to WIN the SUNLAND DERBY ! Thanks for your IN-PUT on your statement . You helped me WIN the Exacta .............................................. God Bless , and THANKS AGAIN
Douglas More than 1 year ago
My Pick SUNLAND DERBY - DADDY NOSE BEST / SPIRAL STAKES : STEALCASE Thanks Kristy for your opinion !
Kristy More than 1 year ago
I like the borderland derby winner to improve and take the sunland derby.
Charles Berger More than 1 year ago
I don't think the winner of the KY. DERBY will be one of the entrants in this weeks SUNLAND DERBY. But, then again I felt the same way when MINE THAT BIRD won. Am still waiting for my bet to surface for the first saturday in may. D
Oscar Wells More than 1 year ago
no spin good luck hope you win you have a good post postion
Jerry Sabo More than 1 year ago
I understand what Douglas is saying about the huge purse. The race is a great prep for the Derby and I will be watching and betting to help the record handle. The problem is that trainers like Pletcher send a horse like Ender Knievel who could run second, collect 160K in graded earnings, and possibly get a spot in the Derby. Is he a nice horse? Maybe, but Pletcher is only doing it to please the beautiful people so the can say they have a horse in the Derby, and if he has 5-6 entries he might get lucky and win again. He breaks down more 2yo than anybody else and they keep giving him a 100+ possibilities a year. That's bad for horse racing. Go Sunland and good luck on setting the record handle.
Dustin More than 1 year ago
Winner of the $800,000 (Gr III) Sunland Derby gets one of the twenty starting gates in the Kentucky Derby like it or not. The Sunland Derby could produce multiple runners in the Kentucky Derby and/or other triple crown races. Bet the Sunland Derby (Gr III) winner in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. They will be live. Also, Ruler on Ice proved last year play a flyer on Sunland Derby (Gr III) runners in the Belmont. Last year the winner of the $200,000 Sunland Oaks went on to win the Kentucky Oaks. (Plum Pretty) This year the word is that Baffert's filly can really run. Bet the thirteen race all thoroughbred card on Sunday, March 25 at Sunland (not SUNDLAD) or days like this will go away in our great sport. Sunland's goal is to hit a record $3 million in handle for the day. Let's do it!!!!!!!!!
Douglas More than 1 year ago
This is what I am saying ! I was not knocking the SUNLAND PARK Track . I was knocking all the Trainers / Owners that still have Grade Earnings to make for the Colt , and by how I see it - There will be No Big Time Horse Names Coming , So why not make way and try the SUNLAND DERBY with its big purse . I am really surprised to see this DERBY not fill up . This Track is becoming well known now , and I just thought since all the other Preps Coming up in weeks ahead , this would be a Perfect spot to see what ya have ! CASTAWAY - iffy iffy at the distance , DADDY NOSE BEST - your probable WINNER . Not much in this DERBY at all to speak of . Come on LEPAROUX , you can do it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This years SUNDLAD DERBY is a joke for the purse that this prep race for the KENTUCKY DERBY brings to the floor-mat . That is the Line-Up ! I am not trying to rank the Colts , because I love thoroughbreds . I am ranking the Trainers and Owners that are not adding to this group . This starting gate ought to full each year with the amount of purse that it brings , and also for the lack of earnings that these fine 3 yr old Colts deserve the chance to shine . There are more than 48 Colts that are waiting for that time to shine , and ya surely dont want to start in the FLORIDA DERBY or WOOD MEMORIAL . I might just be dumb , but to me - races like SUNLAND DERBY and SPIRAL STAKES ought to be completely booked and filled
Kristy More than 1 year ago
whats a sundlad? why ship to sunland if you dont have a chance to win? The Sunland Derby has a nice field. And the (Spiral/GALLERYFURNITURE.COM/JIM BEAM STAKES ) whatever they are calling it these days is on poly.Yeah Yeah I know Animal kingdom came from there but how often does a freak appear? 48 colts waiting? 20 in the derby gate is a joke,when 12+ wont ever amount to more than ''3other than since'' winners. I think your right.You might be dumb
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes Kristy , I spelled SUNLAND wrong to get someones attention , and you fell for it - thank you ! For Real Kristy , you really believe that the SUNLAND DERBY has a grat field . Wowwwww , I already have my plans to travel from Kentucky to SUNLAND PARK for the DERBY . But in a way , I wish I would have decided to stay here in Kentucky for TURFWAY PARK Saturday . No I am not a fan of TURFWAY PARK . I am a KEENELAND Boy , Lexington , Ky . I have always wanted to go to SUNLAND PARK , so I made plans , and now im coming . I will not compare Animal Kingdom vs Mine That Bird because they both gave their all . Animal Kingdom just became more popular . I Was Really Hoping For A Bodemeister Type at least . . . . . . . something that has head-lines . Nobody Is Talking Kentucky Derby for any one in this SUNLAND DERBY , not really . You are funny Krisy , a nice funny about me being dumb . That was a good come-back . Keep up the good work
Kristy More than 1 year ago
Sorry to hear you picked El Paso over Florence,but you did. Play the 10cent solo six without the baffert filly in the oaks and hope for the best
Douglas More than 1 year ago
I know huh ! Well it will be a new adventure for me . The only track that I have been at in Texas is LONESTAR PARK , and that was afew years back when DYNEVER ran there . Owners are good friends of mine , I was invited , so I went . An OK track . My over-all favorite tracks to go to are #1 DEL MAR - #2 SANTA ANITA - #3 SARATOGA - #4 KEENELAND - #5 DUBAI MEYDAN ................ The only reason I go to CHURCHILL DOWNS now is for the KENTUCKY OAKS & DERBY . I am very upset with the way they promote CD these days with low price claiming races and the lack of getting Great Racing back to CD . I understand that all tracks need to carry all types of claiming races and so forth , but CD the beautiful structure , really needs to get back to big - time - racing - with big purse money that will lure in big time names ....................... KEENELAND will be racing soon , so thank God for some good racing in my home State . Yes Kristy - I hope to enjoy my stay in EL PASO . At least I will be seeing Leparoux while my short stay there . Leparoux rides alot of my friends horses , Leparoux will be riding DADDY NOSE BEST . I will take your opinion in the betting wager : I will also be betting $2000 win - $3000 place on #6 DADDY NOSE BEST ............ I know Leparoux really likes his chances - so I have no fear . Its all for the fun . Win some , Lose some , thats what makes people coming back - the thrill of it all . Krisy - GOOD LUCK to you as well . I have been getting alot of feed-back from the connections with STEALCASE , a Colt that will be racing at TURFWAY PARK in the SPIRAL STAKES come Saturday . Viewing the Colt in the Daily Racing Form - does not raise the eye , but from what I have been hearing around the Shed-Row Hummmmmmmmmm ! I have yet to see the line-up yet due to the drawing today , but I like what I have been hearing . DADDY NOSE BEST - STEALCASE for this week-end ! Have a wonderful week-end & good luck at the races p.s. SUNDLAD DERBY -
Douglas More than 1 year ago
For what its worth Kristy , TURFWAY SPIRAL CAN BE STAIRWAY TO KENTUCKY DERBY : please read that article ....... this was my point I was saying about SUNLAND DERBY just two days before this was written ! I REST MY CASE ........ The SUNLAND DERBY should have drawn a FULL FIELD with the 800,000 vs 500,000 . I was not trying to be a wise guy or anything like that about SUNLAND PARK . I just happen to enjoy and like this time of year in horse racing , and for ONCE in a long long time - this has been our first year where we dont ONLY have many of last years JUVENILE Colts in Preps of returning to KENTUCKY , but there are over 48 Colts that have an OPPORTUNITY To Be ( ONE OF THE LUCKY 20 ) May 5th .