Odds-on choice Real Dandy, ridden patiently by Luis Quinonez, swept past his rivals while five wide in the stretch to record a 2 3/4-length victory in the $107,600 Zia Park Derby Saturday in Hobbs, N.M.
The Steve Asmussen-trained Real Dandy was bet to odds of 50 cents on the dollar in the 1 1/16-mile event for 3-year-olds following the early scratch of Military Major, who defeated Real Dandy when they met in the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park Oct. 21.
The Kentucky-bred bay son Yankee Victor
dropped back to last in the six-horse field in the opening quarter-mile and remained near the rear of the pack before he began to close the gap nearing the quarter pole. He vied with second choice Lumbre, ridden by Quincy Hamilton, and Broke Sharply (Ken Tohill) briefly in the stretch before pulling away in a time of 1:45 3/5.
Lumbre took second by a neck over Broke Sharply.
Real Dandy earned $450,000 when he won the West Virginia Derby (gr. III) at Mountaineer in August and has two other graded stakes placings in 2005. His third victory of the year in 12 starts for owners Bob and Cathy Zollars was worth $64,560..
His overall record in 19 races is 4-7-2 with earnings of $819,935.
Thomas-Lakin-Kintz bred the winner, who is out of Berga, by Jade Hunter. Real Dandy was a $75,000 yearling buy at Keeneland in September 2003.
He paid $3, $2.60, and $2.20.
Lumbre, who ran fourth in the Oklahoma Derby in his first start for new owner Robert Bone, returned $3.40 and $2.60.
Broke Sharply was $2.40 to show.