Winless in his three previous starts, Southern California invader Indy Wildcat surprised the field with an all-out effort to win the $100,000 Borderland Derby for 3-year-olds at Sunland Park.
Doctor Decherd, the 13-10 choice in the field of 10 for trainer Steve Asmussen, beat two rivals and one of those was the 9-5 second choice Plagiarist, who was saddled by Doug O'Neill.
That left a juicy price on just about everyone else, including the 9-1 Indy Wildcat, who got the job done by a head over 17-1 shot Wait in Line for jockey Michael Baze. Trainer and part-owner Paula Capestro brought the son of A.P. Indy
to New Mexico off a game third-place effort on the Santa Anita turf in a 1 1/8-mile maiden special weight event Feb. 1. Indy Wildcat finished three-quarters of a length behind Niagara Causeway in his best effort prior to Sunday's win.
Capestro, along with Bearing Point Ventures, owns Indy Wildcat, who has been nominated for the Triple Crown. He earned $60,000 for the victory accomplished in a time of 1:44 4/5 for the 1 1/16-mile distance on a fast track.
Baze had Indy Wildcat pressing the pace of Riley Allison Futurity winner Disappearing Trick on the outside from the outset as they went quick early – :22 3/5, :45 3/5 and 1:10 3/5. Indy Wildcat edged ahead of Disappearing Trick on the far turn but could not clear away from that rival through the lane as Wait in Line closed in on the far outside. With a sixteenth to go, Disappearing Trick still had a small lead, but the other two were wearing him down as they approached the wire. The rider on Wait in Line, Alfredo Juarez Jr., unfortunately dropped his whip inside the sixteenth pole, although the colt kept coming and just missed.
Disappearing Act finished a half-length behind the first two, followed by Wait in Line's entry mate, Belligerence, who ranged into contention in the stretch from last but lugged in late.
Doctor Decherd, expected to atone for his sixth-pace finish in Gulfstream Park's Holy Bull (gr. III) Feb. 4, was in good position in fourth toward the outside but gave way on the final turn for jockey Shaun Bridgmohan. Plagiarist, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, had a difficult trip. He was bumped after the break and lost position, then tried to make up ground in the clubhouse turn only to take up off heels while between horses. Desormeaux managed to keep him close until the second turn but they soon gave way, checking in 5 1/4 lengths behind Doctor Decherd.
Indy Wildcat paid $20, $10.20, and $5.60, combining with Wait in Line ($15.80, $6) for a $315.60 exacta. A $2 trifecta with 5-1 shot Disappearing Trick ($4.40) third returned $2,396.60.