Odds-on choice Golden Yank overtook Por Que in the homestretch and drew off for a 6 3/4-length romp in the $158,730 Zia Park Derby, giving the 3-year-old son of Yankee Gentleman back-to-back Derby victories for trainer Gary Thomas.
Jamie Theriot rode the bay gelding to the New Mexico victory for the Millard R. Seldin Revocable Trust, which also bred the winner. The final time for the 1 1/16-mile trip was 1:43, just a fifth of a second off the track mark set by One Lucky Buck Nov. 8.
Golden Yank scored a 1 3/4-length win in the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park in his last start Oct. 19, which ended an eight-race losing streak. Theriot also rode him that day.
Red Sky Dubai, ridden by Mark Villa, got the early lead in the main track test for 3-year-olds, quickly stealing away to a four-length lead after running an opening quarter mile of :23 1/5. The advantage was cut in half by Por Que after a half-mile in :47 3/5, and Por Que, ridden by Justin Shepherd, had a narrow lead at the quarter pole while completing six furlongs in 1:12 1/5. Por Que finished with interest, but was no match for Golden Yank, who rallied four wide into the lane, got the lead and was full of run in the final furlong.
Por Que held on for second by a neck over the stalking Numismatist, ridden by Glen Murphy.
The victory, Golden Yank's fifth in 13 lifetime starts, was worth $95,100 and boosted the gelding's earnings to $688,616. Golden Yank was on the Triple Crown trail earlier this year before finishing seventh in the Arkansas Derby (gr. II) in April.
Golden Yank paid $3, $2.40 and $2.40. Por Que, coming off an allowance win over the Zia oval for trainer Jack Bruner, returned $4.80 and $5 while completing a $2 exacta worth $17.80. Numismatist, the second-longest shot in the eight-horse field, was $5.40 to show.
Awesome Launch, Red Sky Dubai, He's Eze, Pershing and Cape Time followed. Gambling Mister scratched.
Bred in Kentucky, Golden Yank is out of Golden Charm, by Strike the Gold.