The $150,000 Carry Back Stakes (gr. III) set up perfectly for a closer at Calder Casino & Race Course on July 6, and Mico Margarita took full advantage to win his first graded stakes for J. Kirk and Judy Robison and trainer Steve Asmussen (VIDEO).
When 3-year-old filly R Free Roll, 4-5 favorite in a seven-horse field for the six-furlong sprint, hooked up with 16-1 shot Rockyshomerun in a battle for the lead, Mico Margarita came over from the outside post to find a clear stalking spot in third.
After the frontrunners opened a 3 1/2-length lead and softened each other up for a quarter in :21.35 and a half in :44.33, jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. gathered his sophomore Run Away and Hide mount for a steady advance. They went five eighths in :57.46 and the 3-year-old colt took over under urging, widening away to his 4 1/2-length victory in the final furlong.
Time for the distance was 1:10.97, with 7-2 Mico Margarita returning $9.20, $4.60, and $5. Red Rocket Express, a 24-1 shot, nosed out 4-1 Sr. Quisqueyano for the place. He paid $15 and $8.40 as Sr. Quisqueyano rounded out the tri at $4.60. Following were Gotta Be Fate, R Free Roll, City of Weston, and Rockyshomerun.
Bred in Kentucky by Ron Kirk and Greg McDonald out of the Mineshaft mare Wide Range, Mico Margarita was a $25,000 purchase from the 2011 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale when consigned by Bluewater Sales, agent. Prior to the Carry Back, his best finish in stakes company was a third in his only stakes outing, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Preview Stakes at Santa Anita Park last November. He came into the Carry Back off a neck win in a June 14 allowance at Churchill Downs, and improved his record to 3-2-3 from 10 starts with earnings of $210,775.