Alsvid won the Prairie Mile at Prairie Meadows in June.

Alsvid won the Prairie Mile at Prairie Meadows in June.

Shelly McShane/Coady Photography

Alsvid New Likely Favorite in Zia Park Derby

Private Zone's scratch makes stakes-winning son of Officer as pick in field of eight.

With morning line pick Private Zone scratching out of the $150,000 Zia Park Derby Dec. 1, Alsvid becomes the likely favorite in the field of eight remaining sophomores for the Hobbs, N.M., event.

Trainer Doug O'Neill confirmed to Daily Racing Form that Private Zone, who was 5-2 on the early line, would not be making the trip from Southern California and will instead wait for a start in the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park Dec. 26. Private Zone was entered in the $100,000 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes (gr. III) at Betfair Hollywood Park Dec. 2.

The 1 1/16-mile Zia Park Derby will go as the 10th race on the program with a 4:09 p.m. MST probable post.

Alsvid is a son of Officer trained by Chris Hartman for James Rogers' Black Hawk Stable. The gelding, who starts from post 4 in the Zia Derby, ships in from Remington Park following a fourth-place finish in the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Oct. 27 at Laurel Park. Though most of his recent efforts have been in sprints, Hartman thinks Alsvid will handle the distance.

"He has a lot of tactical speed, and he can carry it a distance of ground," Hartman said. "I don't really think that's an issue for him.  Hopefully he stays healthy going into the race and puts a good foot forward."

Alsvid won the Prairie Mile at Prairie Meadows in June but backed up after pressing the pace in the Iowa Derby (gr. III) over the same track four weeks later, finishing fifth behind the victorious Hansen.

"I thought it was a good spot for the horse for the simple reason that the money is decent and this time of year there is not much left for straight 3-year-olds," Hartman said.

"I've only run him a route twice, but I think he's going to be a very good mile horse," Hartman said. "At Prairie Meadows he ran with Hansen, and that's the only time he's been beaten around two turns."

To be ridden by Chris Landeros, Alsvid is a seven-time winner from 11 starts and has earned $382,465. In his previous try over the track, Alsvid defeated an allowance field by 4 1/2 lengths going 5 1/2 furlongs last December.

Master Rick finished third in the $500,000 Super Derby (gr. II) at Louisiana Downs at 44-1 in September. The son of Master Command, drawing the far outside post for Steve Asmussen and owner Richard L. Davis, won the Northern Spur Stakes at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas in April. He is coming off a seventh in the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Sept. 30.

Other stakes winners in the field are Explain, who captured the Jim Kostoff Stakes at Fairplex Park in Southern California in September, and locally based Ol Winedrinker Who, victorious in the Norgor Derby at Ruidoso Downs in June.

Explain, a son of Broken Vow  trained by Robert Diodoro for TG Racing and Simon Hudy, ran fourth in the Pomona Derby in his most recent start Sept. 22. Since his stakes win, Ol Winedrinker Who has posted three consecutive runner-up finishes for trainer Joel Marr, who conditions the Texas-bred Sligo Bay gelding for Sam E. and Sammy L. Stevens.

$150,000 Zia Park Derby (Race 10, approximate post 4:09 p.m. MST), 3yo, 1 1/16 miles
PP, Horse, Jockey, Trainer, Odds
1. Private Zone (ON), K. Krigger, D. O’Neill, 5-2
2. Ol Winedrinker Who (TX), C. Madeira, J. Marr, 10-1
3. Motown Men (CA), A. Medelin, P. Eurton, 8-1
4. Alsvid (KY), C. Landeros, C. Hartman, 7-2
5. Yankee Dan (KY), R. Eikleberry, J. Evans, 15-1
6. Whining (FL), I. Enriquez, B. Hone, 12-1
7. Proud Spanky (NM), J. Villanueva, S. Gonzalez, 20-1
8. Explain (KY), J. Careno, R. Diodoro, 6-1
9. Master Rick (FL), R. Santana Jr. S. Asmussen, 9-2
all starters carry 122 pounds