Perfect Flight Upsets Peter Miller Barnmate In Zia Park Derby

Gary Barber’s Perfect Flight rallied from last under Ricardo Santana Jr. to upset Apprehend and Ramon Vazquez and give trainer Peter Miller a one-two finish in Tuesday’s $250,000 Zia Park Derby at Zia Park in Hobbs, N.M.

The Derby was one of seven stakes on the Land of Enchantment Day program with purses totaling $900,000 and came one race after Three Chimneys Farm’s homebred filly Bella Runner won the $250,000 Zia Park Oaks for trainer Steve Asmussen and Santana.

Santana picked up both mounts after Florent Geroux opted not to fly from Kentucky to New Mexico after suffering a sprained ankle at Churchill Downs in an incident on Saturday, according to Daily Racing Form. He won a third stakes on the day on a horse Geroux was originally scheduled to ride.

Perfect Flight, an Uncle Mo 3-year-old colt bred in Kentucky by Siena Farms, was winning his first stakes and third race overall from nine starts. He was coming off a third-place finish on the Santa Anita turf course in the Grade 2 Twilight Derby. In August, he finished second in the G3 La Jolla Handicap at Del Mar.

In the Zia Park Derby, Santana was content to settle Perfect Flight at the back of the field as stablemate Apprehend showed the way under pressure from Great Escape. He moved three wide on the far turn, took the lead at the top of the stretch, then pulled off to win by 2 3/4 lengths. Apprehend was second, a half-length ahead of Great Escape, with Bye Bye Bobby, Senate Chamber, and I Think I’m Here completing the order of finish.

Perfect Flight ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:42.31 and paid $11.40 to win.

Bella Runner and Ricardo Santana Jr. winning the Zia Park Oaks

Bella Runner’s Oaks victory was more of a front-running triumph, with the Gun Runner filly pressing pacesetter American Coalminer from the outset. She took control on the turn for home and drew off to win by four lengths. Kirstenbosch, a California invader trained by John Sadler, finished second as the 9-10 favorite ahead of Corrina Corrina. Hits Pricey, Cleopatras Charge, and American Coalminer rounded out the field.

Bella Runner paid $4.40 as the second choice in the wagering and ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.13. The win was the first stakes victory for Bella Runner, who is now 2-of-7.

In other races:

— Todd Fincher gave jockey Alfred Juarez Jr. a leg up on the Nyquist filly Flying Connection to win the $75,000 Zia Park Princess.

— Asmussen and Santana teamed up to win the $75,000 Zia Park Juvenile with the Good Magic colt How Did He Do That.

— Peter Miller won a second race on the day with Samurai Charm (by First Samurai) taking the $75,000 Zia Park Distaff under Luis Fuentes.

— Competitive Idea won one for the home team with his victory in the $75,000 Zia Park Sprint for locally based trainer Dick Cappellucci and jockey Alfred Juarez Jr.

—Soy Tapatio, who last raced at Century Mile, won the $75,000 Zia Park Championship Stakes for trainer Robertino Diodoro and Orlando Mojica.

The post Perfect Flight Upsets Peter Miller Barnmate In Zia Park Derby appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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