Page 117 - NM Summer 2023
P. 117

                SUNLAND PARK
  New Mexico Breeders’ Derby (R)
 Sent to post at odds of nearly 45-1 in a field of 11 state-bred 3-year-old Thoroughbreds, Juan Carlos Gutierrez’s Valentino Who rallied to win the March 26, 1 1/16-mile New Mexico Breeders’ Derby (R) at Sunland Park.
Valentino Who defeated 9-5 favorite Still
In The Trap by a half of a length in 1:45.46
and earned the $150,000 winner’s share of a $250,000 purse. Jose Miguel Vazquez rode the bay son of Comfort for trainer Jose A. Gonzalez.
Valentino Who returned a $91.80 win mutuel and teamed with Still In The Trap for a $2 exacta dividend of $663.80. The gelding was bred by Sam E. Stevens and Sammy L. Stevens of Lamesa, Texas, and he was claimed by Gutierrez for $8,000 on February 12.
Valentino Who is one of seven winners from 19 starters sired by Comfort, a Kentucky-bred 11-year- old son of 1998 Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Indian Charlie. Raced in four states from 2014-16, Comfort earned $459,340 from nine starts, and his five wins included the 2016 State Dinner Stakes at Belmont Park. He also ran second in that season’s Grade 1, $1.195M Whitney Stakes at Saratoga.
Comfort has sired the earners of more than $625,000 from three crops. The stallion is owned by a partnership.
Valentino Who’s dam, Weekends For Love, is a winning Maryland-bred daughter of the Mr. Prospector stallion Not For Love. A 2011 foal, Weekends For Love has produced five winners
from as many starters, including Lonzo Who,
a full brother to Valentino Who and runner-up in Marked’s 2021 Mountain Top Futurity (R) at Ruidoso Downs, and Jonathan Who, a half- brother to Valentino Who and runner-up in the 2020 Manzano Stakes at Albuquerque Downs.
Valentino Who’s second dam, the Kentucky- bred Ghazi mare Weeks, won the 2007 Witches Brew Stakes on the turf at The Meadowlands
in New Jersey. The gelding traces back to his fourth dam, Sermon Time, a daughter of the Deputy Minister stallion Silver Deputy who won three stakes in Ontario in 1992, including the $100,000 Ontario Debutante Stakes (R) at Fort Erie Racetrack. Sermon Time foaled six winners from seven starters, including multiple Wake At Noon, a multiple Grade 3 winner at Woodbine Racecourse near Toronto from 2000-03.
Valentino Who was stretching in distance
off of his sixth-place finish, 6 1/4 lengths behind winner Thruthestorm, in the February 28, 1-mile Red Hedeman Mile Stakes (R). Campaigned exclusively in New Mexico, the gelding has won three of nine starts and has earned $188,623, of which $152,000 has been banked since the claim.
Smartsrealgood, a 25-1 longshot, finished third, 1 1/2 lengths behind Valentino Who, to complete
a $1 trifecta payoff of $7,912.20. George Who, Remember Sixtytwo, Thruthestorm, Antonios Mark, Sambas Mark, Ol’ McClintock, Artful Critic and Beach Runner completed the order of finish.
Still In The Trap pocketed the $50,000 runner-up share of the Breeders’ Derby purse for his owner, Dale F. Taylor Racing LLC. A bay son of the New Mexico-bred Desert God stallion Proceed and the multiple stakes- winning Attila’s Storm mare Renewed Vows, the bay gelding has won one of four starts and has earned $99,080, and he was coming off of a second-place finish in the Red Hedeman Mile.
Smartsrealgood races for Greg Green, R. Dwain Yarbar and Duncan Hamlin. A bay son of the Afleet Alex stallion Sway Away, the gelding has won two of eight outs, including last year’s 6-furlong, $125,000 New Mexico Cup Juvenile Championship (R) at Zia Park. The $25,000 third-place share of the Breeders’ Derby purse pushed his bankroll to $129,075.
Photos by Coady Photography
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