SUNLAND PARK, NM–FEBRUARY 25, 2023–3-1 morning-line favorite and fastest qualifier from the trials Delight Interest scores the win by a neck over Leviton in the $65,000 West Texas Derby (G3) on Saturday afternoon at Sunland Park.
Piloted by Manuel Gutierrez, Delight Interest broke from hole three in fifth position. The post-time favorites quickly gained ground by first call and kept the lead to the wire, clocking a 106 speed index in :19.303 seconds against a 5 mph crosswind.
Delight Interest’s victory paid $4.00 to win on a $2.00 wager. Leviton and jockey Sergio Becerra, Jr made a gallant effort towards the wire coming up short by only a neck to collect runner-up honors. With 13-2 odds at the post, the duo’s second place effort paid $6.40 to place.
Conditioned by Josue Ponce, Delight Interest is owned by Triple Five. The three-year-old gelding has lit the board 8 out of 10 starts with 4 career wins and the $39,000 winner’s share upped his earnings to $121,134.
After breaking his maiden in May, 2022 of his freshman year, Delight Interest ran in several different Futurity trials, including the All American and Texas Classic but fell short when it came to making it back to the finals.
It wasn’t until December that he finally found his stride and qualified to the Evangeline Downs Futurity with the sixth fastest time. Delight Interest returned to the finals for a second place finish in the $305,960 Grade 3 Futurity.
The son of Seperate Interest seems to have found his rhythm starting out his three-year-old campaign in 2023 with two consecutive victories and his first career stakes win in the 400-yard West Texas Derby (G3).
Delight Interest was a 2021 Heritage Place Yearling Sale graduate who sold for $30,000. Bred by George Mitchell of Oklahoma, the three-year-old gelding is out of the Volcom stakes placed winning mare Volcoms Delight, who is a full sister to All American Futurity (G1) winner JM Miracle.
Eric Valenzuela saddled runner-up Leviton, who clocked a 105 speed index in the Derby. This is the first time competing in stakes competition for the son of Jess Good Candy. The second place earnings of $13,000 paid to Leviton boosted his bankroll to $35,302.
Bred by Lester Colomb, Jr, Leviton sold for $49,000 to his current owner AA Farms, LLC in the 2021 Heritage Place Yearling Sale. The Louisiana-bred colt is out of the Pyc Paint Your Wagon mare Pyc First Prize Mia, who’s grandam is broodmare of the year First Prize Dash and full sister to world champion First Down Dash.
Coming in third 2 1/2-lengths behind Leviton was Docs Stoli Rme, who was piloted by Jose Ortiz. Conditioned by Salvador Soto, the son of Docs Best Card has three career wins with $54,815 in the bank.
Bred and owned by Ricardo Morales of Texas, Docs Stoli Rme is out of BV Second To None, who is by Stoli.
Completing the order of finish is Kj Wicked Wand, Viper Drier A Candy Dynasty, Doing Something Good, One Good Corona, One Fearless Eagle and Fireside Chat.
**Story Courtesy of Stallion E Search**