Yo Y Me lost the lead, regained it, and then held off a late-charging Sneaky Meek to win a dramatic Colorado Derby on Sunday at Arapahoe Park. Jockey Scott Stevens took the 3-year-old gelding trained by Kevin Eikleberry to the early lead in the opening quarter mile of the 1 1/16-mile, $30,000 stake. Way Out West, the reigning Colorado-bred horse of the year, took over under jockey David Cardoso around the far turn. But then Yo Y Me, the 4-5 favorite in the field of 10, re-rallied in the homestretch and found the finish line just in time to hold off 38-1 longshot Sneaky Meek and jockey Nathan Haar by a half-length in 1:48.76.
“I’ve ridden enough races that you know a horse only has a certain amount of move in him,” Stevens said about when Yo Y Me relinquished the lead around the far turn. “He was a little rank with me at the start of the race, so I used him up a little bit for the first time. I knew if I moved at that point [around the far turn], I was going to come up empty. So I chose just to sit and wait and hope he had something left.”
Yo Y Me has now won five stakes races and increased his career earnings to $170,765, 10 times more than his $17,000 purchase price as a yearling, with six victories in 11 starts.
In Quarter Horse action on Saturday at Arapahoe Park, Iza Captain won his second stakes race of the 2017 Arapahoe Park season with a one-length victory in the 350-yard, $59,580 Lucille Rowe Derby for 3-year-old Colorado-breds in 17.840 seconds under jockey Jose Ruiz. The sorrel gelding previously captured the Dolls Prodigy Stakes on June 4 for owners Pedro and Lilia Andazola and trainer Julio Corral.
“He didn’t break that fast, but in like 50 yards I started moving him,” Ruiz said. “He was coming fast and finished strong and did everything perfectly.”
Indomable Cartel dominated the 330-yard, $74,680 Cherry Creek Futurity for 2-year-old Colorado-breds on Saturday at Arapahoe Park with a 1 3/4-length victory in 17.006 seconds for jockey Fernando Fonseca-Soto, trainer Luz Chavira, and owner Mariano Cornejo as the fastest qualifier.
“I was pretty surprised he broke that fast,” Fonseca-Soto said. “But after he broke in front, I was pretty excited that we were going to make it to the finish line like that, and that’s how he did it.”