Wild On Ice – Kentucky Derby Context

April 26th, 2023

Wild On Ice earned the qualifying points for a Kentucky Derby bid when recording a 35-1 upset in the Sunland Derby (G3) in late March, rallying from just off the pace to win going away by 1 1/4 lengths.

Top Brisnet Speed: 96

Top Brisnet Late Pace: 89

No factor in his first two stakes appearances, the bay sophomore has now won three of five career starts, and Wild On Ice will be the lone gelding in the 2023 Kentucky Derby field — and one of the longest shots on the tote board. The up-close stalker faces an extreme class check at Churchill Downs, and Wild On Ice will be a regression candidate following a career-best effort, increasing his Brisnet Speed numbers by double-digits.

Owner: Frank Sumpter, who claimed Wild On Ice’s dam for $5,000, operates a small New Mexico-based stable and will make his Kentucky Derby debut. He’s the brother of retired jockey Gary Sumpter.

Trainer: A winner of more than 1,300 starts, Joel Marr is best known as the trainer of Peppers Pride, a New Mexico-bred sprint legend who went unbeaten from 19 starts from 2005 through 2008. Wild On Ice will be Marr’s first Kentucky Derby starter.

Jockey: Ken Tohill recorded his 4,000th win last May, and the 60-year-old jockey will make his first Kentucky Derby appearance this year. The all-time leading rider at Sunland Downs, Tohill rode in Northern California before moving his tack to New Mexico nearly two decades ago.

Breeder/Sales: A homebred for Sumpter, Wild On Ice will be the first Texas-bred to compete in the Kentucky Derby since Jim’s Orbit finished 10th in 1988. Texas has produced a pair of winners, King Ranch homebreds Assault (Triple Crown scorer in 1946) and Middleground (1950). Homebreds have won 11 of the last 19 runnings of the Kentucky Derby. A pair of geldings have won the Kentucky Derby in modern times, Mine that Bird (2009) and Funny Cide (2003).

Sire: Wild On Ice is from the seventh crop of Tapizar, who was unfortunately euthanized after sustaining an accident in his stall in late 2020. By leading sire Tapit, Tapizar could make an impact in the Triple Crown with his final two crops, and he’s best known as the sire of two-time champion and 2018 Kentucky Oaks winner Monomoy Girl.

Dam: Wild On Ice hails from the Grand Slam mare Slamitagain, who is also the dam of stakes-placed Unique Babe. This is the immediate female family of Vicar, who won the 1999 Florida Derby (G1) prior to an unplaced effort in the Kentucky Derby. Grand Slam, a multiple Grade 1-winning juvenile in 1997 and a son of Gone West, has yet to factor in the Triple Crown as a broodmare sire.

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