Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s International Star appeared to be the brightest star on a loaded stakes card at Zia Park. The son of Fusaichi Pegasus came to Wednesday’s contest on a three-race graded win streak after he swept the Fairgrounds Race Course & Slots Kentucky Derby preps�LeComte Stakes (gr. III), Risen Star Stakes (gr. II), and Louisiana Derby (gr. II), but the Mike Maker trainee flamed out in the $200,000 Zia Park Derby, setting the pace and then tiring to a far-back fourth while Mobile Bayand Pain and Misery dueled to the wire, 13 lengths ahead.
Tigertail Ranch’s homebred Super Derby (gr. II) winner Mobile Bay got the bob and won by a nose at odds of 7-2, one start after finishing third in the Oklahoma Derby (gr. III) for trainer Victor Arceneaux.
Contrary to his previous off-the-pace form, International Star went to the lead in the 1 1/16-mile Derby under first-time jockey Martin Garcia and dueled with longshot Where’s the Moon through a half-mile, setting fractions of :24.66 and :49.54. In nine previous starts, International Star had never set the pace.
Pain and Misery took over the lead after six furlongs in 1:13.17, while Mobile Bay loomed 1 1/2-lenths back in fourth, before the pair battled to the wire, finishing in 1:43.62.
Ridden by Edgar Prado, Mobile Bay brought $9.20 $3.60, and $2.60 across the board. Pain and Misery delivered $4.40 and $2.80, while Bold Conquest, 11 lengths back, paid $2.60 to show.
It was the fourth stakes win for Mobile Bay, a Louisiana-bred son of Lone Star Special, who now has a 6-2-3 record from 12 starts, all this year. He now has $589,090 in earnings.