Lamesa horse headed to the Kentucky Derby, after winning Sunland Derby
LAMESA, Texas (KCBD) - A horse owned and raised in Lamesa is racing to the Kentucky Derby after winning at Sunland Park, New Mexico last month.
So, one of the 20 horses racing out of the gate this May is from the South Plains.
“It’s been a circus, but a fun circus,” the owner, Frank Sumpter, said.
Wild On Ice won first place in the Sunland Derby, guaranteeing him a spot in the Kentucky Derby. This is a dream Sumpter has had for more than 20 years. He has watched the horse race with his wife for years, promising her they would have a contender in the Churchill Downs one day.
“I told her, I said, ‘I’m going to get you on,’” Sumpter said. “Every year she says, ‘Where’s my Kentucky Derby horse?’ It’s coming, it’s coming.”
That day is coming quick. Wild On Ice will race in the Kentucky Derby on May 6.
Sumpter says the horse has raced five times before this.
“He ran two races in Hobbs and won those pretty easy,” Sumpter said.
Then, the horse lost two races. So, Sumpter wasn’t too confident when his trainer mentioned entering the horse in the Sunland Derby.
“I started seeing the horses in there and I was like, ‘Oh my goodness Bob Baffert, this is the guy who won the Kentucky Derby six times and two triple crowns we have to compete against. Oh my goodness, this is not good,’” Sumpter said.
His trainer assured him Wild On Ice was ready.
“He kept telling me my horse continues to go up,” Sumpter said. “When he came around that curve he was full of run.”
As long as the trainer says Wild On Ice is healthy and ready to run in May, Sumpter says he will be at the Kentucky Derby.
“Go or not go, I don’t care,” Sumpter said. “I’m still going to have this great feeling because I have the trophy.”
Sumpter says he just wants Wild On Ice to give it his all. If they don’t win the roses, he says that’s okay.
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