With $400,000 up for grabs to the winner of Sunday's $800,000 Sunland Derby (G3), a field of 11 sophomores lined up in the starting gate, each hoping to stamp his ticket to the first Saturday in May. When the dust had settled, the connections of TWICE THE APPEAL (Successful Appeal) found themselves basking in the New Mexico sun as their dark bay colt had his picture taken in the winner's circle following a 1 1/2-length victory.
Jockey Christian Santiago-Reyes settled Twice the Appeal in midpack as Sinai (Rockport Harbor) gunned straight to the front and proceeded to set swift fractions of :22 3/5, :45 and 1:10 4/5. Beer Meister (Pleasant Tap) was keeping close tabs on the leader, while near 3-1 second choice Astrology (A.P. Indy) kept Fusa Code (Fusaichi Pegasus) company just in behind.
The pace took its toll on Sinai, and the 2-1 favorite completely stopped following his six-furlong split, backing all the way up to last between calls. Astrology was just waiting for his chance and pounced on the lead in the stretch. However, Twice the Appeal was making his move after going wide around the turn and caught his season-debuting rival in the lane. The Jeff Bonde trainee inched away in the final yards to be 1 1/2 lengths clear on the wire while finishing up the nine-furlong, fast-track test in 1:50 4/5.
Sent off the 25-1 ninth choice, Twice the Appeal returned $53.20, $14.80 and $10 to his faithful backers. Astrology held second by a head over the closing Ruler on Ice (Roman Ruler), and it was another 2 1/2 lengths back to 41-1 longshot It's My Party (Unbridled Energy). Beer Meister, Nacho Saint (Yes It's True), Fusa Code, R Skydiver (Benchmark), Supreme Ruler (Don't Get Mad), Behold de Buy (E Dubai) and Sinai completed the order under the wire.
Campaigned by Edward J. Brown Jr., Victor Flores and Henry Hernandez, Twice the Appeal began his career competing on the synthetic Polytrack at Del Mar in August. He didn't manage a top three finish until moving over to Fairplex Park's dirt track, where he ran third, placed second via disqualification, in a maiden on September 25. Transferred back to the synthetics, this time the Tapeta at Golden Gate Fields, the dark bay managed a runner-up effort against maiden rivals before finishing third over that track's turf in November.
Twice the Appeal started twice more as a juvenile, finishing fifth back on the Tapeta before finally getting his initial win in a maiden claimer at Santa Anita Park on December 29. He returned 16 days later and stretched out to a mile against winners, resulting in a 4 3/4-length victory for the newly turned three-year-old. The colt made his stakes bow in the Turf Paradise Derby on February 26, boldly rallying for second, but in the process lugged in at the sixteenth-pole and interfered with Mr Artistic M D (Mr. Greeley). After an objection lodged by Mr Artistic M D's rider, the stewards disqualified Twice the Appeal and placed him fourth.
Easily defeating Turf Paradise Derby winner Beer Meister this time around, Twice the Appeal skyrocketed his earnings to $449,920 with this victory and now owns a 10-3-2-1 career mark.
Bred in Kentucky by John T. L. Jones III, the dark bay colt sold for $35,000 as a Barretts May two-year-old after RNAing the previous year for $4,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. He is out of Double Boarded (Cormorant), who has also produced dual stakes winner Board Elligible (Goldminers Gold) and an unraced juvenile filly named Songandadare (Songandaprayer).
Double Boarded is a half-sister to Grade 3-placed multiple stakes winners Cologny (Go for Gin) and Selective (Mi Selecto) as well as a full sister to stakes hero Keep It S. S.