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Las Vegas, NV - Sunland Park in New Mexico will be the scene of one of the two Kentucky Derby qualifying races this weekend. The Grade 3 Sunland Derby will go down Sunday March 24. It will feature three year old Derby hopefuls as they chase the winner's share of the $800,000 purse and the 50 points allotted for first place over 1 1/8 miles on Sunland Park's dirt track.
A field of nine has been confirmed for the Sunland Derby - race 11 on Sunland Park's Sunday card. Post time is 5:40 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all nine Kentucky Derby hopefuls ahead of this most important qualifying Grade 3 stakes.
Shakin It Up - Bob Baffert pupil is coming off a very nice win last time out in the seven furlong Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita February 17. Before that had a win and a second in his two Maiden Special Weight races to start his career - the win coming by an impressive 4 1/2 lengths October 27 at Santa Anita after a second to Super Ninety Nine in his debut. Prior to the San Vicente was a nice third in his stakes debut - the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes at Hollywood Park November 22. He has two wins in four career starts and has been competitive in both of his stakes appearances - he is one of the few to keep your eyes on Sunday but races around two turns for the first time.
Mudflats - highly regarded Doug O'Neill colt had a win three back to follow a fourth in his debut and a third in his second career start. Last time out was an OK fifth in the competitive San Vicente Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths at Santa Anita February 17 to follow very disappointing seventh in the Grade 2 Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct January 5. His results haven't been terrific but there is no denying the fact that Mudflats is considered a threat Sunday.
Govenor Charlie - has raced two MSW races in his career so far and is coming off a win at Santa Anita February 17 over the very tough Footbridge after a second in his debut also at Santa Anita January 19.
Dry Summer - enters the Sunland Derby as one of the most experienced of the entries - eight career starts with four wins including the last two in a row - the minor Mine That Bird Derby February 23 and an Allowance January 27 - both on this track. His graded stakes results have been less-than-impressive however - a fourth in the Grade 3 Sham January 5, an eleventh in the Breeders' Cup and an eighth in the Grade 1 Frontrunner at Santa Anita in September. Dry Summer enters in the best form of his career having had tremendous recent success on this track.
Show Some Magic - has raced against Dry Summer the last two outings and finished second in the minor Mine That Bird Derby here February 23 and third in an Allowance January 27. Before that was a win in the minor Riley Allison Futurity also on this track December 23. He has had his share of issues in graded stakes company - a ninth in the Delta Downs Jackpot in November and a fifth in the Three Chimneys Hopeful in September. But he knows this track and has looked good lately so don't discount Show Some Magic.
Sunland Derby betting at Sunland Park with OffTrackBetting.com
Stormdriver - finished third most recently to Dry Summer and Show Some Magic in the Mine That Bird Derby here February 23 after a second in the same Allowance that Dry Summer and Mine That Bird participated in. He also had a second three back in the Riley Allison - a race that Show Some Magic won on this track in December. He has a win, two seconds and two third place finishes in seven career starts but has a pair of seconds and a third in his last three starts on this very track.
Just Win Baby - has just two career starts for trainer Oscar Garcia but is coming off a MSW score at Santa Anita February 28 in a race he earned a decent 85 Beyer Speed Figure. His other career result was a sixth in a MSW also at Santa Anita February 16.
Saint Prado - Jeff Bonde trained colt has three career starts with a win - a MSW last time out at Santa Anita, a second in his debut at Golden Gate in June and a third place finish which came two back in the minor Lost in the Fog Stakes also in June at Golden Gate.
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