Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 3 Sunland Derby takes place this Sunday, March 22 from Sunland Park Racetrack in El Paso, Texas. A nice purse of $800,000 and 50 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Derby May 2 will be on the line for three year old Kentucky Derby hopefuls as they go 1 1/8 miles on Sunland Park's dirt track.
A field of eight three year olds will take part in the Sunland Derby - race 11 on Sunland Park's Sunday schedule. Post time is 5:40 PM. Here is a brief glance into the past performances of all eight combatants for this Grade 3 stakes.
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2015 Sunland Derby Race Favorite Entries
Firing Line - Simon Callahan trained colt made his stakes debut December 20 and finished a close second behind Dortmund in the Grade 1 Los Alamito Futurity after a 6 1/2 furlong maiden score by 4 1/4 lengths in his second career start - at Del Mar November 30. Last time out was another respectable second behind Dortmund in the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes - at Santa Anita February 7. He has been in there with the best so far in his career and has fared very well. Gary Stevens has been tabbed to ride the 8-5 morning line favorite from the rail Saturday - glad that Dortmund isn't entered in this race.
Lord Nelson - Bob Baffert trained colt has three wins in six career starts - including the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes over Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red February 1 and by an impressive 6 3/4 lengths in the minor Speakeasy Stakes October 13. He has failed to place in his other three graded stakes starts however including last time out - a fourth in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita March 7 to go along with a disappointing fifth behind El Kabeir and International Star - as favorite November 29 in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes November 29 and a fourth - right behind Texas Red in the Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes in September. Lord Nelson has raced against some top-end talent and has fared well - he hopes to maintain that trend. He lines up as the only graded stakes winner in the field at 3-1 odds in gate 2 with Martin Garcia aboard.
Sunland Derby 2015 | Remaining Contenders
Where's The Moon - has two wins and a third place finish in six career starts for trainer Henry Dominguez - both of his wins have come in his last two starts. Last time out was a win in his stakes debut - by 2 1/2 lengths the minor Mine That Bird Derby at 13-1 odds here February 21 after a maiden score also on this track February 23. Where's The Moon has definitely been trending upward and hopes to keep the roll going from post 3 with Luis Contreras in the saddle.
Tiznow R J - Steve Asmussen trained colt broke maiden December 11 in his third career start and went on to a respectable third in the Grade 3 LeComte Stakes in January. Last time out he fell back to earth just a bit - a seventh in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds February 21. Tiznow R J has a win and three third place finishes in five career starts and looks to bounce back from the worst result of his career. Robby Albarado rides from gate 6.
Dirt Monster - has hit the board in all seven career start - two wins, two seconds and three third place finishes. He enters off consecutive third place finishes - behind Where's The Moon the minor Mine That Bird Derby February 21 and the minor Riley Allison Stakes January 24 - both results on this very track. Dirt Monster makes his graded stakes debut in decent form from the outside post with Ry Eikleberry in the irons.
Why Two - has three career starts with two wins - both of which have come in his last two starts. He enters off a win in his stakes debut - the minor Turf Paradise Derby in wire-to-wire fashion as favorite February 21 after a maiden score in his second career start. Why Two has looked very good in limited action for trainer Michael Machowski and breaks from post 4 with Victor Espinoza in the reins.
Malibu Mogul - has three starts for trainer Henry Dominguez with two wins - a maiden score in his second career star February 16 and an Allowance score last time out March 6 - both results on this track. He steps into stakes company for the first time Saturday from post 5 with Enrique Portillo Gomez guiding him.
Pain and Misery - Henry Dominguez trained colt has two wins, a second and a third place finish in five career starts. He enters off a seventh in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 3 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita March 7, a second in the minor Baffle Stakes at Santa Anita February 15 and two straight wins - the best of which coming in the minor Governor's Cup Stakes at Zia Park in October. Norberto Arroyo will be in charge as Pain and Misery attempts to break through in graded stakes company when he leaves from post 7.
2015 Sunland Derby Entries & Odds
Race 11 on Sunland Park's Sunday card with a Post Time of 5:40 PM.
|1||Firing Line||G. Stevens||S. Callaghan|
|2||Lord Nelson||M. Garcia||B. Baffert|
|3||Where's the Moon||L. Contreras||H. Dominguez|
|4||Why Two||V. Espinoza||M. Machowsky|
|5||Malibu Mogul||E. Gomez||H. Dominguez|
|6||Tiznow R J||R. Albarado||S. Asmussen|
|7||Pain and Misery||N. Arroyo, Jr.||H. Dominguez|
|8||Dirt Monster||R. Eikleberry||J. Evans|