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Sunland Sizzlers

Posted by on 3/20/2014 9:27:05 PM

What: Sunland Derby?????????? ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Who: Chitu (Win)
Where: Sunland Park
When: Sunday, March 23

The Grade 3 $800,000 Sunland Derby really got on the equine road map in 2009 when Mine That Bird was a wide 4th but then made the trek to the Kentucky Derby only to blow up the tote board winning at 50-1.

He improved 25 Beyer Speed Figure points from the Sunland Derby and the Kentucky Derby in a shocking performance.

This year a classy cast of 9 will roll in the mile and an eighth fixture and the winner will earn 50 preference points toward a start in the Kentucky Derby.

Tanzanite Cat disproved the theory that speed kills when he was on or near the lead every step of the way in the Smarty Jones and was inching away late.

Pushed along last time in the Southwest, he had nothing left when the real racing began.

Bourbonize shocked 11 rivals winning his sprint debut at 17-1 and then showed it was no fluke when he handled the slop in his next. He was compromised in the Southwest as he drew post 12 and just never got rolling.

Commissioner ran into a freak in his debut, won at this distance at Saratoga and won the first time he ran at Gulfstream, again in game style. He may not have cared for the rail in the Fountain of Youth and he never got untracked. This colt has the blood to thrive, as half brother Laugh Track was Grade 1 place, successful in a Grade 3 and an earner of over $550,000.

The fact that Todd Pletcher brought Johnny Velazquez to New Mexico to ride this colt suggests he is pretty high on the youngster.

Global Strike bobbled in the grass debut and was pretty much finished there. He picked up the pace in the second start but needed one more outing to graduate when he tow-roped a field going this distance with a 73 Beyer.

Garen didn???t get the best of trips in the debut, was fried on a hot pace next out, then stretched long in a route and wired his foes but lost ground in the lane while recording an 82 Beyer.

Midnight Hawk, trained by Bob Baffert, was tons the best of the rest in the Robert Lewis and then just ran into an equine buzz saw when California Chrome sizzled in the San Felipe.

Chitu, also conditioned by Baffert, has trained steadily for this and should be solid. After winning his debut, he proved his agility overcoming a bobble at the break. In his stakes debut in the Lewis, he made the lead late but could not hold off the promising Candy Boy.

The 2 Bafferts have the best last-race Beyers in the resumes. Chitu has been put though his motions since his last race with 4 well-spaced drills and he has every right to get this distance with the A.P. Indy influence on the bottom side.
Martin Garcia, who rides on the front end excellently day in and day out in Southern California, will likely be able to control the pace in this race.

He can give you a :44 and change half, figures to be sent hard from the sound of the bell, and could very well get brave if Garcia is judicious with pace.


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