Friday, March 25, 2011
A field of 11 Triple Crown hopefuls, including morning-line favorite Astrology, are entered in Sunday's Grade 3, $800,000 Sunland Derby at Sunland Park, one of six Thoroughbred stakes on a rich 13-race card that will offer a total of $1,577,300 in purses.
Post time for the first race is 12:45 p.m. (MDT). Scheduled post time for the Sunland Derby is 5:45.
The other Thoroughbred stakes to be run Sunday are: the 1 1/16-mile, $100,000 New Mexico Breeders' Derby (R) for state-bred 3-year-olds; the 1 1/16-mile, $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks for 3-year-old fillies; the one-mile, $100,000 Harry Henson Handicap for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds & older; the 5 1/2-furlong, $120,000 La Coneja Handicap (R) for New Mexico-bred fillies and mares, 3-year-olds & older; and the 1 1/16-mile, $100,000 New Mexico Breeders' Oaks (R) for state-bred sophomore fillies.
A homebred colt by A.P. Indy racing for Stonestreet Stables and George Bolton from the barn of Steve Asmussen, Astrology will be making his first start since November 27, when he ran second, a half of a length behind Santiva, in the 1 1/16-mile, $150,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs. Astrology has earned $152,893 from five races, and his two wins include the October 31,, $100,000 Iroquois Stakes (G3) at Churchill.
“He's a graded-stakes winning colt with a tremendous pedigree,” said Asmussen of Astrology. “This is an ambitious start for his 3-year-old debut, but there's a tremendous amount at stake considering the impressive individual he is. There's a lot of questions, but I feel very good about the health and condition of the horse right now.
“He's an absolutely beautiful individual,” added the trainer. “But it's a tall order to go a mile and an eighth off the bench.”
Astrology's 10 Sunland Derby opponents include Nacho Saint, one of two entries owned by George and Lori Hall and trained by New Jersey-based conditioner Kelly Breen. A chestnut colt by Yes It's True, Nacho Saint is coming off of a fourth-place finish to Stay Thirsty in the March 5 Gotham Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct. His stakes resume includes a runner-up effort in last year's 6-furlong, $150,000 Sanford Stakes (G2) at Saratoga.
The Halls other entrant, Ruler On Ice, is a chestnut gelding by Roman Ruler who is coming off of an entry-level 1 1/16-mile allowance victory at Parx Racing in Philadelphia on February 22.
All Sunland Derby entries will carry 122 pounds. The complete lineup for the Sunland Derby, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds – Ruler On Ice (Jose Valdivia Jr.), 8-1; R Skydiver (Alejandro Medellin), 12-1; Fusa Code (Justin Shepherd), 8-1; It's My Party (J. Martin Bourdieu), 12-1; Behold de Buy (Ken Tohill), 12-1; Supreme Ruler (Jon Court), 20-1; Sinai (Martin Garcia), 6-1; Nacho Saint (Joe Bravo), 7-2; Twice The Appeal (Christian Santiago Reyes), 15-1; Beer Meister (Glenn Corbett), 15-1; and Astrology (Julien Leparoux), 5-2.
NEW MEXICO BREEDERS' DERBY (R)
1 1/16-miles, $100,000
New Mexico-bred 3-year-olds
A full field of 12 state-bred sophomores are entered in this race, including 3-1 morning-line favorite It's Tera. A gelding by To Teras racing for Maria G. Gonzalez of Edgewood, New Mexico, It's Tera has won two of five races and has banked $65,770. He is coming off of a three-length victory as the 3-5 choice in a 5 1/2-furlong state-bred entry-level allowance sprint on March 5.
All horses will carry 122 pounds. The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds – Danny's Ghost (Ramsey Zimmerman), 30-1; Capitol Guy (Miguel Hernandez), 4-1; Mostly Dust (J. Martin Bourdieu), 20-1; Numberoneson (Joe Martinez), 8-1; Desert Gulch (Glen Murphy), 6-1; Sapello Cantador (Juan Ochoa), 15-1; Cake And Candy (Martin Garcia), 10-1; Deity (Justin Shepherd), 8-1; It's Tera (Alejandro Medellin), 3-1; Spartan Warrior (Ken Tohill), 10-1; Attitude E Racer (Carlos Madeira), 12-1; and Strong Punch (Isaias Enriquez), 15-1.
SUNLAND PARK OAKS
1 1/16-miles, $200,000
Peachtree Stables' Plum Pretty, a lightly raced daughter of Medaglia d'Oro who has earned $70,800 from three starts, heads a field of six in this race. Most recently, Plum Pretty ran third, 5 ½ lengths behind winner Zazu, in the one-mile, $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park on February 5. The filly's trainer, Bob Baffert, won this race last year with Harissa.
All horses will tote 121 pounds. The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds – Icelain Diva (Ramsey Zimmerman), 6-1; Formal Plan (J. Martin Bourdieu), 6-1; Paloma Mesa (Ken Tohill), 5-2; Golden Springs (Kelsi Purcell), 7-2; Plum Pretty (Martin Garcia), 9-5; and Cassy Sue (Juan Ochoa), 8-1.
HARRY HENSON HANDICAP
1 mile, $100,000
Fillies & mares, 3-year-olds and older
One of the leading conditioners on the New Mexico circuit, trainer Henry Dominguez has two contenders entered here – Hayley's Halo and Twelve Twenty Two. The 5-2 morning-line choice, Hayley's Halo is a 4-year-old filly by Sea Of Secrets owned and bred by Lathrop G. Hoffman. Hayley's Halo currently sports a four-race win streak that includes the 6 1/2-furlong, $50,000 El Diario Stakes at Sunland on February 12.
Twelve Twenty Two has won three consecutive allowance races at Sunland dating back to January 9. The 6-year-old Florida-bred mare by Kafwain races for Dominguez and J. Kirk Robison.
The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey and weight assignments and morning-line odds – Hayley's Halo (Alejandro Medellin, 121), 5-2; Twelve Twenty Two (Julian Leparoux, 116), 3-1; Queen Greeley (Joe Bravo, 117), 8-1; American Story (Martin Garcia, 117), 4-1; Miss Heather Lee (Ken Tohill, 117), 6-1; Camille C (Agapito Delgadillo, 121), 5-1; and Twist (Alfredo Juarez Jr., 114), 8-1.
LA CONEJA STAKES (R)
5 ½ furlongs, $120,000
New Mexico-bred fillies & mares, 3-year-olds and older
Cali Baby, a homebred 5-year-old mare racing for Chris Hourigan and UKUSA Stables from the barn of Eric Mikkelson, heads a field of 11 state-bred distaffers in this year's La Coneja. Late last season, Cali Baby put together a four-race win streak that included the one-mile, $170,000 Peppers Pride New Mexico Cup Fillies & Mares Championship (R) at Zia Park, and the 6-furlong, $120,000 New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap (R) at Sunland.
All told, Cali Baby has earned $345,774 from eight wins in 15 outs.
The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey and weight assignments and morning-line odds – Pocketfullachime (J. Martin Bourdieu, 119), 12-1; Mylilmemo (Casey Lambert, 119), 15-1; Fan's Cat (Juan Ochoa, 119), 20-1; Happy Me (Ken Tohill, 119), 4-1; Shemoves (Ramsey Zimmerman, 119), 10-1; Tricky R. (Nancy Summers, 119), 8-1; Ambers Pride (Isaias Enriquez, 119), 20-1; Cali Baby (Alfredo Juarez, 122), 5-2; Teras Baby (Vicente Grajeda, 119), 15-1; Glory Be Mine (Miguel Hernandez, 122), 3-1; and Awintersdream (Glen Murphy, 119), 20-1.
NEW MEXICO BREEDERS' OAKS (R)
1 1/16 miles, $100,000
New Mexico-bred 3-year-old fillies
Shamrock Girl, a bay filly by King Bull owned and trained by David Wolochuk, heads a field of 11 state-bred sophomore fillies. The 2-1 morning-line choice, Shamrock Girl is a two-time stakes winner coming off of a one-length victory as the 13-10 favorite in the January 15, 6-furlong La Senora Stakes (R) at Sunland.
All horses will carry 121 pounds. The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds – Go To Gold (Alejandro Medellin), 8-1; Ghostly Beach (Juan Ochoa), 8-1; Golden Chain (Isaias Enriquez), 20-1; Tennis Star (Alfredo Juarez Jr.), 15-1; Contessa Del Norte (Martin Garcia), 10-1; Iplaytricks (Carlos Madeira), 10-1; Highspeed Rescue (Glen Murphy), 7-2; Shamrock Girl (Agapito Delgadillo), 2-1; Colors Of Pompeii (Jose Valdivia Jr.), 10-1; Q T Pie (Enrique Garcia), 30-1; and Elaine Can Du (Enrique Gomez), 20-1.