Friday, March 22, 2013
Shakin It Up, a Midnight Lute colt racing for Mike Pegram and Dennis Cardoza and trained by Bob Baffert, has been made the 5-2 morning-line favorite for Sunday's 1 1/8-mile, $800,000 Sunland Derby (G3) at Sunland Park.
Racing in California, Shakin It Up has earned $139,600 from four starts, and his two wins include a one-length victory in the 7-furlong, $150,250 San Vicente Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park on February 17. The colt's race record includes a third-place finish behind winner Really Mr Greely and runner-up Super Ninety Nine in the 7-furlong, $100,000 Hollywood Prevue Stakes (G3) at Hollywood Park in November.
David Flores, who has ridden Shakin It Up in both of the colt's wins, will ride Shakin It Up from post 4 on Sunday.
Shakin It Up is one of two Sunland Derby contenders trained by Baffert. The other, Mike Pegram's Govenor Charlie, is a homebred colt by Midnight Lute who is coming off of a February 17, 1-mile maiden special weight victory at Santa Anita.
New Mexico's only graded Thoroughbred stakes, the Sunland Derby has drawn a field of nine. Other contenders include Dry Summer, a Kentucky-bred son of Any Given Saturday racing for Sam Britt and Michael House and conditioned by New Mexico-based trainer Joel Marr. Dry Summer has won both of his starts at Sunland this season, including the 1 1/16-mile, $120,000 Mine That Derby on February 23.
The Sunland Derby is just one of seven stakes scheduled for Sunday. The second-richest stakes of the day, the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks, has attracted a field of eight 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles. Rafael Bejarano will ride morning-line choice Midnight Lucky from post 5 for owners Karl Watson, Mike Pegram, and Paul Weitman, and trainer Bob Baffert.
Midnight Lucky is coming off of a 7 1/4-length win as the odds-on favorite in her career debut, a 6 1/2-furlong, $56,000 maiden special weight sprint at Santa Anita on February 16.
Past winners of the Sunland Park Oaks include Plum Pretty, a Medaglia d'Oro filly trained by Baffert who won the Grade 1, $1-million Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs in her next start.
The other stakes scheduled for Sunday are the 5 ½-furlong, $85,000 La Coneja Stakes (R) for New Mexico-bred fillies and mares; the 1 1/16-mile, $85,000 New Mexico Breeders’ Oaks (R) for state-bred 3-year-old fillies; the 1 1/16-mile, $85,000 New Mexico Breeders’ Derby (R) for state-bred 3-year-olds; the 1-mile, $75,000 Harry Henson Handicap for fillies and mares; and the 6 1/2-furlong, $75,000 Bill Thomas Memorial Stakes.
Post time for Sunland Park’s first race on Sunday is 1 p.m. (MDT). Daily Racing Form columnist and racing television personality Jay Privman will host a handicaping seminar on Sunday, beginning at 11 a.m., in the track’s Signature Showroom. Privman will be joined by track handicapper and paddock analyst Steve Pedigo.
For more information, contact Sunland Park at (575) 874-5200, or visit the track’s website at www.sunland-park.com.