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2015 Sunland Derby

Sunland Derby at Sunland

American PharoahThis weekend we have the last two races of the Kentucky Derby Points System where the winners get 50 points. These races are the Sunland Derby on Sunday and the Spiral Stakes this Saturday. After these two have run we’ll have an increase in points where the winners will receive 100 points. If you are unfamiliar with the points system or just want all of the information concerning these races, see our post here- 2015 Kentucky Derby Points System. Be sure and bookmark that page for future reference as we are constantly updating it as these races take shape. Last Saturday we had the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park where American Pharoah got his 3rd win in a row and dominated the field with a 6 ¼ length victory. Let’s see what’s cooking here in the Sunland Derby!

Sunland’s Sunland Derby

Firing LineThe $800,000 Grade 3 Sunland Derby is the 11th race on the card at Sunland on Sunday and will feature a field of 8 three year olds traveling 1 1/8 mile. The morning line favorite is Firing Line at 8/5. Firing Line should definitely be the one to beat in the Sunland Derby. In his last two races he has missed the victory by a head running second. Both times he was defeated by Dortmund, who is currently blazing his way to the Kentucky Derby, undefeated in 5 starts. That’s pretty good company to run a close second to- twice. Next on the ML is Lord Nelson at 3 to 1. In his last effort in the Grade 2 San Felipe, he maintained 4th throughout, but in the race prior to that, he won the Grade 2 San Vicente by a neck. My problem with Lord Nelson is that he really hasn’t proven himself beyond 7 furlongs. *Update- It appears that Lord Nelson will not be in this race after all and according to trainer Bob Baffert, will be entered in another race instead. Lord NelsonNo real reason was given, so it is not an injury. There appears to be a lot of early speed in this one and that means Firing Line should get contested early. I still believe that he will be tough to beat, but for value I’m considering Where’s the Moon at 6 to 1 on the morning line. He’s undefeated in his last two starts and seems to be coming along at the right time. I look for him to put in a stalking effort here. For my longshot, I’m going with Why Two.  He has also won his last two efforts and I believe that jockey Victor Espinoza will bring him from about mid-pack to catch the leaders down the stretch. Good luck everybody!

 

 

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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at HandicapHorseRacing.com and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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