Baffert, Garcia Seek Third Win in Four Years
Bronze Age has been tabbed the 3-1 morning line favorite in an 11-horse field for Sunday’s Sunland Derby.
Coming off a maiden win at Santa Anita Park, the fast son of Mineshaft looks to be the chief speed in the 14th installment of Sunland Park’s biggest race. Trainer Bob Baffert is gunning for his fourth Sunland Derby title while rider Martin Garcia seeks his third.
The trainer-jockey combination won two of the last three running of the Sunland Derby, and a win on Sunday would give Bronze Age 50 qualifying points to the Kentucky Derby and a virtual berth in the Run for the Roses.
Bronze Age earned a field best 93 Beyer speed figure from his one mile maiden win on Feb. 18. Owned by Juddmonte Farms, Bronze Age has a high cruising speed. He will break from post position 3.
Local hero Conquest Mo Money represents the strongest chance for the home team since Song of Navarone did it in 2007. Leading owners Judge Lanier Racing (Tom and Sandy McKenna) have Conquest Mo Money, who is unbeaten in three route races this season including impressive wins in the Riley Allison Stakes and the Mine That Bird Derby. In his latest triumph, the son of Uncle Mo turned away Irap who returns for the Sunland Derby for trainer Doug O'Neill.
Trained by Miguel Hernandez, Conquest Mo Money is listed as the 9-2 second choice. The winner of nearly $133,000 breaks from post 12 with jockey Jorge Carreno.
Todd Pletcher’s Hedge Fund looks might be imposing off an an emphatic $45,000 maiden win at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 4. The Super Saver colt is owned by Winstar Farm, China Horse Club and SF Racing. Ridden by the highly talented Jose Ortiz, Hedge Funds breaks from the 2 hole.
Shareholder Value comes from New Orleans for Tom Amoss and will try to rebound from a bad loss in the Risen Star Stakes. Prior to that, he was fifth, but beaten only 2 1/2 lengths in the LeComte Stakes.
Ballandeen makes his second start of the year. He finished third, beaten 6 1/2 lengths by Rockshaw and a time of 1:09.27, in the six-furlong Gazebo Stakes at Oaklawn last time out.
Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas saddles Dilettante and has assigned Gary Stevens for the mount. Steve Asmussen is sending both Total Tap and Hence. Kimbear is a scratch.
Here’s the field in post-position order:
1. Shareholder Value (Javier Castellano) 6-1
2. Hedge Fund (Jose Ortiz) 6-1
3. Bronze Age (Martin Garcia) 3-1
4. Oxford Lane (Richard Eramia) 15-1
5. Irap (Mario Gutierrez) 6-1
6. Dilettante (Gary Stevens) 12-1
7. Kimbear (Joe Talamo) 15-1
8. Wine N Devine (Miguel Perez) 30-1
9. Hence (Alfredo Juarez, Jr.) 12-1
10. Balandeen (Channing Hill) 10-1
11. Total Tap (Florent Gereaux) 10-1
12. Conquest Mo Money (Jorge Carreno) 9-2
Edited Sunland Park release with additional content by Dick Downey