05/07/2009 11:00PM

Derby trio coming off a whopper of key race


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Mythical Power finished in front of future Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird in his most recent start in a company line that should make him a slight favorite over a sharp Cape Truth in a competitive Grade 3, $400,000 Lone Star Derby.

To be run at 1 1/16 miles, the race is one of three stakes worth a cumulative $650,000 at Lone Star Park on Saturday. The track will also card a pair of $125,000 divisions of the Texas Stallion Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1o1/16 miles.

Mythical Power is one of three horses in the field Saturday to come out of the $800,000 Sunland Park Derby on March 29, along with Dumar and Mayor Marv. He finished second in that 1 1/8-mile race, which has become an ultimate key race, with Mine That Bird, who was fourth, coming back to win the Kentucky Derby, and Advice, the fifth-place finisher, the next-out winner of the Grade 2 Lexington.

"The more money they throw up there, the tougher the race gets," Bob Baffert, who trains Mythical Power, said of the Sunland Derby.

Mythical Power stalked a hot pace in the Sunland Derby and rallied for second, beaten 1 1/2 lengths by Kelly Leak. Baffert noted that Mythical Power lost some momentum when the speed horses backed up, then got going again in a promising stakes debut.

"Mythical Power is a very good horse that's improved with his last race," said Baffert, who has given the mount to Victor Espinoza.

Cape Truth has faced Mythical Power before, winning his maiden over the horse in a seven-furlong maiden special weight at Santa Anita in February. He conquered two turns in his last out April 26, when he won an $80,000 optional claimer on the Cushion Track at Hollywood Park. Cape Truth earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 90, the best last-race number in the field.

He will be making his first start on dirt Saturday.

"I don't think it will be a big problem," said Doug O'Neill, who trains Cape Truth. "It's been pretty well documented how Hollywood Park is quick and the most dirt-like of any of the synthetics in California."

Michael Baze will ride Cape Truth.

Baffert, who twice has won the Lone Star Derby, will also send out Turf Paradise Derby winner Mayor Marv.