02/26/2009 12:00AM

Scorewithcater invades Sunland for Borderland


Scorewithcater leads a strong contingent of invaders into New Mexico for Saturday's $100,000 Borderland Derby at Sunland Park. The 1 1/16-mile test serves as the prep for the $800,000 Sunland Derby on March 29.Trainer Doug O'Neill claimed Scorewithcater for himself and Robert Master out of a $40,000 maiden claiming race at Hollywood Park on Nov. 20. Scorewithcater won his first start for his new connections in a starter allowance in December. Most recently, Scorewithcater won a high-end optional claiming race at Santa Anita on Jan. 29.

"He kind of ran himself into this race the last few weeks," said O'Neill. "He is a good-bodied colt that really covers the ground. He ran well in his debut for an $80,000 tag, so when he ran back for the $40,000 we took him."

Scorewithcater has been running on California's synthetic surfaces. Asked whether he will handle dirt, O'Neill said, "I think he will but it seems to be a guessing game."

Scorewithcater, the 3-1 morning-line favorite, will be ridden by Alonso Quinonez.

Mine That Bird makes his first start in the Borderland Derby since finishing 12th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita in October. Double Eagle Ranch and Bueno Suerte Equine purchased Mine That Bird, a three-time Woodbine stakes winner and Canadian champion 2-year-old, 10 days before the Breeders' Cup. Richard Mandella saddled the Birdstone gelding that day, but Chip Woolley has since taken over the training duties.

"I've had him here since early December," Woolley said Wednesday from Sunland. "He continues to train well and seems to have taken a liking to the surface. We have had this race in mind for quite some time."

Casey Lambert will ride Saturday.

Trainer Steve Asmussen sends out two in the Borderland. Hornung was an eight-length maiden winner at Golden Gate Fields late last year, and Dumar comes off a wide-trip ninth in the Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds last out. Alejandro Medellin rides Hornung and Luis Contreras will be aboard Dumar.

Others in the Borderland include Tiz Believing, an improving Tiznow colt who has won his last two races; Lefty Who, a four-time stakes winner against New Mexico-breds; and Infernal, a maiden who has the highest career Beyer Speed Figure in the group, an 82 which he earned in his debut at Hollywood three starts back last November.