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Updated on 03/27/2013 9:12AM
Sunland Derby: Govenor Charlie comes through with track-record performance
By Jay Privman
SUNLAND PARK, N.M. – Completing a blockbuster day at Sunland Park for trainer Bob Baffert, owner Mike Pegram, and the sire Midnight Lute, Govenor Charlie cruised to a five-length victory on Sunday in the Grade 3, $800,000 Sunland Derby.
A little more than a half-hour earlier, Baffert and Pegram scored in the Sunland Park Oaks with the filly Midnight Lucky, like Govenor Charlie progeny of Midnight Lute.
“It was a great day,” Baffert said from his home in California, where he watched the race while letting assistant Jim Barnes handle the chores here.
Govenor Charlie ($4.60) was sent off the favorite despite having just two prior starts, and just one win, that against maidens at Santa Anita on Feb. 17. The form of that race was validated when the second-place finisher, Footbridge, came back to win, and then Govenor Charlie tipped his hand further last Monday, when he appeared to outwork Shakin It Up, Baffert’s other Sunland Derby runner, in a team drill at Santa Anita.
“He’s been training well. He’s improving,” Baffert said.
Shakin It Up finished fourth after trailing early in the nine-horse field. Show Some Magic was second, 3 1/4 lengths in front of Abraham.
Stormdriver was fifth and was followed, in order, by Mudflats, Saint Prado, Dry Summer, and Just Win Baby.
Govenor Charlie pressed the early pace while three paths wide, advanced to the lead with three furlongs to go, and pulled away down the lane.
“I felt like I had a lot of horse the whole way,” said winning rider Martin Garcia. “He’s a horse who feels like he waits on company, but when I asked him, he took off.”
The track at Sunland was lightning fast on Sunday. Govenor Charlie was one of three horses who set track records. He completed 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.54, beating the previous mark of 1:48 1/5 set in 1961.
Those weren’t the only record here. The all-sources handle of $3,820,986 for the 12-race card was a record for Sunland Park.
Govenor Charlie earned 50 points under the system put in place this year by Churchill Downs to determine eligibility to the May 4 Kentucky Derby should the field oversubscribe its maximum of 20 runners, pretty much the norm these days.
“I got my first 50-point horse!” Baffert said after losing stakes races worth 50 points to the winner in recent weeks with Flashback and Super Ninety Nine.
Pegram bred and owns Govenor Charlie, who is out of the unraced Storm Cat mare Silverbulletway, a daughter of Silverbulletday, a Kentucky Oaks and two-time Eclipse Award winner for Pegram.
Pegram was far more bullish about running Midnight Lucky in the Kentucky Oaks than he was Govenor Charlie in the Derby.
“The Derby’s the hardest race in the world to win,” Pegram said. “We all get Derby fever, and I’ve got it right now.
“But losing the Derby’s no fun,” said Pegram, who owned 1998 Derby winner Real Quiet. “If he’s good enough, he’ll be there. It’ll be up to Bobby.”
Interesting race when you take a closer look at it. Yes the track was fast but the fact of the matter is this colt was 3 wide the entire race. Won the way he should have and when you look at the Wood and the FD splits I don't see anyone coming home any faster while running slower splits. This horse is a definite play if you're into exotics plus his DI of 1.67 says he can get the 1 1/4 mi. Derby distance.
If this horse is put on the front in the derby he will hit the ticket with the lack of speed in the upincoming derby he could be the thief I hope bob and mike tell martin to send this horse
moderation? really? so much for unbiased opinions and welcome the redundant reporting!!!
And what about 10 points for the Holy Bull (It'smyluckyday) and 50 points for the Gotham (Vijack) five weeks later? In my mind these two races are pretty darn close, but lo and behold... one is five times bigger than the other. Then again, bourbon is the second product coming out of Kentucky ...
50 pts winning Sunland Derby, 0 for Illinois Derby ?
The best bet of the day. Hands down!! That was a man against boys.
Two track records!!!! Track was rock hard and waaaaaay too fast. Expect all these horses to come back sore and be great BET AGAINST's next time out. Mark March 24th at Sunland on your calander and toss ever horse on the entire card that runs back in less than a month.
did anybody not break the track record on sunday? I heard the horse that ran last equaled the track record.kidding.
dont forget that 3 to 6 of these top 20 horses will be sidelined between now and the derby.
- 1.Posted 12/08/2013 09:52AM
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