03/21/2013 4:00PM

Sunland Derby: Shakin It Up, five other shippers fly into Sunland Park

Shigeki Kikkawa
Shakin It Up, the winner of the Grade 2 San Vicente on Feb. 17, returns in Sunday's Grade 3 Sunland Derby.

Sunland Derby favorite Shakin It Up was one of six horses who flew into New Mexico on Thursday morning to be part of a Sunday program of seven stakes worth more than $1.4  million. The card is the richest of the meet at Sunland Park.

Shakin It Up was joined on Thursday’s flight by Govenor Charlie, Saint Prado and Mudflats, all of whom are also entered in the Grade 3, $800,000 Sunland Derby. The fillies Midnight Lucky and Unusual Way also made the trip, according to a track official, to run in the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks.

The Sunland Derby and Sunland Oaks are worth 50 points each to the winner in the new system governing qualifying for the respective Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks. Mine that Bird in 2009 parlayed a fourth-place finish in the Sunland Derby into a win in the Kentucky Derby, while Plum Pretty in 2011 won both the Sunland Oaks and Kentucky Oaks.

Shakin It Up enters this year’s Sunland Derby off a one-length win in the Grade 2 San Vicente at Santa Anita on Feb. 17. He is trained by Bob Baffert, who also sent in Govenor Charlie and Midnight Lucky. Shakin It Up, who is making his two-turn debut in the 1 1/8-mile Sunland Derby, races for Mike Pegram and Dennis Cardoza and is to be ridden by David Flores.

[SUNLAND DERBY: Get PPs, watch Sunday's full card live]

Unusual Way, who, along with Saint Prado, is trained by Jeff Bonde, will be seeking her third career stakes win in the Sunland Oaks. She won the Wine Country Debutante in August and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly Sprint Preview in November.

Mudflats made the trip from Southern California for trainer Doug O’Neill, who won last year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness with I’ll Have Another. Mudflats was fifth in the San Vicente, 2 1/2 lengths behind Shakin It Up.

The Sunland Derby and Sunland Oaks will be the final two legs of a $50,000-guaranteed pick four that will run from races 8-11. The Oaks will go as race 10 and the Derby as race 11.

Hines Ward at Derby gala

Hines Ward, the retired professional football player who won the 2011 season of “Dancing With the Stars,” will be the keynote speaker during the Derby Gala, held annually the night before the Sunland Derby. Saturday night’s event at Sunland serves as a fundraiser for United Blood Services.