02/23/2013 7:53PM

Sunland: Dry Summer delivers as favorite in Mine That Bird Derby

Coady Photography
Dry Summer, ridden by Carlos Madeira, improves to 2 for 2 since arriving in New Mexico from California by winning the Mine That Bird Derby.

Dry Summer put himself into the Grade 3, $800,000 Sunland Park Derby on Saturday, when he turned back a bid from Show Some Magic and went on to a 1 1/2-length win in the $120,000 Mine That Bird Derby. The race, formerly called the Borderland Derby, was the local prep for the Sunland Derby on  March 24. 

“That’s our plan,” said winning trainer Joel Marr. 

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

Dry Summer ($4.60), who has relocated to New Mexico after racing in Southern California, is now 2 for 2 over the Sunland surface. He won a local allowance Jan. 27, and was the 6-5 favorite in the Mine That Bird Derby. Dry Summer tracked Ize in Command on Saturday, sitting about a length off the front-runner, who put up fractions of 26.04 seconds for the opening quarter and 51.17 for the half-mile on a track rated fast.

Ize in Command continued to lead through six furlongs in 1:14.82, as Dry Summer moved to the leader nearing the quarter pole and took the lead in the stretch. Show Some Magic then made a run at Dry Summer, but the eventual winner rebuffed the challenge and drove clear to cover 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.32.

Marr noted Dry Summer, who was ridden by Carlos Madeira, was placed right where he needed to be through the slow pace.

Show Some Magic held second in the race, by a neck over third-place finisher Stormdriver. It was another 2 ¾ lengths back in fourth to Greeley Awesome, a Doug O’Neill-trained invader who was bidding for his fourth straight win.

Dry Summer is a ridgling by Any Given Saturday and races for Michael House and Sam Britt. The Mine That Bird Derby was his second stakes win behind the Oak Tree Juvenile last year at Del Mar. Dry Summer has now won 4 of 8 starts, and the $72,000 he earned Saturday pushed his bankroll to $205,680.

Marr trained the 19-for-19 Peppers Pride, the New Mexico-bred millionaire whose regular rider was Madeira.

Mine That Bird was based at Sunland before winning the Kentucky Derby in 2009.