02/27/2006 12:00AM

Sunland: Maiden surprises in Borderland

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Eugene O'Neill / Coady Photography
Indy Wildcat (middle) wins the $100,000 Borderland Derby at Sunland Park on Sunday.

Indy Wildcat, a maiden invader from Southern California, picked the right day to find himself, capturing the $100,000 at Sunland Park.

The 1 1/16-mile Borderland Derby serves as the key prep for the $600,000 WinStar Derby, also at Sunland, on April 1. Any horse who sweeps the Borderland, WinStar, and Kentucky derbies will receive a $500,000 bonus.

Indy Wildcat ($20) is owned by Bearing Point Ventures and Paula Capestro, and trained by Capestro. He stalked the fast pace set by top local 3-year-old Disappearing Trick, pounced into the lane, and managed to outfinish Wait in Line by a head. Wait in Line sat well back early and rallied through the lane. He finished strongly despite jockey Alfredo Juarez Jr. losing his whip late. Disappearing Trick set a brisk pace and held on well to keep third.

Heavy favorites Doctor Decherd and Plagiarist sat midpack early but both faltered in the lane, finishing eighth and ninth, respectively, in the 10-horse field. Plagiarist was bumped after the start and had to take up off heels on the first turn.

Indy Wildcat, ridden by Michael Baze, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.82. The winner's share of $60,000 pushes his career earnings to $66,840.