02/21/2013 5:48PM

Sunland Park: Dry Summer, Greeley Awesome meet again in different setting, the Mine That Bird Derby

Benoit & Associates
Dry Summer is shooting for a start in the Sunland Derby, said his trainer, Joel Marr.

Fancy meeting you here.

Dry Summer and the Doug O’Neill-trained Greeley Awesome, who once raced against each other at Del Mar, meet Saturday in New Mexico for the $120,000 Mine That Bird Derby. The Sunland Park feature formerly known as the Borderland Derby has been renamed for the 2009 winner of the Kentucky Derby. The Mine That Bird Derby also serves as a springboard to the Grade 3, $800,000 Sunland Derby on March 24.

Dry Summer, who won his maiden race over Greeley Awesome last July, is auditioning for the Sunland Derby, according to his trainer, Joel Marr. Dry Summer moved to the New Mexico circuit for owners Sam Britt and Michael House last month, and in his first start in this region won a Jan. 27 allowance route at Sunland. Before that race, he finished a distant fourth to Goldencents in the Grade 3 Sham and a distant eighth to Power Broker in the Grade 1 FrontRunner, both races at Santa Anita.

“He came to me ready to go,” said Marr. “He wasn’t liking the racetrack out there as of late. It was a good win here – got his confidence up, got his heart up.”

Dry Summer rallied for a two-length score over Stormdriver and Show Some Magic, both of whom return in the Mine That Bird. Earlier in his career, Dry Summer won the $100,000 Oak Tree Juvenile Turf at Del Mar when he was based in Southern California with trainer Jeff Mullins.

Dry Summer will break from the rail, under Carlos Madeira.

“Hopefully, we can sit right off the pace,” said Marr, best known for training the 19-for-19 Peppers Pride.

Greeley Awesome has shipped in from Betfair Hollywood Park for O’Neill, who won last year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness with I’ll Have Another. The horse will be seeking his fourth straight win Saturday. His streak began last November, when he romped by more than nine lengths in a $40,000 maiden claiming race at 1 1/16 miles at Hollywood Park.

Greeley Awesome then won a $40,000 starter allowance on the grass at Santa Anita on Jan. 10 and a $50,000 optional claimer at Golden Gate Fields in his most recent start Feb. 1. Saul Arias was aboard for the win at Golden Gate and has the mount again Saturday.

Show Some Magic won the $106,000 Riley Allison Futurity at Sunland on Dec. 23, by a half-length over Stormdriver. Henry Dominguez trains Show Some Magic for J. Kirk and Judy Robison, the same team behind last year’s Borderland Derby winner, Isn’t He Clever.

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