04/05/2006 12:00AM

Sunland track report


Trainer Bob Baffert looked into the TV cameras after being asked the obvious question following Wanna Runner's dominant victory in Saturday's $600,000 WinStar Derby at Sunland.

"I don't know, I'm getting that temperature," Baffert said, laughing as he wiped his brow. "Derby fever. I feel pretty good."

Wanna Runner's Kentucky Derby prospects remain up in the air. He is short in terms of graded earnings and would likely need another start in a graded stakes. Last year Baffert saddled Sort It Out to a third in the WinStar Derby and wheeled him back in Keeneland's Lexington in late April. Sort It Out ran second to earn enough graded money to get into the Kentucky Derby. Things didn't go so well there, however, as Sort It Out ended up 17th behind Giacomo.

Owner Mike Pegram said that Wanna Runner, a Canadian-bred, would likely be pointed to the Queen's Plate for 3-year-olds at Woodbine, "unless that man over there says otherwise," he added, nodding toward Baffert.

Baffert credited a change in tactics - the show of more speed - for Wanna Runner's big win.

"On this track, you need speed," said Baffert, who trained Quarter Horses in New Mexico before launching his wildly successful Thoroughbred operation. "This place was huge for me. I'm glad for Mike [Pegram]. At least I can say I won a derby this year."