Blue-blooded Govenor Charlie steps up in Sunland Derby
Shakin It Up, another Midnight Lute grandson of Silverbulletday, is the other Baffert trainee in the field. Bred by Pegram and co-owned by him with Dennis Cardoza, Shakin It Up has a deeper resume so far with two stakes appearances under his belt. Third in the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue last November following a dominant maiden score at Santa Anita, Shakin It Up kicked off 2013 with a one-length tally in the Grade 2 San Vicente at Santa Anita over seven furlongs on February 17.
Other California invaders making the trek to Sunland Park for Sunday's race are last-out maiden winners Just Win Baby and Saint Prado, and the Doug O'Neill-trained Mudflats, who was unplaced in both the San Vicente and Grade 2 Jerome in his two stakes appearances.
The lone East Coast shipper in the Sunland Derby is the Todd Pletcher trainee Abraham, who rebounded from a photo-finish loss in his debut to win a nine-furlong Gulfstream Park maiden by a length in the slop February 16.
The Sunland Derby field is rounded out by the top three finishers from the February 23 Mine That Bird Derby -- Dry Summer, Show Some Magic and Stormdriver -- all of whom are locally based.
Midnight Lucky, a daughter of Midnight Lute co-owned by Pegram, will be an overwhelming favorite to give Baffert a third consecutive win in the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks at 1 1/16 miles.
A 7 1/4-length debut winner at Santa Anita on February 16 going 6 1/2 furlongs, Midnight Lucky seeks to follow in the hoofsteps of 2011 winner Plum Pretty, who went on to capture the Kentucky Oaks, and 2012 vixen Princess Arabella.
Majestic River, runner-up in a February 16 Gulfstream allowance at 1 1/16 miles in only her second lifetime start, represents the powerful Pletcher stable. Others of note are Unusual Way, a multiple stakes winner in California for conditioner Jeff Bonde, and Countess Curlin, a four-length winner of the main local prep, the February 24 Island Fashion.
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