Horse Racing Odds: Kentucky Derby Hopefuls Head To Sunland Derby

Written By Dave Bontempo on March 25, 2022
2022 sunland derby odds

How much is a class drop worth? That will be measured in 2022 Sunland Derby odds. The $500,000 race carries 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the winner of this 1 1/8-mile race Sunday evening at Sunland Park in New Mexico. Post time is 7:15 p.m. ET.

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Initial Thoughts On 2022 Sunland Derby Odds

Slow Down Andy, beaten decisively in the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes by Epicenter at Fairgrounds, ships in to oppose several graduates of the $100,000 Mine That Bird Stakes over this Sunland track.

Earlier races Sunday include:

  • The 250,000 New Mexico Breeders’ Oaks at 5:42 p.m. ET.
  • The $300,000 Sunland Park Oaks at 6:12 p.m. ET
  • The $250,000 New Mexico Breeders’ Derby at 6:42 p.m. ET

The benefit of wagering early races, besides their excitement, is getting a read on how the track is playing regarding speed, closers, etc.

The Morning Line: 2022 Sunland Derby Odds

PostHorseML OddsTrainerJockey
1Costa Terra8-1Steven AsmussenLuis Negron
2Classic Moment7-2Steven AsmussenJoel Rosario
3Fowler Blue20-1Luis MendezEdwin Maldonado
4Slow Down Andy2-1Doug O’NeillMario Gutierrez
5Bye Bye Bobby9-2Todd FincherRoimes Chirinos
6Pepper Spray15-1Edward KerulekLuis Valenzuela
7Chrome King15-1Miguel HernandezEnrique Garcia
8Straight Up G5-2Ricardo GonzalezRichard Baltas

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Past Performances

1. Costa Terra (8-1)

A distant ninth in the Southwest Stakes, won by Newgrange. Dropped to Allowance Optional Claiming, made a premature move in a weak six-horse field and finished fourth. Odds reflect class respect given to the $750,000 Southwest, but he looks like he’s moving in the wrong direction. Prefer others.

2. Classic Moment (7-2)

Made a good run at even-money winner Straight Up G in the 1 1-6 mile Mine That Bird Stakes on February 27. Was nosed out for second by Bye Bye Bobby. They both closed and cut into the comfortable margin Straight Up G had from a relaxed early pace. You have to love Joel Rosario, the nation’s fourth-leading jockey with more than $3.5 million of earnings, riding him. Will hope to extend a little further and that Straight Up G meets some speed resistance.

3. Fowler Blue (20-1)

Back of the pack repeatedly in the Mine That Bird. Managed to get up and capture a distant fourth, but three others in here beat him. Bottom of superfectas at best.

4. Slow Down Andy (2-1)

We’ll see how the drop in class from the Risen Star Stakes benefits him. Got as high as fourth early in the homestretch and faded completely as Epicenter beat him, figuratively, by two touchdowns. But at least he got the distance. Connections hope that the class drop and improvement second time out for 1 1-8 miles will be enough. Straight Up G hasn’t been this far. The favorite has a 2021 win in the $300,000 Los Alamitos Futurity at 5-1, upsetting 1-2 shot Messier in a five-horse field

5. Bye Bye Bobby (9-2)

Similar profile to Classic Moment. They are on the same ability level. Can he stretch a little and hope another horse, perhaps Slow Down Andy, compromises Straight Up G.? Right there.

6. Pepper Spray (15-1)

Game but was gone before a mile in the Mine That Bird. Nothing to suggest a longer distance will help.

7. Chrome King (15-1)

Steps up after stealing a Turf Paradise Derby Stakes $75,000 race at 24-1 that nobody else could put away. Was fifth in six-horse field, swung wide and overtook the leaders one by one in the stretch. Rally was notable, coming against soft fractions of 24.05 for the quarter and 48.04 for the half. Final time was more than a full second behind Straight Up G at 1 1-16 and he will need more. But he was moving late. Must get closer early. Cheaper, but could steal a spot in the bottom of the exotics by passing any disinterested parties down the lane.

8. Straight Up G (5-2)

Much to like about his last race. Made determined effort to get the lead and was able to avoid contentious pace. Looks like nobody else wants to run early. Could have the lead alone and then connections hope the home track and positioning give him the jump on Slow Down Andy. Has every reason to win. Stretching out a natural concern. So is the unforeseen development of early pacesetting heat.

How I’m Betting This Race

Small field, the favorites figure and money will be hard to find, but it’s probably at the top of the ticket. It might normally be good to slam a win bet, try to double your money and be satisfied. Conflicting signals on the win bet, however – Slow Down Andy’s class drop, Straight Up G’s win over the track, Rosario on Classic Moment – discourage that for me. But if you do have a conviction on a win bet here, especially at 2-1 or more, bet it, and don’t worry about the rest.

That’s why I have to split the main bet into a win wager on Straight Up G and an exacta box with the favorites. I will try to build a profit out from the win line into the exotics.

If either of the top two bets hit, there’s likely a profit. If both come in, it’s a bigger profit.

Trifectas and superfectas may require too much spread, not enough bread, but are worth an inexpensive stab.

I will take a $15 win wager on Straight Up G on the projected pace and home track angle.

The next will be a 4-8 exacta box, probably $10.

Third Level: Slow Down Andy, Bye Bye Bobby, Classic Moment and Straight Up G look like the best four horses in this race, but not easy to separate. That means a further 50-cent superfecta box 2-4-5-8 for $12.

Straight Up G was better than Bye Bye Baby and Classic Moment in their last matchup, but not much the best. This covers the possibility they could overtake him.

And then it’s a matter of trying to leverage the most with the least capital.

Also Eligibles: Some,  Not All Will Be Bet

If you have a hunch on one of these top four, for example, putting that horse over the other three in a $1 trifecta costs $6. That’s insurance in case one of the favorites flops.

For $4, I will try a $1 superfecta with the numbers I like. It can be something like 4-8 with 4-8 in the first two slots, 2-5 with 2-5 in third and fourth. Or change that up, putting the 2 or 5 in the second slot with those numbers.
Scavenger hunt: Have some fun for $6. Throw one of the favorites out completely. Take the other, put him over three others, including a longshot.

One crazy combo with Chrome King fourth will also be weighed.

Win, lose or draw, that’s my angle. Good luck with navigating 2022 Sunland Derby odds!

Road To Kentucky Derby Leaderboard

The top-20 healthy horses in the standings after all KY Derby prep races have completed will be eligible to enter the Run for the Roses on the first Saturday in May.

RankHorsePointsTrainer
1Epicenter
164Steven M. Asmussen
2Zandon114Chad Brown
3White Abarrio
112Saffie Joseph, Jr.
4Mo Donegal112Todd Pletcher
5Tiz the Bomb110Kenny McPeek
6Cyberknife100Brad Cox
7Crown Pride (JPN)100Koichi Shintani
8Taiba100Tim Yakteen
9Simplification
74Antonio Sano
10Smile Happy
70Kenny McPeek
11Classic Causway66Brian Lynch
12Tawny Port60Brad Cox
13Barber Road
58John Ortiz
14Un Ojo
54Anthony W. Dutrow
15Messier40Tim Yakteen
16Zozos40Brad Cox
17Summer Is Tomorrow40Bhupat Seemar
18Charge It40Todd Pletcher
19Happy Jack30Doug O'Neill
20Pioneer of Medina25Todd Pletcher
21In Due Time24Kelly Breen
22Ethereal Road22D. Wayne Lukas
23Rich Strike21Eric Reed
24Rattle N Roll20Kenny McPeek

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Written by
Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, who writes extensively on the emergence of legalized sports betting, is a recipient of the Sam Taub Award for Broadcast Excellence by the Boxing Writers Association of America. He has broadcast boxing for all the major networks over the last four decades and is a member of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame as well as the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame. His work also can be seen at the Press of Atlantic City and iGamingPlayer.

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