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
|1||Costa Terra||8-1||Steven Asmussen||Luis Negron|
|2||Classic Moment||7-2||Steven Asmussen||Joel Rosario|
|3||Fowler Blue||20-1||Luis Mendez||Edwin Maldonado|
|4||Slow Down Andy||2-1||Doug O’Neill||Mario Gutierrez|
|5||Bye Bye Bobby||9-2||Todd Fincher||Roimes Chirinos|
|6||Pepper Spray||15-1||Edward Kerulek||Luis Valenzuela|
|7||Chrome King||15-1||Miguel Hernandez||Enrique Garcia|
|8||Straight Up G||5-2||Ricardo Gonzalez||Richard Baltas|
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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.
|1||Epicenter ||164||Steven M. Asmussen|
|3||White Abarrio||112||Saffie Joseph, Jr.|
|4||Mo Donegal||112||Todd Pletcher|
|5||Tiz the Bomb||110||Kenny McPeek|
|7||Crown Pride (JPN)||100||Koichi Shintani|
|10||Smile Happy ||70||Kenny McPeek|
|11||Classic Causway||66||Brian Lynch|
|12||Tawny Port||60||Brad Cox|
|13||Barber Road ||58||John Ortiz|
|14||Un Ojo||54||Anthony W. Dutrow|
|17||Summer Is Tomorrow||40||Bhupat Seemar|
|18||Charge It||40||Todd Pletcher|
|19||Happy Jack||30||Doug O'Neill|
|20||Pioneer of Medina||25||Todd Pletcher|
|21||In Due Time||24||Kelly Breen|
|22||Ethereal Road||22||D. Wayne Lukas|
|23||Rich Strike||21||Eric Reed|
|24||Rattle N Roll||20||Kenny McPeek|