Meet the Contenders: 2023 Sunland Park Derby
Meet the horses running in the 2023 Sunland Park Derby (G3) over 1 1/8 miles on dirt at Sunland Park in New Mexico. For each horse, we're listing a pro, a con, and a rating of potential. The star rating of 1 to 5 represents opportunity to perform well in the Sunland Park Derby field.
#1 HOW DID HE DO THAT
Pro: Ran solidly with first blinkers last time and should get plenty of pace to chase.
Con: Fairly exposed at this point and has yet to run a truly fast race.
#2 LOW EXPECTATIONS
Pro: Perfect around two turns on dirt at Santa Anita, albeit against lesser.
Con: Faces a lot classier speed in his stakes debut here.
#3 FORT BRAGG
Pro: No threat in San Felipe (G2), but should find this level of opposition easier.
Con: Prone to finding trouble and will need to settle more kindly.
#4 HENRY Q
Pro: Local debut couldn’t have been more impressive for 29% winning barn.
Con: Might not be able to sneak away so easily this time and potential candidate to bounce.
#5 ONE IN VERMILLION
Pro: Precocious last season and has developed into a consistent winner.
Con: One of several that could be severely compromised by abundance of pace.
#6 HARD TO FIGURE
Pro: Strong try as 12-1 outsider in an intramural edition of the Robert B. Lewis (G3).
Con: Regression off career best is the primary concern.
#7 WILD ON ICE
Pro: With so much speed signed on, might pick up some pieces if race falls apart.
Con: Well beaten facing several of these in last two and seemingly not good enough.