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Nine set for Borderland Derby
Nearly won a year ago by then unheralded Canadian juvenile champion Mine That Bird (Birdstone), who went on to capture the Kentucky Derby (G1), the $100,000 Borderland Derby at Sunland Park will be renewed Saturday and serves a stepping stone to the lucrative Sunland Derby (G3) on March 28.
The field of nine three-year-olds set to travel 1 1/16 miles does not include any entrants as decorated as Mine That Bird, however, as only three possess a two-turn win to their credit.
Favoritism is likely to fall on either STORMING SAINT (Sweetsouthernsaint), a decisive Zia Park maiden winner who rallied for third in the Riley Allison Futurity in late December, or the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained TANGO TANGO (Orientate), a Golden Gate allowance winner who trailed home in fifth in the Robert B. Lewis S. (G2) most recently.
CHUCHULUCO (Devon Lane), a two-time stakes winner in the New Mexico-bred ranks, does not look out of place judging by his BRIS Speed ratings, while Penn National invader HAITIAN HERO (Petionville) and former grass mainstays MCKENNA'S JUSTICE (Medaglia d'Oro) and GUILTBYASSOCIATION (Birdstone) also merit a long look.