Sunland Park Picks: How to bet the New Mexico Breeders' Derby and Oaks

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

March 25th, 2022

A pair of black-type contests for New Mexico-bred runners will help add to a fine undercard at Sunland Park on Sunday.

Race 8 – Oaks

An octet of three-year-old fillies will travel 1 1/16 miles in the $250,000 affair. #1 Corina Corina (3-1) has shown nice improvement in her last pair of events and seems poised to break through with her initial stakes triumph in the field.

The Gary Cross pupil was a hard-charging second in the Enchantress S. at Sunland Park two back, prior to drawing away late in a recent allowance tune-up at the same venue. The dark bay Mr. Trieste filly will save ground from the rail before asserting herself in the stretch.

The once-beaten #4 Bella Dona (6-5) has reeled off four stakes wins in succession and looms as the obvious one to beat for conditioner Simon Buechler. The bay filly proved capable of carrying her speed a route of ground most recently when making good going one-mile on the surface, but if she receives early pressure, I believe that she will be a bit vulnerable inside the final furlong at a tiny price. She is worth trying to upend.


  • $30 win #1 Corina Corina ($30)
  • $1 exacta 1 with all ($7)

Race 10 – Derby

The sophomore boys will run 1 1/16 miles in the lucrative $250,000 fray, with a cast of 10 set to go postward. I am not sure if #7 I Think I’m Here (12-1) can defeat this field, but I fully expect the Marking gelding to run big in his first try going two turns.

The chestnut was a game debut victor when running down a clear leader late, and I will give him a pass for his allowance fourth most recently when he dueled on the lead prior to tiring in the lane. The upset pick gets Lasix and offers great value. Alejandro Medellin rides for the first time.

Joel Marr’s #5 Jet Set Warrior (3-1) has shown marked improvement since stretching out two back, and the former $10,000 claimer rates a nice chance on Sunday with even a minor move forward. The late runner achieved stakes glory on the surface in his latest endeavor, and he figures to receive more speed to rally into late in this spot, as well. Regular rider Miguel Fuentes retains the mount.


  • $10 win/$20 show #7 I Think I’m Here ($30)
  • $1 trifecta 5, 7 with 5, 7 with all ($16)