Sunland Park stakes plays for February 23
A total of four stakes races will headline a big card at Sunland Park on Sunday. The headliner is the $100,000 Mine That Bird Derby, a 1 1/16-mile event on the dirt for 3-year-olds, but I will focus upon the three undercard stakes.
Race 7 -- Island Fashion S.
Sophomore fillies will vie in the eight-furlong affair. The pace will be swift and contested, and #3 Caribbean Sea (7-2) might benefit most for Asmussen. Hard Spun filly has improved in each lifetime showing to date, and she was a sharp second in a Remigton stakes test in her 2019 finale. Luis Contreras, who is riding at a 21% clip at the meeting, will be in the stirrups.
Race 8 -- Albert and Henry Dominguez Memorial S.
A field of eight New Mexico-breds will vie in a 1 1/16 miles fray. #3 Go For A Stroll (7-1) was a non-factor sixth in the race in 2019, but the Todd Fincher pupil is much better than he displayed on that day. Attila’s Storm gelding shows a pair of fine allowance tries to commence his 2020 season, and I think that he is poised for a peak performance on Sunday.
Race 10 -- Red Hedeman Mile S.
One-mile endeavor for New Mexico-bred sophomores attracted an overflow field of 12. Joel Marr’s #4 Effort N Results (8-1) attempted to rally into a snail-like pace when a good allowance third on the course last time out. Shame on Charlie gelding needs to move forward to challenge this group, but I expect him to do so the second time going a route of ground behind more honest fractions. Ken Tohill inherits the mount.