Governor Charlie Takes the Eleventh Running of the Sunland Derby in Record Time
After a windy Saturday, the weather was nearly perfect for Sunday’s 11th running of the $800,000 Grade III Sunland Derby. The winner was assured 50 points, all but cinching a spot in May’s Kentucky Derby.
Horse trainer extraordinaire, Bob Baffert brought two classy thoroughbreds to Southern New Mexico, Shakin It Up and Governor Charlie. Shakin It Up drew the four hole and was an early favorite, but by the time the horses were locked in the gate Governor Charlie was nearly an even money favorite at 6/5.
Governor Charlie took the lead just past the halfway point and never looked back. The Michael Pegram owned horse set a Sunland Park record for 1 1/8 miles by clocking in at a time of 1:47.54.
For the second straight year, the local owner/trainer combination of Kirk and Judy Robison and Henry Dominguez nearly upset the field. Show Some Magic has a price of 26/1 by the time the race went off. Just like ‘Isn’t He Clever’ a year ago, Show Some Magic went stride for stride with the winner for most of the race. The magic just wasn’t there when Martin Garcia and Governor Charlie turned it on for the last quarter mile.
Abraham, a Todd Pletcher trained horse, finished third.
Complete results of the 2013 Sunland Derby
1. Governor Charlie
2. Show Some Magic
4. Shakin It Up
7. Saint Prado
8. Dry Summer
9. Just Win Baby