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2011 SUNLAND DERBY: Astrology returns to the fold; Sinai looks to bounce back

Astrology, a runner-up to Santiva in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club and the winner of the Grade 3 Iroquois, will make his three-year-old debut in the $800,000 Grade 3 Sunland Derby on Sunday.  The Sunland Derby is the 12th race on the Sunday card at Sunland Park and is schedule to go to post at 5:45 Mountain Time (7:45 ET / 4:45 PT). 

Twelve other horses will line-up alongside Astrology, including:

  • Beer Meister - winner of the Turf Paradise Derby on February 26th.
  • Nacho Saint - 4th place finisher in the G3 Gotham behind Stay Thirsty, Norman Asbjornson and Toby's Corner.
  • Sinai - 5th in the San Vicente behind The Factor, Sway Away and Premier Pegasus.
  • Fusa Code - winner of the Boarderland Derby at Sunland back on February 26th.
  • Ruler On Ice - A son of Roman Ruler that ships in from Parx after recently winning an N1X at 8 1/2 furlongs.
  • Behold de Buy - Runner-up to Fusa Code in the Boarderland Derby.

Considering how strong the San Vicente has turned out, Sinai has got to be considered a major player in this spot.  Check out the splits for Sinai in the San Vicente below.  Notice anything strange?

1/4: 23.32
1/2: 20.63
3/4: 24.29
Final: 13.46

A sub :21 split going into the half-mile?  I know, I know - that's par for the course at Santa Anita these days.  Still, it's hard not to have a double-take when your looking at splits like that.

Astrology, for all his success last fall, is coming off a major layoff and needs to show improvement form his juvenile form to win first time off-the-shelf.

PP Horse Jockey Trainer ML
1 Ruler On Ice J. Valdivia, Jr. K. Breen 8/1
2 R Skydiver A. Medellin H. Dominguez 12/1
3 Fusa Code J. Shepherd S. Asmussen 8/1
4 It's My Party J. Bourdieu C. Hartman 12/1
5 Behold de Buy K. Tohill J. Salisbury 12/1
6 Supreme Ruler J. Court W. Fires 20/1
7 Sinai M. Garcia B. Baffert 6/1
8 Nacho Saint J. Bravo K. Breen 7/2
9 Twice the Appeal C. Santiago Reyes J. Bonde 15/1
10 Beer Meister G. Corbett M. Ortiz, Sr. 15/1
11 Astrology J. Leparoux S. Asmussen 5/2