Govenor Charlie Wins Sunland Derby in Track-Record Breaking Fashion

Carlos TorresContributor IMarch 24, 2013

Govrnor Charlie winning the Sunland Derby (photo by
Govrnor Charlie winning the Sunland Derby (photo by

Govenor Charlie (2-1 favorite) broke the track record en route to a five-lengths win at the G3 $500,000 Sunland Derby at Sunland Park late Sunday. Trained by Bob Baffert, he covered the nine-furlongs distance in 1:47.54, eclipsing the previous track record of 1:48.20.

Show Some Magic (24-1) showed some early speed on the race from his ninth post, but Saint Prado (10-1) and Abraham (7-2) were urged to the front and took the initial fractional in a swift 22.74. Martin Garcia placed Govenor Charlie just to their outside in third, followed by Show Some Magic and Just Win Baby (19-1).

The whole field was very compact as they headed to the backstretch with the positions unchanged until they reached the three-quarter pole. Garcia made his move on the outside with Govenor Charlie once he felt the move by Show Some Magic just behind him as they entered the far turn.

Govenor Charlie took a half-length lead to the top of the home-stretch being challenged by Show Some Magic, but as they enter the stretch, Garcia asked Govenor Charlie for his all and he responded drawing away clear for the five length win.

Show Some Magic ran a huge race for second, finishing just over three lengths ahead of Abraham, who fought back to finish third. He was running fifth early on and had to rally four wide and finish the race second.

Abraham engaged Saint Prado through the early fractions—as did Govenor Charlie—and valiantly fought on to prevail a solid third place a length ahead of the other Bob Baffert-trained horse Shakin It Up (2-1), who rallied from last place to finish fourth just a nose ahead of Stormdriver.

It was a disappointing finish for Shakin It Up, who was the morning line favorite and was expected to battle the win with his stablemate. Jockey David Flores had him last until he started to move at the three-quarter pole, but could only manage a mild rally on the inside.

Stormdriver, Mudflats, Saint Prado, Dry Summer and Just Win Baby completed the order of finish.

The Sunland Derby was the last of the Kentucky Derby qualifying races, distributing 85 points to the first four finishers. The winner earned 50, second place 20, third place 10 and fourth five points.

The 50 points earned by Govenor Charlie guaranteed him a spot on the gate of the Run for the Roses the first Saturday of May. He now is in third place in the points, standing behind Will Take Charge and Vyjack.

Show Some Magic's 20 points place him in 15th place, Abraham's 10 points move him into the 26th spot and the five points by Shakin It Up place him in 35th place.

Govenor Charlie did break the track record, but we should not look too much into it. Not downplaying his performance, but take into consideration that there were two other track records broken on the card today, and the track was playing really fast.

No matter what, we are looking at a very talented horse that keeps improving, and be sure Bob Baffert will have him primed for the Kentucky Derby.

Govenor Charlie is a son of Midnight Lute out of Silverbulletway, by Storm Cat. He was foaled Feb 23, 2010 in Kentucky and was bred by his owner Mike Pegram.

His record now stands at 3-2-1-0 with lifetime earnings of $444,800. With only three career starts, it would be nice to have at least one more race on him before the Derby, but with only six weeks left, that will be unlikely.


Sunland Derby   -   Grade: 3
Purse: $800,000
Distance: One And One Eighth Miles On The Dirt
Track Condition: Fast
Winning Time: 1:47.54          Fractional Times: 22.74, 46.22, 1:09.96, 1:34.96
Horse Jockey Win Place Show
7 Govenor Charlie Martin Garcia 4.60 3.40 2.80
9 Show Some Magic Luis Contreras   17.20 8.20
2 Abraham John R. Velazquez     3.40
Also ran: 4 - Shakin It Up , 3 - Stormdriver , 8 - Mudflats , 5 - Saint Prado , 6 - Dry Summer , 1 - Just Win Baby
Winning Owner: Michael E. Pegram
Winning Trainer: Bob Baffert
Winning Breeder: Michael E. Pegram
Wager Type Winning Numbers Payoff
$1 Pick 3 10-5-7 (3 correct) 25.00
$1 Pick 4 1-10-5-7 (4 correct) 105.00
$2 Daily Double 5-7 7.00
$1 Exacta 7-9 32.50
$1 Superfecta 7-9-2-4 689.70
$1 Super High Five 7-9-2-4-3 8,253.00
$1 Trifecta 7-9-2 239.70