It looks like the California shippers Special Kid and Fusa Code could be the main competition in today’s edition of the $100,000 Borderland Derby at Sunland Park.
Trainer Doug O’Neill sends Special Kid to the starting gate as the lukewarm 5-2 morning line favorite and Steve Asmussen needs a win from Fusa Code (6-1) to offset his recent setback with Tapizar.
Both horses met in their last race earlier this month at Santa Anita Park with Special Kid earning a nose victory over Red Sharp Humor while Fusa Code trailed a half-length back in third-place. In two previous meetings, Special Kid has performed better than Fusa Code.
Both Special Kid and Fusa Code are the only two horses in the 10-horse field to ever run 8 ½ - furlongs and both are descendants of the Mr. Prospector sire line which has produced five Borderland Derby winners since its inauguration in 2001.
Belmont Stakes winner Lemon Drop Kid is the sire of Special Kid and Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus is the sire of Fusa Code. Of the two, I like the pedigree of Fusa Code the most but he has yet to break his maiden after four previous attempts.
Of the local talent, I really like Mason’s Pegasus (8-1) who closed strongly in a long stretch drive to win a 6-furlong sprint on January 30 at Sunland Park. Mason’s Pegasus is also a descendant of Mr. Prospector and with Fusaichi Pegasus as his sire and Maria’s Mon as the damsire, the stretch out to 8 ½ -furlongs should be more to his liking.
A long shot I like is What The Toccet (20-1) who comes into this race with two off-the-board finishes but he’s improved his performance with each race.
Trainer Shannon adds blinkers and a recent bullet work out – the only one fired by any of the ten horses – could indicate that What The Toccet is ready to make a big move forward.
And with Toccet as his sire and Coronado’s Quest as the damsire, What the Toccet could develop into a good middle-distance runner.
Toccet was a good middle-distance runner who won the Champagne Stakes (G1), Hollywood Futurity (G1), Remsen Stakes (G2) and Laurel Futurity (G3). Coronado’s Quest won the Remsen Stakes (G2), Buick Haskell Invitational Handicap (G1), Travers Stakes (G1), Wood Memorial Stakes (G2) and Dwyer Stakes (G2).
Good luck with your picks!