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Mar 25, 2011

Asmussen sends two for Sunland Derby


Sunland Park, NM (Sports Network) - Champion trainer Steve Asmussen has entered two three-year-olds into Sunday's $800,000 Sunland Derby at Sunland Park. The 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Derby prep has drawn a field of 11.

Asmussen, who trained 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, will start local winner Fusa Code and Astrology. Fusa Code will break from post three with jockey Justin Shepherd and Astrology will be ridden by Julien Leparoux from the far outside post.

Owned by Mary and Robert Zollars, Fusa Code won for the first time last month in Sunland's Borderland Derby.

"He's a very talented horse," Shepherd said after the Borderland Derby victory. "Steve did a great job with him. He's still a little green, maybe too talented for his own good."

In five starts Fusa Code has one win, a second and a third for $82,844.

Astrology will be making his first start of the year in the Sunland Derby. Owned by Stonestreet Stables and George Bolton, the colt was second in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs in November to Santiva. He won the Iroquois Stakes in October at Churchill and was third at Monmouth Park in September in the Garden State Stakes.

The son of A.P. Indy has earned $152,893 with two wins in five starts.

Turf Paradise Derby winner Beer Meister comes in from Arizona for the race. The gelding, owned by Jim Eggers and William Burns, will start from post 10 with Glenn Corbett again in the saddle.

The late running Beer Meister has two wins and two seconds in four career starts for $39,620. Manny Ortiz, Sr. is the trainer.

Here is the full field for the Sunland Derby in post position order: Ruler On Ice, Jose Valdivia, Jr.; R Skydiver, Alejandro Medellin; Fusa Code, Justin Shepherd; It's My Party, Jorge Bourdieu; Behold de Buy, Ken Tohill; Supreme Ruler, Jon Court; Sinai, Martin Garcia; Nacho Saint, Joe Bravo; Twice the Appeal, Christian Santiago Reyes; Beer Meister, Glenn Corbett and Astrology, Julien Leparoux.

The Sunland Derby has a scheduled post-time of 7:45 p.m. (et).

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