Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino
Saturday, December 29, 2018
by Eric Alwan
Susans Violette wins $85,000 New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap for Chip Woolley
Trained by Kentucky Derby winning trainer Chip Woolley, Susans Violette charged to a wire to wire win in the $85,000 New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap at Saturday at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino.
Under jockey Enrique Gomez, Susans Violette won a prolonged stretch duel over Tijuana to win by a nose at 9-2 odds. The victory was her 5th one in 6 starts. She picked up a $51,000 pay day for owners Chip Woolley and Steven Stewart. Since breaking her maiden at SunRay Park on June 2, the fast Stellar Rain filly has earned over $184,000. She covered the five and one half furlongs in a quick 1:03.51 and mastered a field with career earnings of nearly $2 million. The winner paid $11.00.
Of course, Chip Woolley won the 2009 Kentucky Derby with the former Sunland based Mine That Bird.
Tijuana made a late lunge but had to settle for second place. Pay as You Go wound up third beaten over 3 and ½ lengths. Both the second and third place finishers were trained by Todd Fincher.
Waltzing Attila, Explosive Spy and Bryn’s Fancy Pants finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.
Hardcore Troubador rolls in $65,000 KLAQ Handicap
In a flawless performance, Hardcore Troubador romped to a comprehensive 3-length win in the $65,000 KLAQ Handicap going 5 furlongs. The California invader dismantled a strong group by over 3 lengths under a hand ride from jockey Ry Eikleberry. The bay gelding by Roi Charmant rattled though the five furlongs in near track record time of 56.18 seconds.
Hardcore Troubador made every pole a winning one and earned $39,000 for owner-trainer Edward Freeman. The 3-2 favorite returned $5.00 to win. His fourth career win was his first stakes triumph.
Big Finish fought gamely to earn second place. Dontpreachto Darcy finished third beaten nearly 5 lengths.
Thunder Dome takes $85,000 Johnie L. Jamison Handicap
Thunder Dome capped off a tremendous 2018 campaign with a stirring win in the $85,000 Johnie L. Jamison Handicap at six and one-half furlongs. Dallas Barton’s star runner defeated Go for a Stroll by one length to take his 6th win of the year.
Thunder Dome enjoyed stakes wins at Albuquerque and Zia Park this year. His 9th career win was worth $51,000 for owners W.D. Carson, M.H. Carson and Leach Racing. The leading New Mexico-bred older Thoroughbred earned nearly $300,000 this year. He was ridden by Alfredo Juarez, Jr. He paid $5.20 as the 8-5 favorite.
Go for a Stroll closed with energy in the final furlong but simply ran out of real estate.
Stormin the Jewels and Blazing Navarone finished third and fourth, respectively.
Live racing resumes on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Two-time World Champion Quarter Horse Jessies First Down runs in the $350,000 Championship at Sunland Park (Gr. I) 9th race. The $85,000 Lou Wooten – Sydney Valentini Handicap is the 8th race.
Photo Credit: Coady Photography