Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino
Saturday, April 7, 2018
by Eric Alwan
Zee James wins $396,412 New Mexican Spring Futurity
Zee James exploded late to win the $396,412 New Mexican Spring Futurity at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Saturday.
The top qualifier made no mistakes in Sunland Park’s second richest race and delivered the winning punch in the final stages of the 300 yard dash to win by a neck. Racing as the 7-5 favorite, Zee James broke cleanly from her #9 post position and held a narrow advantage at the break. The New Mexico-bred daughter of Jesse James Jr found her top gears under Adrian A. Ramos and remained unbeaten in two starts for trainer Wes Giles. The talented two-year-old caught the distance in a quick 15.057 seconds, good for a 98 speed index. The precocious freshman had won her trial heat by nearly 4 lengths back on March 16.
Giles said in the winner’s circle, “We are really happy to have her. She proved herself as the favorite. We will probably send her to Ruidoso.”
Zee James sizzled through the stretch for the lucrative triumph and earned a hefty $186,314 for owners Robert M. Driggers and Ben Lee Ivey. She returned $4.80 to win all her loyal supporters.
16-1 long shot Woodys Copy Cat outran her odds to run a solid second with jockey Jamie Parga Leos in the saddle. The Cynthia Gonzalez trainee gave her best and earned $71,354 for owner Enrique Barrera. The runner-up sparked a $2 exacta worth $90.60.
Midnite Blu finished a gallant third, beaten less than a length. The well-bred First Moonflash colt was also trained by Wes Giles. He earned $43,605 for the Too For Two Stables led by Jill Giles.
Cat Daddys Lil Girl and Rallydownthealley finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Live racing resumes on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
Photo Credit: Coady Photography