Sunland Park Handicap / Copper Top Futurity

Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino
Sunday, April 15, 2018
by Eric Alwan

Oh So Regal breaks track record in $150,000 Sunland Park Handicap

Oh So Regal scored a mammoth win in a track record setting performance in the 59th running of the $150,000 Sunland Park Handicap at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Sunday.

Ridden by Alfredo Juarez Jr., Oh So Regal led every step of the way in the one mile and one-eighth feature for older horses. The four-year-old Sidney’s Candy colt controlled the tempo throughout and had plenty left for the stretch drive. The Judge Lanier owned star roared to a comprehensive 4-length win in a track record time of 1:47.21. The timing broke the former standard of 1:47.37 held by Proceed since April 12, 2015. Juarez, Jr. allowed his mount to settle into a beautiful stride down the backstretch.

Oh So Regal responded with a huge effort defeating stablemate Sphene and a talented group of stakes winners including Curribot and Winsham Lad Handicap winner Sky Defence. The recent allowance winner got away at 6-1 odds and returned $14.60 to win. Oh So Regal served notice with that allowance win in March and scored his first stakes triumph for trainer Miguel Hernandez. Oh So Regal earned $90,000 for owner Tom McKenna of Judge Lanier Racing. The Taiban, New Mexico resident is the leading Thoroughbred owner at Sunland Park Racetrack.

In 2017, Oh So Regal finished third to stablemate Conquest Mo Money in the Mine That Bird Derby. He is now a 3-time winner of over $143,000.

Judge Lanier Racing finished second with the talented three-year-old Sphene. The Bodemeister colt loomed large at the quarter pole and ran gamely. He finished 1 length in front of the Oaklawn Park stakes placed invader Futile. The latter raced as the 7-5 favorite.

Sky Defence, the 5-2 second favorite, never menaced and finished a well beaten sixth.

Hustle Up speeds to win $162,905 Copper Top Futurity

Heavily favored Hustle Up responded in kind with a dominating win in the $162,905 Copper Top Futurity going four and one-half furlongs. Ridden by Tracy Hebert, Hustle Up broke alertly and took command from the break.

When challenged by Stealing Home at the quarter pole, Hustle Up switched in to high gear and galloped away to a runaway victory. The New Mexico-bred two-year-old son of Abstraction was simply too much race horse and won by 7 and 1/2 lengths in a time of 51.55 seconds. The victory was the third straight Copper Top Futurity win for trainer Todd Fincher who was named the 2018 Bob Haynsworth Sportsmanship Award winner on Sunday

The unbeaten Copper Top Futurity champion earned $81,453 for owners Dale Taylor, Bobby McQueen and Suzanne Kirby. The 3-5 favorite paid $3.40 to win.

Stealing Home produced a bold move on the far turn and looked dangerous. The Southwestern Heat filly tried her best but could not keep pace with the winner. The runner-up earned $32,581 for owners R.D. Hubbard and Paul Blanchard. Casey Lambert is the trainer.

Quien Es picked up momentum in deep stretch and finished third for trainer Fred Danley. The son of Quinton’s Gold was beaten nearly 10 lengths.

The live racing season concludes on Tuesday. Post time is 12:30 p.m.

Photo Credit: Coady Photography