Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino
Saturday, April 14, 2018
by Eric Alwan
Suze Returns wins 60th running of $269,527 West Texas Futurity (Grade 2)
Suze Returns surged in the final strides to win the 60th running of the $269,528 West Texas Futurity (Grade 2) at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Saturday.
The top qualifier validated her 2-1 favoritism with a strong effort in the finale. Under jockey Jamie Parga Leos, Suze Returns broke well but had to play catch up on a spirited All Sophia Wanted who gave her quite a battle in the 300 yard feature. Both fillies ran magnificent races. Suze Returns found an explosive gear in the final 50 yards to eclipse All Sophia Wanted in a thrilling photo finish.
Trained by Juan M. Gonzalez, Suze Returns won by a neck and remains unbeaten in two starts. She earned a hefty $126,678 for owner Joe Rios of El Paso, Texas. The winner is a two-year-old Oklahoma bred filly by High Rate of Return. She paid $6.20 on a $2 win ticket. Suze Returns covered the distance in a fast 15.14 seconds, good for a 95 speed index. She could be a major threat in the summer futurities at Ruidoso Downs this year.
Let go at 10-1 odds, All Sophia Wanted led midway through the dash and looked the part of a winner. The Five Bar Cartel filly ridden by Jose Montoya came up just short. The valiant gray filly ran courageously and earned second place monies of $48,515 for the Sunset Well Service, Inc. Michael D. Chavez trained the runner-up. All Sophia Wanted sparked a $2 exacta worth $100.20.
Eagle Coast finished with courage to gain third place. Esgar Ramirez rode for trainer Jose Luis Muela. The One Famous Eagle gelding was only beaten a half-length. He earned $29,648 for owner Ernesto Palacio of Odessa, Texas.
Flying Eagle 07 takes $50,000 West Texas Juvenile
Under Sunland Park leading Quarter Horse rider Manuel Gutierrez, Flying Eagle 07 shot to the front in the final stages to win the $50,000 West Texas Juvenile at 300 yards.
The well-bred One Famous Eagle colt finished strongly to overhaul Arizona Chrome in the final 100 yards. The John Cooper trainee covered the distance in 15.16 seconds, good for a 95 speed index. The improving colt returned $8.80 to win and earned $30,000 for owner Jack Manning of Odessa, Texas. He won by a half-length to record his second career win from three starts.
Live racing resumes on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. The $150,000 Sunland Park Handicap (8th race) at one mile and one-eighth and the $162,905 Copper Top Futurity (9th race) at four and one-half furlongs are the feature races.
Photo Credit: Coady Photography