Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino
Sunday, February 17, 2019
by Eric Alwan
Fast Gator wins $85,000 La Coneja Stakes
Fast Gator jetted to an early lead and turned back an attack from Tijuana to earn a driving win in the $85,000 La Coneja Stakes at Sunland Park Track and Casino on Sunday.
Under jockey Alfredo Juarez, Jr., the multiple stakes winning filly by Diabolical sped away to fractions of 22.50 and 45.42 seconds for the first two calls while opening up a sizeable lead.
When challenged by Tijuana at the top of the stretch, Fast Gator found another gear and pulled clear to a convincing 2-length win in the 6 furlong race for New Mexico-bred fillies and mares. The 2017 Senora Stakes winner looked like her old self with a sparkling win over a solid field. She caught the distance in a fast 1:08.98. The winning trainer was Henry Dominguez.
Fast Gator earned $51,000 for owners Kirk and Judy Robison of El Paso, Texas. The fast sprinter has won 7 of 10 races in her brilliant career with earnings topping $345,000. She returned $4.60 to win as the 6-5 favorite.
Tijuana turned in a polished performance but could not eclipse the winner. The hard charging daughter of Devon Lane was seeking her first career stakes win. The runner-up trained by Todd Fincher made a bold move at the top of the stretch and looked very dangerous. She improved her glossy record to 6 wins, 9 seconds and 4 thirds from 28 starts with over $278,000 in earnings. She is a multiple stakes placed New Mexico-bred mare.
Bryn’s Fancy Pants picked up stream late to earn third place, beaten over 8 lengths.
Justin Evans gains 2,000th career Thoroughbred win
5-time Sunland Park training champion Justin Evans passed a major career milestone on Sunday gaining his 2,000th career Thoroughbred win. Curlina Curlina broke her maiden in the 2nd race at 6 and 1/2 furlongs to earn the impressive milestone for Evans.
Evans has been one of the most prolific trainers in Sunland Park history and is annually one of America’s leading trainers based upon win percentage. His horses have earned nearly $24.4 million during his outstanding career. In total, Evans has started 8,450 horses and earned a glittering 23.7 percent win clip. Evans is currently near the top of the Sunland Park Thoroughbred Trainer standings.
Live racing resumes on Tuesday at 12:50 p.m.
Photo Credit: Coady Photography