Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino
Sunday, January 6, 2019
by Eric Alwan
African Heat speeds away in $85,000 La Senora Stakes
With a rocket start, African Heat sped away to a wire to wire victory in the 19th running of the $85,000 La Senora Handicap at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Sunday.
Under jockey Ry Eikleberry, African Heat sped away to a comfortable 4 length lead down the backstretch of the 6 furlong stakes for New Mexico-bred 3-year-old fillies. The pair controlled the pace and gained a short breather heading into the homestretch.
When confronted by the heavy favorite and arch rival Roll On Matilda, African Heat responded in kind with a courageous run. In a prolonged duel down the stretch, African Heat held off Roll On Matilda to win by a half-length. The winner carved out fractions of 21.67, 44.10 and 56.34 seconds and finished in a fast 1:08.90. The Southwestern Heat filly won for the third time in four starts. Her second career stakes victory was worth $51,000 for owners Kirk and Judy Robison of El Paso, Texas. Henry Dominguez was the winning trainer.
African Heat won the Rio Grande Senorita Futurity at Ruidoso Downs last summer. She paid $6.60 to win on Sunday. African Heat and Roll On Matilda have squared off in three races. African Heat has won twice.
Roll On Matilda made a valiant run but had to settle for second place, She finished over 5 lengths in front of Flight Song.
Woman At The Well wins $65,000 Bold Ego handicap
Woman At the Well marched to an awe inspiring 4 and 1/4 length win in the $65,000 Bold Ego Handicap at five and one-half furlongs. The Old Fashioned 4-year-old filly took control early from her outside draw and gained a commanding presence. With Roimes Chirinos in the saddle, Woman At the Well continued her high cruising speed into the stretch and never had an anxious moment. The razor sharp winner trained by Weston Martin covered the distance in a fast 1:02.80. The 5-2 favorite paid $7.40 to win.
Woman A The Well earned $39,000 for owner Karl Pergola. She has won 5 of 8 starts including the Petticoat Stakes at Albuquerque last summer.
Life of Illusion and Super Humor finished well behind in second and third place, respectively.
Roll On Diabolical takes $85,000 Four Rivers/John Deere Stakes
New Mexico State Fair Futurity winner Roll On Diabolical collected his second career stakes win with a prompt win in the $85,000 Four Rivers/John Deere Stakes. Under jockey Alejandro Medellin, the son of Diabolical and Hennesey Smash produced a giant race and won by six lengths over Stoney Who.
Let go at 9-1 odds, Roll On Diabolical had all the answers in the rich stakes for New Mexico-bred three-old colts and gelding. He paid $20.00 to win in his third career win from five starts. Trained by Thomas Pierce, Jr., Roll On Diabolical earned $51,000 for owner Clara Moore Thomas. His career bankroll stands at over $154,000.
The 2-1 favorite Sunscreen finished third and was no threat to the winner.
Live racing resumes on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m.
Photo Credit: Coady Photography