Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino
Friday, February 15, 2019
by Eric Alwan
Jess Bein The Hero is top qualifier for $128,500 West Texas Maturity
Jess Bein The Hero, runner-up in the $350,000 Championship at Sunland Park (Grade 1), was the fastest qualifier for the $128,500 West Texas Maturity after four trials held at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Friday.
The six-year-old Valiant Hero stallion won his highly competitive 400 yard trial by a half-length and was timed in a fast 19.007 seconds. The supplemental nominee ridden by Manuel Gutierrez won for the 11th time in 16 starts and earned a 104 speed index. The multiple stakes winner won the Sam Houston Challenge Championship last April 21 at Sam Houston Race Park. On Dec. 30, the superb Quarter Horse was second only beaten a length to Jessies First Down in the 2018 Championship at Sunland Park. Jess Bein The Hero has earned nearly $272,000.
Hobbs America Derby winner Believe Me Irene ran a great race to win the 4th race. She rocketed to victory in a time of 19.023 seconds. Alonso Rivera was the winning pilot.
Here is the complete list of qualifiers for the finale: Jess Bein the Hero, 19.007; Believe Me Irene, 19.023; Ebw Gypsy, 19.047; Jacky Martin 21, 19.067; Walcott, 19.082, Bobby Elvis, 19.115, Papaws Paint, 19.155; Commander N Chief B, 19.196; Secretzzoom, 19.206 and Boogies Special Dash, 19.212. The finale will be run on Saturday, March 9.
$85,000 NMHBA Quarter Horse Stakes and Bourbon/Whiskey Festival on Saturday
Saturday’s main event is the $85,000 NMHBA Quarter Horse Stakes at 400 yards. The 9th race is headlined by the top two finishers in the recent Shue Fly Stakes. Ryansmanonthemoon and Cd Mamas Boy will collide once again.
The Bourbon and Whiskey Festival starts at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Ten samples of the most delicious Bourbon and Whiskey will sell for just $20. Admission is free.
Sunday’s $85,000 La Coneja Stakes lures Tijuana and African Heat
Tijuana and African Heat rate major players in Sunday’s $85,000 La Coneja Stakes (8th race) at 6 furlongs. Tijuana is coming off a close second in the $85,000 New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap on opening weekend. The three-year-old filly African Heat takes on her elders for the first time following a driving win in the 2018 La Senora Stakes.
Post time on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Friday is 12:50 p.m.
Photo Credit: Coady Photography