Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino
Sunday, February 12, 2017
by Eric Alwan
African Rose storms to victory in $75,000 El Diario Handicap
Eight-year-old distaff sensation African Rose put on a bravura performance to win the $75,000 El Diario Handicap going 6 and one-half furlongs. The Bwana Charlie mare continues to show her affection for Sunland Park as she won for the 18th time in 42 starts. Red hot jockey Miguel Perez won both stakes races on the card as African Rose pulled well clear in the final furlong to win by one and one-half lengths. The multiple stakes winner pounced on the pace setters on the far turn and grabbed the lead at the half mile marker. From then on, Perez kept his mount rolling, and she was untouchable.
The winner caught the distance in a fast 1:14.99 through some very windy conditions. African Rose earned $45,000 for the Judge Lanier Racing Stable. Miguel Hernandez is the winning trainer. African Rose is a 3-time winner of the Harry Henson Handicap and won the 2016 Bold Ego Handicap. The 2-1 second favorite paid $6.20 to win. Her career bankroll swells to nearly $574,000.
6-5 favorite K P Wildcat found her best strides too late and finished a fast closing second. Under Roimes Chirinos, last year’s winner of the Island Fashion Stakes had the maneuver through traffic while closing with interest. The runner-up finished a half-length in front of New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap winner Bryn’s Fancy Pants.
Live racing resumes on Tuesday at 12:45 p.m. A post time change occurs on Friday, February 17 with a new start time of 1:30 p.m.
Sunland Park race replays can be seen on You Tube at “Sunland Park RacetrackCasino.”
Photos courtesy of: Coady Photography