Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino
Friday, March 10, 2017
by Eric Alwan
Klassic Strawfly wins $115,113 West Texas Maturity (Grade 3)
The 11-year-old sensation Klassic Strawfly nailed Jm Apollo in the final strides to take first place honors in the 30th running of the $115,113 West Texas Maturity (Grade 3) at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Friday.
The durable gelding poured on the steam in deep stretch with jockey Alejandro Medellin to win the 400 yard feature by a head. Racing as the 8-5 favorite, the top qualifier once again proved his mettle under stakes conditions. Arguably the oldest horse to ever win the West Texas Maturity, Klassic Strawfly won for the 18th time in his long lasting and highly successful career of 97 starts. The Genuine Strawfly gelding trained by Alfredo Gomez clocked the distance in 19.56 seconds.
The victory was worth $54,103 for winning owner Yaneth Cabrera. Klassic Strawfly pushed his hefty bankroll past the $628,000 mark. In 2016, the multiple stakes champion won the James Drake Stakes at SunRay Park, the First Moonflash at Albuquerque and the New Mexico Classic Cup Championship at Zia Park.
Near 10-1 longshot Jm Apollo ran boldly along the inside under jockey Esgar Ramirez and nearly pulled off the upset. The Louisiana-bred son of Louisiana Senator fought hard and just missed in a career best performance. Turf Paradise stakes winner May Be Fantastic Sa ran a good third, beaten a half-length.
Mojo Perry is top qualifier for $162,600 West Texas Derby (Grade 3)
Wild Mares Milk, 19.732; Attack the Wind, 19.773; Always Ifs, 19.788; Eaglelistic, 19.833; Tarrant, 19.857; Dash Ta Desirio, 19.897, Groupie James, 19.916, Famouseagletime, 19.916 and Bella Facia, 19.963 rounded out the list of qualifiers the West Texas Derby finale to be held on Saturday, April 1.
Live racing resumes on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
The $800,000 Sunland Derby (Gr. III) happens on Sunday, March 26. Sunland Park’s biggest race days presents a stellar stakes filled card worth over $1.5 million.
Photos courtesy of: Coady Photography