Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino
Sunday, January 26, 2020
By Eric Alwan
Rowdy Yates wins $104,200 Riley Allison Derby
Taking a big step on the road to the $700,000 Grade III Sunland Derby, L and N Racing’s Rowdy Yates swept by his rivals on his way to an impressive score in Sunday’s 57th running of the $104,200 Riley Allison Derby at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino.
The 3-year-old Oklahoma-bred son of Morning Line was fourth turning for home under Luis Contreras, but was hustled to the outside before running down leader Competitive Idea, passing that one approaching the sixteenth pole before winning by 3 1/2 lengths, racing a mile in 1 minute, 37.29 seconds.
Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Rowdy Yates was a multiple stakes winner coming into the Riley Allison, having won a pair of state-bred stakes races last fall at his home track Remington Park. Previously, he was victorious in the Ellis Park Juvenile last summer in Kentucky and was a narrow second in the Bashford Manor Stakes at Churchill Downs.
The Riley Allison is a steppingstone race for locally based 3-year-olds, with the February 23rd Mine That Bird Derby and the March 22nd Sunland Derby (Gr. III) still on tap. Asmussen is familiar with the Sunland Derby, having won the race twice, most recently in 2017 with Hence and in 2012 with Daddy Nose Best. Asmussen has also saddled the winner in five runnings of the Mine That Bird Derby, most recently in 2018 with Reride.
Rowdy Yates also marks the second consecutive winner for Asmussen in the Riley Allison. Last year, he teamed up with Contreras to guide Nitrous to victory.
Rowdy Yates, sent off as the odds-on favorite at 1-to-2, returned $3 to his winning backers. The $62,520 winner’s share of the purse pads his lifetime earnings to more than $273,000 while earning the fifth win from eight career starts.
Competitive Idea held on for second, completing a popular $9.60 return for $2 exacta players. Arizona Jeremy and Top Draw rounded out the top four finishers.
Rig Time rolls in $100,000 Johnie L. Jamison Handicap
Jockey Luis Contreras and Rig Time rolled to an impressive win in the 18th edition of the $100,000 Johnie L. Jamison Handicap.
The 5-year-old New Mexico-bred gelded son of Right Rigger battled on the lead with multiple stakes winner and post time favorite Blazing Navarone through an opening half mile in 45.11 seconds. Racing to the outside of his main rival, Contreras swept to the lead approaching the head of the lane and quickly opened up, winning by 4 lengths, racing 6 1/2 furlongs in 1 minute, 15.57 seconds.
Owned by Larry R. and T. Harry Teague, Rig Time was coming off a sensational allowance win in his most recent start last month at Zia Park. Prior to that win, Rig Time was a narrow second behind Perty Dirty Dude in the New Mexico Sprint Championship last October.
The win in the Jamison is the seventh lifetime win from 20 starts for Rig Time, who pads his lifetime earnings to more than $297,000. Sent off at odds of 1.90-to-1, Rig Time returned $5.80 to his winning backers.
Jet N G rallied late for the place, finishing nearly 3 lengths clear of the rest of the field and ensuring a $26 return for $2 exacta bettors. Shining Source finished third, with No Pasa Nada rounding out the top four.
Blazing Navarone, sent off as the 7-to-5 post time favorite, wilted under pressure into the lane and eventually crossed the line seventh in the field of eight runners.
Dynasty of Her Own captures $65,000 The Borderplex Stakes
Off the heels of an impressive maiden win in her career debut, Tommy Town Thoroughbred LLC’s Dynasty of Her Own made a grand impression in her Sunland Park debut, sweeping past her rivals and winning the 23rd running of the $65,000 The Borderplex Stakes for trainer Jonathan Wong.
Never far back behind moderate fractions, jockey Francisco Arrieta guided Dynasty of Her Own well to the outside to leaders Showmethemagic and Luck Be Mine after a half mile timed in 45.46 seconds. The 3-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Shanghai Bobby swept alongside that leading pair approaching the top of the lane and gradually edged clear, crossing the wire 5 3/4 lengths in front of runner-up Topless, stopping the clock in 1 minute, 17.39 seconds for 6 1/2 furlongs.
Dynasty of Her Own broke her maiden at Golden Gate Fields on Nov. 22 in her racing debut. The win in the Borderplex opens up a window of opportunity for her locally to continue her good fortune in the Island Fashion Stakes next month, followed by a potential springboard to the Kentucky Oaks in the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks, slated for March 22.
The $39,000 lion’s share of The Borderplex purse increases Dynasty of Her Own’s career earnings to $57,000. She remains unbeaten after 2 lifetime starts.
Sent off at odds of 3.90-to-1, Dynasty of Her Own returned $9.80 to her winning backers. The exacta with Topless came back $32.20 for each $2 wagered.
Showmethemagic held on for third place, just ahead of Roses for Laura, who rounded out the top four.
Live racing resumes Tuesday at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino with a strong, 9-race program that begins at 12:25 p.m.
Photo Credit: Coady Photography