Antonios Mark holds on for upset score in $100,000 Mt. Cristo Rey Handicap

Mar 26, 2024

Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino

Friday, March 22, 2024


Antonios Mark holds on for upset score in $100,000 Mt. Cristo Rey Handicap

Jockey Alfredo Juarez Jr. scored his third riding win of the day, guiding longshot Antonios Mark to victory in Friday’s $100,000 Mt. Cristo Rey Handicap at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino.

Trained by Dallas Barton for owner Andy Banegas, Antonios Mark was prominent on the front end from the start of the 5 1/2 furlong event. Breaking from the far outside post, the 4-year-old New Mexico-bred son of Marking dueled for the lead down the backstretch with Roll Penny Roll, Sambas Mark and Monarchos Dream through an opening quarter mile in 22.54 seconds.

As the field turned for home, Antonios Mark raced on the lead and was asked for more by Juarez. Post time favorite Still In The Trap and jockey Felipe Valdez rallied down the center of the course and finished a close second, with the winner crossing the finish line a half-length in front, stopping the timer in 1 minute, 3.31 seconds.

Friday’s win in the Mt. Cristo Rey snapped a 10-race losing streak for Antonios Mark dating back to December 12, 2022 when he won the $125,000 Hobbs Fall Classic Stakes at Zia Park. Antonios Mark now has two career stakes wins and has reached the winners circle four times from 14 lifetime starts with earnings of nearly $218,000.

Juarez Jr., currently the leading thoroughbred rider at Sunland Park, has 29 wins to his credit this season. That total place him three ahead of Alejandro Medellin and four in front of Christian Ramos as the season approaches its final weeks, with closing day right around the corner on Sunday, April 7.

Sent off at odds of 12.20-to-1, Antonios Mark returned $26.40 to his winning backers. The $2 exacta with Still In The Trap paid $108.60. Still in the Trap roared late with a wide run to secured second place honors.  Risky Revenge and jockey Irwin Rosendo was third, with Sambas Mark rounding out the top four finishers.

Live racing at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino resumes Saturday and Sunday with first post time scheduled for 12:25 p.m.