Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino
Friday, January 5, 2024
Corrina Corrina rallies for spectacular score in $100,000 New Mexico Racing Commission Handicap
Corrina Corrina earned her sixth consecutive victory, and did so the hard way, rallying from last after a slow start to beat Lemon Drop Gold by a length in Friday’s 23rd running of the $100,000 New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap.
The statebred 5-year-old mare by Mr. Trieste broke slow from her outside post in the seven-horse field and was a good eight lengths behind dueling leaders Marquis Lights and Charlies Hurricane after the first quarter mile. Under jockey Tracy Hebert, Corrina Corrina found her best stride around the far turn, but still had a lot of work to do as Bella Dona and Lemon Drop Gold began to shake loose of the field turning for home.
Lemon Drop Gold, ridden by Felipe Valdez, put away Bella Dona inside the final furlong, but couldn’t withstand the furious late rush from Corrina Corrina, who stopped the clock in a time of 1 minute, 4.13 seconds for the 5 1/2 furlongs.
Owned by Derrick Jenkins and trained by Gary Cross, Corrina Corrina has now won each of her last six starts dating back to the Lincoln Stakes at Ruidoso Downs on July 23, 2023. She has won four times from seven starts at Sunland Park and boasts an impressive career mark of 12 wins from 24 starts with earnings of nearly $814,000.
Sent off as the 1-to-2 favorite in the New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap, Corrina Corrina paid back $3 to her winning investors. The $2 exacta with Lemon Drop Gold paid $11. First Again finished third with Bella Dona rounding out the top four finishers.
Competitive Idea scores impressive late-running victory in $65,000 KLAQ Handicap
In Friday’s co-featured 33rd running of the $65,000 KLAQ Handicap, Luxury Group Racing LLC’s Competitive Idea found his way back to the winner’s circle, getting past a stubborn Good Bye Charlie in the shadow of the finish line under jockey Alfredo Juarez, Jr. Trained by Dick Cappellucci, who saddled three winners on the opening day program, Competitive Idea raced midpack while never too far back of a dueling group of leaders, which included Good Bye Charlie, ridden by Alejandro Medellin and Hoya Paranoya, piloted by Jose Torres.
Juarez took Competitive Idea to the outside midway around the far turn and quickly engaged for the lead, edging Good Bye Charlie by three-quarters of a length while racing five furlongs in a time of 58.4 seconds.
The Kentucky bred son of Competitive Edge picked up his second win from his last three starts. He was a well-beaten third in his most recent outing, the Zia Sprint Stakes last November. Friday’s win improves his career ledger to 10 wins from 32 starts with earnings of more than $473,000.
Sent off at odds of 3.70-to-1, Competitive Idea returned $9.40 to his winning backers. The $2 exacta with Good Bye Charlie paid $125.40. Last year’s KLAQ Stakes champion Minister of Soul finished third with Espionage rounding out the top four finishers.
Racing resumes at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Saturday with a nine-race program set to begin at 12:25 p.m.
Sunday wraps up the first weekend of live racing at Sunland Park and will be highlighted by the 22nd running of the $350,000 Grade 1 Championship at Sunland Park, featuring a star-studded field of six of the nation’s best quarter horses racing the classic distance of 440 yards.