Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino
Sunday, March 12, 2023
Evacuee posts 30-1 upset win in $100,000 Mt. Cristo Rey Handicap
Bella Dona suffers first defeat over Sunland soil
Under a masterful ride from Felipe Valdez, Evacuee roared from last to first as a 30-1 longshot in the $100,000 Mt. Cristo Rey Handicap at Sunland Park Racetrack
And Casino on Sunday.
With most of the betting attention centered on 12-time winner and New Mexico-bred stakes winning queen Bella Dona, Evacuee went unnoticed in the wagering of
the five and one-half furlong sprint feature for New Mexico-breds. Evacuee raced far behind the pace setters early before launching a wicked bid into the top of the
stretch. The 6-year-old son of Abstraction finished with frenetic energy and slipped through an opening with a furlong to go and never looked back.
The Todd Fincher trained longshot shot clear in deep stretch and won by 1 and ¼ lengths over stablemate Massive Roar in a time of 1:03.81. The victory was his
first since winning an allowance race at Albuquerque back on August 25, 2021. The former stakes placed sprinter had never won over Sunland Park soil in 7 attempts.
He returned an astounding $63.40 to win. The all-Todd Fincher trained exacta paid a huge $168.30 for $1.
Evacuee earned a $60,000 payday for the B4 Farms led by Lori Owens.
Todd Fincher is in the midst of a tremendous meet having swept all 4 stakes on Mine That Bird Derby day. The defending champion Sunland Park trainer won the
Mine That Bird Derby with Henry Q and is one of the favorites for the $600,000 Sunland Derby (Gr. III) to be held on Sunday, March 26.
Delbert Too, a 12-1 outsider, finished with interest to get third place beaten less than 2 lengths.
4-5 favorite Bella Dona was seeking her 13th career win and 4th win in four Sunland Park starts. The popular runner ridden by Luis Fuentes was under siege early
Surrounded by Massive Roar and Bye Bye Matty P for the first half of the race. By the top of the stretch, the heavily favored filly was out of gas and finished
a weary 5th place. The $750,000 earner suffered her first defeat over Sunland Park soil and was riding a 9-race winning streak.
Live racing resumes on Tuesday at 12:25 p.m. with an all-Thoroughbred card.