KJ LITTLE DUCE COUP WINS $282,925 WEST TEXAS FUTURITY
Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino
Saturday, April 1, 2023
Kj Little Duce Coup scores thrilling win in Grade 2 $282,925 West Texas Futurity
Crispyn holds off late rally to win 27th running of the $365,727 New Mexican Spring Futurity
Woodys Storm springs an upset in the $100,000 NMHBA Quarter Horse Stakes
Sunday’s closing day card highlighted by 62nd running of the $150,000 Sunland Park Handicap
Sunland Park’s leading quarter horse trainer Wes Giles put another stamp on his outstanding season, sending out Kj Little Duce Coup and jockey Adrian Ramos to a thrilling victory in the 63rd running of the $282,925 Grade 2 West Texas Futurity on Saturday at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino.
Owned by John Lee, W. Kathy Lee and I. Ruben Mares, Kj Little Duce Coup dueled on the front end with Lets Leave and Kj Flying Cowgirl. The 2-year-old Arizona-bred gelding by Apollitical Jess got his nose down on the wire, winning by a neck with a final time of 15.21 seconds for 300 yards. Kj Little Duce Coup earned an Equibase Speed Index of 97.
Kj Little Duce Coup won his trial heat here in his career debut on March 11. Saturday’s win keeps his record intact after two lifetime starts with earnings approaching $140,000.
Sent off at odds of 3.30 to 1, Kj Little Duce Coup returned $8.60 to win. Lets Leave narrowly held the place. The $2 exacta combining both runners paid $31.20. Kj Flying Cowgirl finished third with Rayenare rounding out the top four finishers.
Think On It, sent off as the 13-to-10 post time favorite under Sergio Becerra, Jr., finished sixth.
Giles clinched the quarter horse training title last weekend and now has 19 winners on the season, well ahead of James J. Gonzales III, Alfredo Gomez and Eric Valenzuela.
Twin Forks was scratched from the West Texas Futurity by order of the stewards shortly before post time, reducing the field to nine runners.
In the richest quarter horse race of the season, trainer Manuel Rodriguez sent out Crispyn and jockey Alan Hernandez to an impressive win in the 27th running of the $365,727 New Mexican Spring Futurity, a restricted Grade 2 event for New Mexico-bred juveniles.
Owned and bred by MRB Racing, LLC, Crispyn battled on the lead throughout and held off a late rally from post time favorite Miss Hi Tide to win by a neck, racing 300 yards in a final time of 15.21 seconds while earning an Equibase Speed Index of 97.
The son of A Royal Jess was the fastest qualifier for the New Mexican Spring Futurity when trials were held here on March 10. He has now won both of his career starts, with earnings topping $182,000.
Sent off as the second choice on the board at odds of 3.20-to-1, Crispyn paid $8.40 to his winning backers. The $2 exacta with Miss Hi Tide came back $30.60. Wood Be Bad finished third with Who U Daddy rounding out the top four finishers.
Chicka Boom Babe was scratched from the race after becoming unruly at the gate, leaving a field of nine runners in the event.
Kenia Pinela Marioni’s Woodys Storm scored an upset win in the 30th running of the $100,000 New Mexico Horse Breeders’ Association Stakes.
Ridden to victory by Luis Martinez for trainer Jorge Luis Sanchez, Jr., Woodys Storm was prominent throughout the 400-yard dash, dueling with post time favorite Kj Daddys Money, who was racing on the far outside of the course under Adrian Ramos.
Woodys Storm was unrelenting, proving best in the final yards, winning by a neck in a final time of 19.54 seconds. Woodsy Storm earned an Equibase Speed Index of 99.
Earning the first stakes win of his career, Woodys Storm has now won three times from 11 career starts. The son of Woodbridge increases his lifetime earnings to more than $98,000.
Sent off at odds of more than 13-to-1, Woodys Storm returned $29.60 to his winning backers. The $2 exacta combining the winner with Kj Daddys Money paid back $93.60. Wood Dee Queen finished third while J Y Jaaziel completed the top four finishers.
Sunday’s closing day program will be headlined by the 62nd running of the $150,000 Sunland Park Handicap, with a field of six older thoroughbreds traveling 1 1/8 miles.
Sheriff Brown, looking for his first win since capturing the Downs at Albuquerque Handicap last summer, has been installed as the 2-to-1 morning line favorite for the meet’s leading thoroughbred trainer Todd Fincher. The 7-year-old son of Curlin will be defending his title in this event. Last year, he rallied for a dramatic 1 1/2-length victory over Zestful, who will be back in the starting gate again on Sunday.
Owned by the Peacock Family Holdings, Sheriff Brown is an eight-time winner with purses totaling more than $513,000. He will break from four under the meet’s leading thoroughbred rider Luis Fuentes.
The Sunland Park Handicap is listed as the seventh race on the 10-race program with a post time of 3:04 p.m. local time.