Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino
Friday, January 19, 2024
Lucky Jeremy rolls to victory in $100,000 Riley Allison Derby
Jeremy Ramsland’s Lucky Jeremy pushed clear in deep stretch to post an impressive, 2-length win in Friday’s $100,000 Riley Allison Derby at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino, and in the process, perhaps sets himself up as a legitimate candidate for next month’s showcase event in the Grade 3, $400,000 Sunland Derby to be held on Sunday, February 18.
Ridden by Christian Ramos, who won four races on the Friday card, Lucky Jeremy was always within striking range down the backstretch of the 1-mile event, racing just a bit more than a length behind Alotaluck and Surroundedbyangels. As the field turned for home, Ramos angled the Kentucky-bred son of Lookin at Lucky to the outside and gradually wore down his foes, drawing away in the final yards while stopping the clock in 1 minute, 36.54 seconds.
Trained by William Morey, Lucky Jeremy was making his first start as a three-year-old in the Riley Allison. A maiden winner in his second career start last October at Churchill Downs, Lucky Jeremy proved he could handle his first race around two turns and may have a strong impact in the Grade 3 $400,000 Sunland Derby, which will be run on Sunday, Feb. 18.
Lucky Jeremy has now won twice from three career starts. The $60,000 winners share of the purse pads his lifetime earnings to more than $115,000.
Sent off as the 4-to-5 favorite, Lucky Jeremy returned $3.80 to his winning backers. The $2 exacta with Alotaluck, who was well clear of the rest of the field as the runnerup, returned $12.80. Surroundedbyangels finished third with Da Ringo rounding out the top four finishers.
Candy Aisle fights off her challengers to win $65,000 Borderplex Stakes
In the $65,000 Borderplex Stakes, Candy Aisle stamped herself a contender for next month’s $250,000 Sunland Park Oaks when she scored a hard-fought, 1-length victory under Felipe Valdez for trainer Todd Fincher.
The 3-year-old, Kentucky-bred daughter of Gun Runner was bottled up along the inside behind the leading pair of Raspberry Wine and Illusive Star down the backstretch. Valdez swung Candy Aisle to the outside turning for home and picked up a head of steam, rallying past Illusive Star in the final 100 yards to win by a length, racing 6 1-2 furlongs in a time of 1 minute, 16.9 seconds.
Candy Aisle has now won three straight races, all in New Mexico after debuting last summer at Del Mar. She won the Manzano Stakes at Albuquerque Downs before winning the Zia Princess Stakes last November. She has three wins from four career starts and now has amassed earnings of more than $144,000. Candy Aisle, owned by G. Randy Andrews, Jim Cone, Brad King and R. Lee Lewis, may well make her next start in next month’s $250,000 Sunland Park Oaks. A win there would likely put her on a path to the Kentucky Oaks coming up in May at Churchill Downs.
Candy Aisle, sent off at odds of 2-to-5, returned $2.80 to her winning backers. The $2 exacta with Illusive Star paid back $6.60. Raspberry Wine finished third while Ogallala rounded out the top four finishers.
Chesterette proves to be much the best in $65,000 Bold Ego Handicap
In other Friday stakes race action, Chesterette and jockey Christian Ramos swept past her rivals at the top of the lane and posted an impressive 2 3-4 length win in Friday’s $65,000 Bold Ego Handicap for trainer Bart Hone and owners David & Holly Wilson.
The 5-year-old, Kentucky-bred mare by Practical Joke raced third down the backstretch behind dueling leaders Alberta’s Sun and Staci’s Red Dress. Ramos guided Chesterette to the outside as the field turned for home and quickly got past her foes passing the furlong pole on her way to an impressive win, stopping the timer in 1:02.91 seconds for 5 1-2 furlongs.
Chesterette, winning for the fourth time in 10 career starts, has now won two in a row. She won an allowance race in her most recent start last month at Zia Park. The $39,000 lion’s share of the purse in the Bold Ego Handicap pads her career earnings to more than $151,000.
Sent off as the second choice on the totebord at odds of 19-to-10, Chesterette returned $5.80 to her winning backers. The $2 exacta with runnerup Raneem paid $80.40. Staci’s Red Dress held on for third with Flyin Falynn rounding out the top four finishers. Topsy, sent off as the 6-to-5 favorite under Luis Fuentes was far back early and beat only one horse in the seven-horse field.
Espionage rallies late to win $75,000 Ft. Bliss Stakes
Ramos continued to have an exceptional day at the track on Friday when he guided Espionage to a mild upset score in the $75,000 Ft. Bliss Stakes for trainer Leroy Fincher.
The 6-year-old, Kentucky-bred son of Into Mischief raced midpack down the backstretch, some three lengths behind early leader Good With People, who’d opened up a sizable advantage midway around the far turn of the six-furlong sprint. Ramos found another gear on Espionage inside the final furlong, rallying to score by a length over Good With People, stopping the clock in a time of 1 minute, 9.4 seconds.
Owned by Fincher and his wife Maureen as well as Doug Gourley, Espionage snapped a three-race losing streak with his win in the Ft. Bliss. he has now won eight times from 24 starts and now has career earnings of more than $302,000.
Sent off as the fourth choice on the toteboard at odds of 4.30-to-1, Espionage paid back $10.60 to his winning backers. The $2 exacta with Good With People returned $50.20. Go West finished third, while Competitive Idea, the post time favorite under Alfredo Juarez, Jr., broke slowly from the starting gate and had to settle for fourth.
Live racing resumes Saturday at Sunland Park with a nine-race card that has a first post time of 12:25 p.m.