Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino
Saturday, April 8, 2017
by Eric Alwan
Moneys a Maker is upset winner of $362,987 New Mexican Spring Futurity
Let go at nearly 9-1 odds, Moneys a Maker won the 23rd running of the $362,987 New Mexican Spring Futurity at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Saturday.
Under red hot jockey Mauro Salcedo, Moneys a Maker parlayed a quick start into a lucrative win in the 300 yard feature for New Mexico-bred two-year-old Quarter Horses. In a sharp effort, Moneys a Maker fired the winning shot from the rail post position and defeated Cadillac Flash by a neck at the wire. Trained by Cynthia Gonzalez, the gray gelding by Sixes Royal stopped the clock in a fast 15.202 seconds, good for a 91 speed index. He returned $19.00 on a $2 win ticket.
Moneys a Maker earned an impressive $170,604 from his second career win in three starts. He is owned by Enrique Barrera. His career earnings now exceed $180,000.
14-1 long shot Cadilac Flash ran a bold race and just missed under jockey Sergio Becerra, Jr. The First Moonflash filly out of the stakes winning mare Cowgirl Cadilac ran to her breeding finishing with plenty of momentum. The runner-up owned and trained by Fred Danley earned $65,338.
Tempting Star Gazer finished a neck back in third under jockey Cipriano Vidana. The Wes Giles trainee earned $39,929 for owners Jose R. Espinosa and Jill Giles. The 36-1 outsider completed a $1 trifecta worth $1,545.90.
Flash Moonfire, the top qualifier, experienced a rocky start and never could fully recover. The 1-2 favorite improved enough to get fourth place, beaten one-length.
Sunland Park’s Irap wins Blue Grass Stakes (Gr. II)
Irap, runner-up in the Mine That Bird Derby and fourth place finisher in the $800,000 Sunland Derby (Gr. III), scored a dramatic 31-1 upset win in the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Gr. II) at Keeneland on Saturday. Doug O’Neill’s talented charge picked a great time to break his maiden defeating two highly touted Kentucky Derby hopefuls in Practical Joke and McCraken.
Irap paid $64.60 to win and earned 100 qualifying points to the Kentucky Derby. Julien Leparoux rode the winner for Reddam Racing, Inc.
Hence defeated Irap by over 8 lengths in the $800,000 Sunland Derby (Gr. III) on March 26. Both horses should run next in the Kentucky Derby. Sunland Derby runner-up Conquest Mo Money earned 20 qualifying points to the Kentucky Derby for Judge Lanier Racing. So there is a possibility that three Sunland Park horses could run in the 2017 Kentucky Derby.
Live racing at Sunland Park resumes on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
Photos courtesy of: Coady Photography