Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino
Sunday, January 29, 2023
One In Vermillion impressive in $100,000 Riley Allison Derby
Cheese Tray scores dramatic decision in $100,000 Jamison Memorial Handicap
Competitive Idea scores a romping win in $75,000 Ft. Bliss Stakes
Christian D’Oro posts upset score in $65,000 Borderplex Stakes
Jonathan Kalman’s One In Vermillion earned his third consectutive stakes victory, drawing off in deep stretch to post an impressive win in the 58th running of the Riley Allison Derby on Sunday at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino.
Ridden by Harry Hernandez for trainer Esteban Martinez Valdez, One In Vermillion raced on a contested lead with Fleet of Flags through an opening half-mile timed in 46.94 seconds. As the field raced around the far turn, One In Vermillion lost the lead briefly as American Outlaw and jockey Luis Fuentes wrestled control of the race.
The California-bred son of Army Mule re-rallied under Hernandez and grabbed a clear lead passing the final furlong, eventually winning by one length. He stopped the clock for a mile in 1 minute, 37.17 seconds. One In Vermillion was a winner in his most recent start, scoring a victory in the Lost in the Fog Juvenile on Dec. 21 at Turf Paradise. Prior to that, he was a winner in the Turf Paradise Open Spring Futurity last May. He now has three wins from four career starts with earnings approaching $150,000.
The Riley Allison Derby is the first steppingstone race for the Grade 3, $500,000 Sunland Derby which will be run on Sunday, March 26. Sent off at odds of 3.60-to-1, One In Vermillion returned $9.20. How Did He Do That ran on late to finish a clear second under jockey Alfredo Juarez, Jr. The $2 exacta with the top pair returned $40. Loudmouthsoup finished third, with Zia Zapper rounding out the top four finishers.
Morning line favorite American Outlaw, sent off at odds of 9-to-5, flattened out in the lane and finished sixth in the 10-horse field.
Malmo was scratched earlier in the day.
- Kirk and Judy Robison’s Cheese Tray held off a furious late rally to score a narrow victory in the 20th running of the $100,000 Jamison Memorial Handicap under jockey Luis Fuentes.
The New Mexico-bred son of Attila’s Storm, always prominent throughout, battled on the front end with One Mark and Strawberry Whisky through an opening half-mile in 45.38 seconds. As the field hit the top of the lane, Cheese Tray opened up a clear lead, but soon was under pressure as Thunder Dome rallied on the outside under Oscar Ceballos. Cheese Tray held on for the win by a nose, racing 6 1/2 furlongs in a time of 1 minute, 15.99 seconds. Both Fincher and Fuentes won four races on the Sunday card.
Trained by Todd Fincher, Cheese Tray has had an impressive career, especially in 2022 when he won four times from nine starts, including stakes triumphs here in the New Mexico State University Handicap, as well as the Land of Enchantment Stakes at Ruidoso Downs last summer. He most recently beat allowance competition at Zia Park on Dec. 5. In total, Cheese Tray has won seven races from 22 career starts. The winner’s share of the purse pads his lifetime earnigns to more than $343,000. Sent off as the post time favorite at odds of 2.30-to-1, Cheese Tray returned $6.60 to his winning backers. The $2 exacta with Thunder Dome paid $29.80.
Storm Bayou finished third, with Jet N G rounding out the top four finishers. I Think I’m Here was scratched earlier in the day.
Luxury Group Racing LLC’s Competitive Idea earned his eighth career victory with an impressive score in the 18th running of the $75,000 Ft. Bliss Stakes under jockey Luis Fuentes.
Trained by Dick Cappellucci, Competitive Idea raced a bit off the early pace, set by Minister of Soul who raced the opening quarter mile in 22.38 seconds. Competitive Idea moved up three-wide around the far turn to challenge the leader and Chattalot, who drew up alongside.
The 6-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Competitive Edge got the lead at the eighth pole and widened his margin late before crossing the wire 2 3/4 lengths in front, stopping the timer in 1 minute, 9.3 seconds for 6 furlongs. Competitive Idea is a multiple stakes winner who has had success here in the past, having won the 2022 KLAQ Handicap. He finished fourth in the most recent renewal of the KLAQ Handicap on Jan. 1. Prior to that, he was an impressive winner at Zia Park in the Zia Sprint Stakes on Nov. 22. In his career, Competitive Idea has won eight times from 27 lifetime starts and has amassed earnings of more than $400,000. Sent off at odds of 2.90-to-1, Competitive Idea returned $7.80 to his winning backers.
Chattalot, ridden by Alfredo Juarez, Jr., finished second. The $2 exacta with the top two finishers returned $57.60.
Clavichord finished third, with Mine That Bird rounding out the top four finishers. Post time favorite Minister of Soul finished last in the five-horse field.
Axel Steel was scratched earlier in the day.
Sunday’s stakes action kicked off with an upset score by G. Chris Coleman’s Christian D’Oro in the 25th running of the $65,000 Borderplex Stakes.
After a poor break from the gate by odds-on post time favorite Flying Connection changed the complexion of the race, Christian D’Oro and jockey Luis Fuentes raced on a short lead down the backstretch, doing battle with Fee and Love Tank through an opening half-mile of 45.41 seconds. As the field hit the far turn, Flying Connection made up ground to loom a threat but Christian D’Oro was finding another gear, leading by three as the field hit the top of the lane.
The Kentucky-bred daughter of Bolt d’Oro held on to win by a half-length, racing 6 1/2 furlongs in a final time of 1 minute, 15.58 seconds.
The Borderplex Stakes serves as a steppingstone for the $300,000 Sunland Oaks, scheduled for March 26. Christian D’Oro has now won two straight races. She broke her maiden at Zia Park in just her second career start. Trained by Todd Fincher, Christian D’Oro was sent off at odds of 7.50-to-1 and paid $17 to her supporters.
Foolish Delight ran on late under jockey Miguel Perez to complete the exacta. The Greg Green trainee was well clear of the rest of the field when second best. The $2 exacta with the top two finishers paid $163. Christian D’Oro pads her lifetime earnings to a bit more than $66,000. Flying Connection finished third, with Fee rounding out the top four finishers.
Live racing resumes on Tuesday, with a nine-race, all-thoroughbred card which will begin at 12:25 p.m.