Painted Eclipse wins thrilling $311,896 West Texas Futurity; Pavel scores in $354,522 New Mexican Spring Futurity

Apr 8, 2024

Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino

Saturday, April 6, 2024


Pavel scores narrow victory in $354,522 New Mexican Spring Futurity

Pavel and jockey Luis Martinez rolled down the center of the course and captured a thrilling edition of the $354,522 New Mexican Spring Futurity, the richest quarter horse race of the season on Saturday, the penultimate day of the 2024 racing season at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino.

Owned and trained by Jorge Luis Sanchez, Jr., Pavel, who came into the Futurity as the fastest qualifier when he won his trial heat here on March 16, found his best stride late in the 300-yard contest, narrowly prevailing by a head over Row By Row and jockey Noe Garcia, Jr. in a time of 15.03 seconds. The winner earned an Equibase Speed Index of 103.

A 2-year-old gelded son of Czar Cartel Mv, Pavel now has two wins from three career starts. The victory in the New Mexican Spring Futurity brings his total earnings to more than $174,000.

Sent off as the 2.90-to-1 post time favorite, Pavel paid back $7.80 to his winning backers. The $2 exacta with Row By Row returned $36.60. Samuri finished third under jockey Adrian Ramos, with BV Bridgette Cartel and rider Luis Flores-Garcia rounding out the top four finishers.

Jett Black Rocket and Purple Queen were both scratched earlier in the day from the New Mexican Spring Futurity, reducing the race to a field of eight starters.


Painted Eclispe turns in thrilling effort winning 64th running of $311,896 West Texas Futurity

In the co-featured 64th running of the $311,896 West Texas Futurity, Painted Eclispe overcame the rail and prevailed under jockey Luis Martinez to win a thriller for trainer Xavier Rodriguez.

Owned by the partnership of Shaun Hubbard, La Feliz Montana Ranch LLC and B. Ray Willis, Painted Eclispe got into gear midway down the stretch along the inside and held off a tenacious effort from runnerup Train B Taka and jockey James Flores to win by a nose. The final time for the 300 yards was 14.77 seconds, just a shade off the track record set by Valiant War Hero in 2011. Painted Eclispe earned an Equibase Speed Index of 111.

Painted Eclispe was an impressive winner in his career debut when trials for the West Texas Futurity were held here on March 17. The Oklahoma-bred colt by Pyc Paint Your Wagon now has two wins from two career starts and has earned nearly $152,000.

Sent off as the 3-to-2 post time favorite, Painted Eclispe paid back $5 to his winning backers. The $2 exacta with Train B Taka returned $39.80. Skinnthatsmokewagon finished third with Noe Garcia Jr. in the irons, with Be Our Secret and Sergio Becerra Jr. rounding out the top four finishers.

Haulins Good Candy was scratched from the West Texas Futurity earlier in the day.

Also headlining the Saturday stakes action was the 31st running of the $100,000 New Mexico Horse Breeders’ Association Quarter Horse Stakes, with Franky Hurtado’s Big Posies Cartel and jockey Christian Ramos holding off a furious rally from Paint Me Queen in the final yards to post a minor upset score.


Big Posies Cartel scores mild upset in 31st Running of NMHBA Quarter Horse Stakes

Trained by Ricardo Armendariz, Jr., Big Posies Cartel broke alertly from the gate and battled on the lead throughout the 400-yard affair. The 3-year-old son of Big Daddy Cartel fended off late rallies from both Paint Me Queen to his outside and Crispyn, who found his best stride in the closing yards to earn the neck victory.

Big Posies Cartel ran the 400 yards in a final time of 19.25 seconds, earning an Equibase Speed Index of 102. Sent off at odds of more than 7-to-1, Big Posies Cartel returned $16.20 to win. The $2 exacta with longshot Paint Me Queen paid back $256.80. Crispyn settled for third with JM Special Ryon rounding out the top four finishers.

Big Posies Cartel was disqualified from first and placed fifth against allowance company in his most recent start. Saturday’s victory is the second win from 11 starts for Big Posies Cartel, who now has career earnings of more than $97,000.

Morning line favorite Over Da Edge, looking for her fourth straight win at Sunland Park this season, was a bit slow getting into stride from the gate and wound up finishing seventh under jockey Sergio Becerra Jr. in the 10-horse field. Post time favorite Call Me Jessiecartel was never a factor when finishing ninth.

Saturday’s program was the final day of quarter horse racing this season at Sunland Park. Hall of Famer Wes Giles secured his second straight title as leading quarter horse trainer at Sunland Park. A winner of 18 races this season, Giles topped the trainer standings ahead of Eric Valenzuela (13) and James J. Gonzales III (11).

Adrian Ramos narrowly prevailed in the quarter horse jockey standings, narrowly ahead of younger brother Christian Ramos. Adrian rode 20 winners this season, edging Christian with 19 winners. Noe Garcia, Jr. finished a close third with 18 winners this season.


Closing day Sunday will be highlighted by five stakes races with purse money totaling $650,000. The featured event, the $200,000 Sunland Park Handicap, features defending champion and 8-to-5 morning line favorite Mine That Star facing a field of six rivals in the 1 1/8 mile event. First post time for the closing day program is 12:25 p.m.