Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino
Sunday, January 8, 2023
Thruthestorm rallies to thrilling win in $100,000 Corralito Steak House Stakes
Ari Oakley secures first career stakes victory in $65,000 Bold Ego Handicap
Overcoming a tardy break and a wide trip entering the top of the stretch, jockey Luis Fuentes found another gear under Thruthestorm, who rallied for a minor upset score in Sunday’s $100,000 Corralito Steak House Stakes at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino.
Owned by Pierre and Leslie Amestoy and trained by Todd Fincher, Thruthestorm broke slow leaving the starting gate and was more than five lengths behind early pacesetters New Mexico Jeremy and George Who through an opening half-mile in 45.51 seconds. Forced widest of all into the lane, Fuentes got busy aboard the 3-year-old son of Attila’s Storm and ran down the leaders to score an impressive win, crossing the wire a half-length in front of longshot New Mexico Jeremy, stopping the timer in 1 minute, 11.65 seconds for the six furlongs.
Thruthestorm, coming off a pair of back-to-back second place finishes against allowance company at Zia Park, earned his first career stakes win and second lifetime win. He broke his maiden at Albuquerque Downs last summer. The victory pads Thruthestorm’s career bankroll to nearly $97,000. Sent off as the third wagering choice at odds of 5.10-to-1, Thruthestorm returned $12.20 to his winning backers. The $2 exacta with New Mexico Jeremy returned $96.60.
Post time favorite Antonios Mark wound up finishing an unlucky third under Oscar Ceballos. The Dallas Barton trainee raced in tight quarters down the backstretch and was forced to take up before rallying a bit late for third. George Who rounded out the top four finishers.
Earning her first career stakes win, Stonestreet Stables’ Ario Oakley held off a furious late rally from Flyin Falynn to win the $65,000 Bold Ego Handicap under jockey Alfredo Juarez, Jr.
Ari Oakley stalked early pacesetter Ize A Crafty Gal thru an opening quarter mile timed in 22.35 seconds, then easily moved up outside that leader as the field turned for home. Ari Oakley assumed a 2-length advantage at the head of the lane before being tackled by Flyin Falynn and jockey Luis Fuentes.
Ari Oakley held off the late charge to score a neck victory, racing 5 1/2 furlongs in a final time of 1 minute, 4.27 seconds. A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of 2017 Eclipse Award winning Horse of the Year and six-time Grade 1 stakes winning Gun Runner, Ari Oakley picked up her first career stakes win. Trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen, Ari Oakley ran fifth in the Poinsettia Handicap last month at Oaklawn Park in her most recent start.
Sunday’s win in the Bold Ego Handicap is her fourth win from 10 career starts, increasing her lifetime earnings to nearly $278,000.
Sent off as the 2-to-5 favorite, Ari Oakley returned $2.80 to win, while the $2 exacta with Flyin Falynn resulted in a $5.80 score.
Outside The Law finished third, with Brave Cinderella rounding out the top four finishers.
Tyler’s Dream and Staci’s Red Dress were both scratched earlier in the day, reducing the field of runners to eight.
Live racing resumes on Tuesday with a nine-race all-thoroughbred program. First post time is scheduled for 12:25 p.m. local time.