ALBUQUERQUE — A total of 86 of New Mexico's finest racehorses have been entered for Lineage weekend at Albuquerque Downs, an opportunity for some of the state's best shortliners and thoroughbreds to compete in nearly a dozen stakes races for purses nearing $856,000.
Lineage weekend begins Saturday with six thoroughbred stakes events, beginning with in the fourth race of the day. The quarter horse portion of the event will be held Sunday with the final five races of the day headlining a nine-race card. Both days of action will begin at 1:30 p.m.
The headline race of Saturday's program could well be the Carlos Salazar, which will be run as the eighth race on the card. A purse of $37,000 will be on the line.
The 6 1-2 furlong sprint for state-bred older fillies and mares will mark the return of Foutz Distaff Handicap winner Devon's Spirit.
Owned by John Pinkerton and trained by Dick Cappellucci, Devon's Spirit hasn't raced since a mild upset score in the Foutz Distaff at SunRay Park & Casino last April. It's been 126 days since the 6-year-old daughter of Premeditation has raced, but that didn't prevent her from being installed as the 3-to-1 morning line favorite in the Salazar.
Devon's Spirit will break from post No. 3 in the seven-horse field and will be ridden by her regular rider Duane Sterling, who guided her to victory in the Foutz, which was her sixth career win from 27 starts. She tipped her readiness with two fast drills over the Albuquerque Downs course, a pair of half-mile workouts that were the fastest of the day on both Aug. 7 and most recently on Aug. 16.
Devon's Spirit is making her first start over this course, which could always prove to be a tricky proposition. To that end, it's for that very reason that one of her main rivals could be Tricky R for trainer Camie Telford.
Tricky R, a perfect 2-for-2 at Albuquerque, is coming off a second-place finish behind the well-regarded Thibodeaux last time out at SunRay Park on June 14. The daughter of Favorite Trick has posted seven wins from 18 lifetime starts and should be poised for a big effort under her regular rider Nancy Summers.
Tricky R will break just to the inside of Devon's Spirit in post No. 2.
The field, from the rail out in the Salazar -- with morning line prices and jockeys -- looks like this: Naughty Storm, 7-2, Aldo Arboleda; Tricky R, 4-1, Summers; Devon's Spirt, 3-1, Sterling; Western Way, 5-1, Enrique Garcia; Desert Fun, 8-1, Enrique Gomez; Gossip Dome, 10-1, Alfredo Juarez, Jr., and Attila's Hunny, 7-2, Martin Bourdieu.
Saturday's card is also highlighted by the Chief Narbona Stakes, which will go as the seventh race on the card at six furlongs for 3-year-old fillies.
In a wide-open betting affair, the field of 10 runners is headlined by Park Lane Lass, who was the runaway winner last time out in the Sierra Starlet Handicap at Ruidoso Downs on July 28. Trained by Simon Buechler and scheduled to be ridden by Dusty Shepherd, Park Lane Lass has won four of 10 starts and has been listed as the 4-to-1 second choice in the morning line for the Narbona, where she will break from post No. 8.
La Luz, trained by Owen Bringhurst, is looking for her second straight win. An allowance winner last time out at Arapahoe Downs last June in Colorado, the daughter of Minister Eric has only missed the board in two of 11 career starts. She will break the inside post under Brian Theriot as the 3-to-1 morning line favorite.
The field for the Chief Narbona, from the rail out -- with morning line prices and riders -- looks like this: La Luz, 3-1, Theriot; Lakehouse Fun, 5-1, Gomez; CL Phone Home, 8-1, Casey Lambert; Hennessy Road, 8-1, Arboleda; La La La Dandy, 10-1, Sterling; Dandy Devona RF, 8-1, Juarez, Jr.; Strawberry Bling, 12-1, Jimmy Coates; Park Lane Lass, 4-1, Shepherd; Secrets On Ice, 10-1, Isaias Cardenas; Silver Streakn Gal, 12-1, Bourdieu.