ALBUQUERQUE — Things aren't exactly what they seem in today's $76,000-added New Mexico State Fair Senor Futurity, the featured event on a 12-race program set for 1:30 p.m. at Albuquerque Downs.
The most accomplished horse in the field, Threedeewoodee, with three wins and three second-place finishes from seven career starts, is listed as co-third choice 6-to-1 on the track's official morning line.
The fastest qualifier in the 10-horse field, Downwiththequickness, is the other third choice on the morning line.
Both Sassy Moonflash and First Place Moonfast, the morning line favorite and second choice, respectively, are both coming into the race off losing efforts in their trial start held here earlier in the month.
Further, the winner of that particular trial, Mister Brooks -- the horse that beat both the morning line top choices -- is listed at 20-to-1 on the morning line.
Thus, you should tread lightly when trying to predict a winner in today's Grade 3 Senor Futurity, one of three stakes races for state-bred runners on the opening day of a rich weekend of stakes racing held each year during the New Mexico State Fair.
Downwiththequickness, who will be seeking his third straight win when he breaks from the six post under jockey Alonso Rivera, earned the role as fastest qualifier when he won the fourth trial race by 1 1/2 lengths, running 400 yards in 19.822 seconds.
Owned, bred and trained by Terry Smith, the son of Be Real Quick is a perfect 2-for-2 at Albuquerque after three tries to break his maiden at SunRay Park and Casino earlier this year came up short.
Of the 10 horses in the Senor, only Downwiththequickness and Threedeewoodee managed to run the 400 yards in under 20 seconds.
Mister Brooks, trained by Lonnie Vaughn for owner Richard Ford, was the winner of the sixth trial heat under jockey Flavio Lozano when those races were held here on Sept. 6. In the process of springing that 11-to-1 upset, the son of Brookstone Bay beat two highly regarded juvenile prospects in Sassy Moonflash and First Place Moonfast.
Sassy Moonflash, who will be ridden today for the first time by Cody Jensen, was beaten an unlucky nose by Mister Brooks in that trial heat. Prior to that, the Kristopher Cordova-trained son of First Moonflash was an unlucky fifth in the New Mexico Breeders Futurity last May at SunRay Park.
Owned by Luis Villanueva, Sassy Moonflash will break from post three in the Senor, with a scheduled post time of 5:40 p.m.
First Place Moonflash was beaten just a head when second best in the New Mexico Breeders Futurity at SunRay, ironically enough by King Of Pop, trained by Vaughn, who has saddles Mister Brooks.
Trained by Jaime Aldavaz for owner Alberto Montoya, the son of First Moonflash had two prior wins at Farmington and has only missed the board in one of five lifetime starts. He will break from post four under jockey Raul Hernandez.
Threedeewoodee, drawn outside in the Senor with his regular rider Manuel Gutierrez set to ride, won the fifth trial in a final clocking of 19.997 seconds. His only poor effort, a sixth-place finish in the rich Zia Futurity at Ruidoso Downs last July, is the only real significant blemish on a career ledger that includes more than $137,000 in earnings for owner Gary Thompson and trainer Emilio Cadena.
In addition to the New Mexico State Fair Senor Futurity, a strong group of 2-year-old fillies will go at it in the $62,000-added Senorita Futurity, also slated at a distance of 400 yards and which will go as the 10th race on today's card.
Express In, still looking for her first career win in four starts, is the 3-to-1 morning line favorite in the Senorita.
The final race of the day features state-bred thoroughbreds in the $37,000 Breeders' Stakes. A field of 11 3-year-olds will race 1 1-16 miles with Jenson's Miracle, winless since last December, listed as the 3-to-1 morning line favorite.