SUNLAND PARK — Coming off a devastating upset score last time out in the New Mexico Cup 870 Challenge at Zia Park, Coronas Boy will be seeking his second straight win in today's $85,000 Challenger Six Handicap at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino.
Owned by Victor Diaz and trained by Hermengildo Aldavaz, Coronas Boy was dismissed by bettors at odds of 28-to-1 on Oct. 27 when he romped in the New Mexico Cup to win by nearly seven lengths under jockey Francisco Giles. The win was the fourth in the career for the state-bred son of Mr Houston, increasing his lifetime earnings to over $165,000.
Today, Coronas Boy headlines a field of 10 older runners slated to race 870 yards over a track where he has won three times from six starts. He is listed as the 2-to-1 morning line favorite in the Challenger Six, which will go as the fifth race on an 11-race program with a first post of 12:15 p.m.
Handicapping methodology suggests that if a bettor doesn't catch a good price on a horse when he wins as a long shot, you should stay away from betting a horse like that when they return as a short-priced candidate.
In other words, if you weren't there for the wedding, why would you be there for the divorce?
Coronas Boy will once again be ridden by Giles, and once again, Coronas Boy figures to be hustled to the lead from his middle of the pack post in the Challenger Six. Today, he may have some company on the lead.
Both Lionett and Super Quintons, who have drawn posts No. 2 and No. 10, have decent speed and will likely be on or near the front end from the opening of the gates.
Lionett, trained by JJ Gonzalez and scheduled to be ridden by Larry Gamez, comes off a romping allowance win at Zia Park on Oct. 19. Super Quintons beat optional claiming company at Zia last month. Also trained by Aldavaz, Super Quintons is slated to be ridden by Ricardo Jaime Jr.
Also rounding out the speed types is the second choice on the morning line, Anzaki. Currently on the also-eligible list for the Challenger Six, he would make the race if another horse is scratched, but his participation would make the task of Coronas Boy difficult from a pace perspective.
Returning to the scene of some of his better wins is DE Wagons Strawfly, looking to end a four-race losing streak over a course where he's never been off the board in five career starts.
Owned and trained by Tony Sedillo, DE Wagons Strawfly was fourth last time out in the King Rick Rack Stakes at Zia Park. His last trip to the winner's circle was last July, when he won the 870 Championship at Ruidoso Downs under Macario Rodriguez.
A five-time winner from 23 lifetime starts, DE Wagons Strawfly is drawn in post No. 3 and is the co-third choice on the morning line at odds of 7-to-2.
The Challenger Six is scheduled to run at 1:55 p.m. and is part of a big weekend of stakes action that continues Sunday with a stakes doubleheader.
The Grade 2 Lou Wooten and Sydney Valentini Handicap, for state-bred filly and mare shortliners racing 400 yards goes in front of the one-mile Enchantress Stakes for 2-year-old state-bred fillies. Both Sunday stakes races feature purses of $85,000.