FARMINGTON — Getting back to her winning ways from last fall, Rita Danley's Ofashionsoutherngirl made a splashy return to the races Sunday at SunRay Park and Casino, posting a mild upset win in the $45,000 Four Corners Senora Stakes in front of a crowd of nearly 400 spectators.
Ridden to victory by Porfirio Cano, Ofashionsountherngirl drifted out to the center of the track in the final stages of the 400-yard dash, but had enough in the tank to narrowly prevail over another longshot, Lady Secret Dash to claim top honors in the race restricted to New Mexico-bred filly and mare shortliners.
Sent off at odds of 8.30-1, the daughter of Southern Corona was making only her second start of the year after a successful campaign in 2013 in which she won four times from eight starts. A winner in last summer's New Mexico Breeders Derby, Ofashionsoutherngirl has now won five times from 15 career starts, with the $27,000 winners share of the Senora purse padding her bankroll to nearly $84,000.
Trained by Fred Danley, Ofashionsoutherngirl ran the 400 yards in a final time of 19.57 seconds.
Lady Secret Dash finished well just to the inside of the eventual winner, but was unable to get by, finishing just a neck in front of third place finisher WDC Wendys Wine.
Following WDC Wendys Wine across the wire were Mess Can, Me Tuff, Little Bit Southern, Sandys Jesse and Little Miss Kona.
Jockey Esgar Ramirez and the 7-10 post-time favorite Sandys Jesse were virtually eliminated at the start of the Senora, when she was bumped at the break by Little Miss Kona and jockey Alejandro Medellin.
For Sandys Jesse, it continues a long losing streak for the daughter of Jesse James Jr, who has now gone winless in each of her last eight starts dating back to April 13 of last year.
For those who backed Ofashionsoutherngirl at the windows, they were rewarded with an $18.60 return on their investment.
It was another very big afternoon at the races for trainer Justin Evans and his go-to rider Elvin Gonzalez, who teamed up for four winners on the card.
Gonzalez and Evans each lead their respective divisions at the current SunRay meet, and they both solidified their positions, scoring in the fourth race with Dramatic Allen, then coming back to win the fifth aboard Zach's Dash.
Their combined successes continued in the seventh race with Sandys Diamond, before they wrapped up their dominance on the card in the nightcap with Brooklynn's Dream.
Racing resumes at SunRay Park and Casino on Tuesday with a first post time of 1:30 p.m.