FARMINGTON — Winter Haven will be looking to justify his impressive debut win 16 days ago when he is expected to go postward as the favorite in today's $95,400 Four Corners Futurity, the featured event of a nine-race program at SunRay Park & Casino.
Owned by Nelson Palomo and trained by Kristopher Cordova, Winter Haven scored a successful debut win when he was the fastest qualifier in four trial races held on May 30. Ridden by Macario Rodriguez, the son of FDD Dynasty won a close photo finish over Cement Flats when he broke his maiden, getting the 350 yards in a fast time of 17.39 seconds, the quickest of his nine rivals in today's finals.
Winter Haven will break from post 6 in the Futurity and has been installed as the 3-to-1 morning-line favorite.
What Winter Haven possesses in the form of a fast trial time, he does give away in terms of experience to several of his rivals.
Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle, the second choice on the morning line at odds of 4-to-1, is unbeaten in two starts over the SunRay course. The Wes Giles trainee broke his maiden at the track on May 7, then came back 24 days later to win his trial heat in a time of 17.55 seconds.
Giles is no stranger to success in Futurity races. He's done this many times in the past, and with four of the ten starters in today's Futurity field donning the barn's colors, Giles once again may prove to be too dominant.
In addition to Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle, Giles will also send out Tresarainbow, Six T Five Roses and Western Shines.
Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle, a daughter of Maknmoves, will be ridden by Martin Bourdieu from post 4.
The added money of the Four Corners Futurity purse makes this race the second richest of the season, outdone only by the New Mexico Breeders' Futurity, won last month by Lonnie Vaughn-trained King Of Pop.
The field, from the rail out, with riders and morning line odds, looks like this: Tresarainbow, Cody Wainscott, 10-to-1; Jess Feelin Blue, Jarrel James, 8-to-1; Cement Flats, Efrain Vigi, 5-to-1; Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle, Bourdieu, 4-to-1; BF Storm Chaser, Uriel Dominguez, 10-to-1; Winter Haven, Rodriguez, 3-to-1; Six T Five Roses, Jay Conklin, 12-to-1; James Wild Injun, Larry Gamez, 8-to-1; Famous Patriot, Roberto Valero, 12-to-1; Westernshines, Omar Reyes, 8-to-1.
Jockey Enrique Gomez scored a riding double on Saturday's card. He won with Suavesgirl in the fifth race before winning aboard Vamoose in the eighth race.
Starting with Tuesday's races, SunRay Park & Casino's final week of racing will feature 10-race programs.
The final four days of the season, which will come to an end next Sunday, will have an additional race each day, with late pick four wagering on the final four races of the day.