Good Job proves great in Futurity
FARMINGTON — Good Job Honey keeps right on delivering.
Ridden by Albert Medrano for trainer Ken Grisham, the fastest qualifier for Sunday's Four Corners Futurity lived up to the hype by prevailing by a neck in a dramatic photo-finish over Mango Chick, the longest shot on the board in the $100,000 dash.
Good Job Honey, owned by Shirley Grisham and the Jay Bar 7 Ranch, the Texas-bred daughter of Freighttrain B got away in a bit of a tangle when Delightning Teller came over onto her path. Once she settled into stride, she quickly made up ground to battle Rebbeca Quick from her outside post for the lead.
With 100 yards to go, Good Job Honey took command and held off the late rally of Mango Chick and jockey Esgar Ramirez to win by a neck in a final time of 17.34 seconds for 350 yards.
"She didn't get away quick, but once she got away from the other horse, she really quickened for me," Medrano said after the race. "It's a good feeling when you know you have that kind of horse."
Good Job Honey has won three straight races, all over this course. The Futurity win adds $47,000 to her career bankroll, which now stands at nearly $59,000. She broke her maiden on opening day before making her qualifying bid for the Futurity when trials were held here on July 24.
"I knew from the first race here we had a good one," Grisham said. "She's done everything we've asked of her."
Good Job Honey was sent off as the second choice in the wagering at odds of 2.40-to-1 and returned $6.80 to her winning backers.
The heavy post-time favorite Rebbeca Quick broke fast from her outside post and dueled for the lead for the first half of the trip before tiring a bit late, winding up sixth under jockey Jose Enriquez.
Trainer Wes Giles, who last won this race in 2013, sent out five starters in one of the richest races at this current season. Made To Dash and Gianni Modo finished third and fourth, respectively. Whatta Tres Knockout, An Agitator and Wr Smooth move were the last three horses across the wire.
Grant The Star shines in Drake
Grant The Star stamped himself as perhaps one of the top New Mexico-bred older quarter horses with a strong win in Sunday's co-featured $45,000 Jimmy Drake Stakes.
Ridden by Adrian Ramos for trainer Wes Giles, the son of Attila's Storm won for the fifth time from his last six starts, picking up his first stakes win in the process when he scored a stubborn win over Sc Dustychampion in the 400-yard dash.
Grant The Star, owned by Norris Land and Cattle, was sent off as the second choice in the wagering at odds of 3.40-to-1. He broke well from the gate, dueled for the lead throughout and prevailed in a driving finish, inching ahead of Sc Dustychampion and jockey Martin Bourdieu by a neck.
Grant The Star ran the 400 yards in a quick time of 19.3 seconds, earning $27,000 for his connections. That paycheck increased his lifetime earnings to over $108,000 while winning for the fifth time in 15 career starts.
Backers of Grant The Star at the betting windows were rewarded with a return of $8.80.
Cinco Menudos, the post time favorite in the Drake, failed to launch a bid under Esgar Ramirez and wound up finishing fifth.
What's on tap
Live racing resumes at SunRay Park on Tuesday with an all-thoroughbred program that starts at 1:30 p.m.
The featured event on the Tuesday card is the $45,000 Diné Stakes, for New Mexico-bred 3-year-old thoroughbreds racing 6 1-2 furlongs.
Three-time winner Gator Heat is the 3-to-1 morning line favorite for the Diné. Trained by Henry Dominguez for owners Kirk and Judy Robison, Gator Heat had his two-race win streak snapped last time out in the Road Runner Stakes at the Downs at Albuquerque.
A son of Southwestern Heat, Gator Heat will be ridden by Enrique Gomez and will break from post 5 in the eight-horse field.
Post time for the Diné is scheduled for 4:18 p.m.
Steve Bortstein hosts "First Sports" and "The Fast Track" on Fox Sports 1340 AM and 93.9 FM and on iHeartRadio. He serves as paddock show host at SunRay Park & Casino and is a voting member of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. Follow him @fox1340am on Twitter.