Horse racing: Penny may shine at Sunray

Steve Bortstein for The Daily Times
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Penny Snatchin is expected to be a short-priced favorite today at Sunray Park and Casino when she faces a field of nine New Mexico-bred older quarter horses in a 350-yard allowance dash.

Trained by Wes Giles, the 4-year-old daughter of Gone To The Mountain will be returning to the track after a seven-month layoff. When we last saw Penny Snatchin, she was a solid third in the Grade 2 Lou Wooten/Sydney Valentini Handicap in December at Sunland Park in El Paso, Texas.

A multiple stakes winner across the state last year, Penny Snatchin won the Tommy "Duke" Smith Stakes last summer before coming back to win the Pelican Stakes in the fall at the Downs at Albuquerque.

In both stakes wins, Martin Bourdieu jockeyed Penny Snatchin and he'll be aboard again today.

The allowance feature goes as the eighth race on a nine-race program that has an opening post time of 3 p.m. The featured race is scheduled to post at 5:48.

Penny Snatchin has won three times from 14 career starts, with earnings topping $129,000 for owner and breeder Jill Giles. She will break from post eight as the 3-to-1 morning-line favorite.

Today's card will be comprised totally of quarter horse racing. Sunray Park, like every track in New Mexico, runs a mixed meet of quarter horses and thoroughbreds and tinkered with the idea of racing days made up exclusively of one or the other.

Dubbed "Freaky Fast Fridays", today's all-quarter horse program is mirrored by an all-thoroughbred program on Tuesdays.

Two horses you may want to follow after last Tuesday's program at Sunray are Myshipconesin and Happy Havta Go.

Myshipcomesin, an unlucky loser in his debut here in Tuesday's first race, made a bold move between runners in deep stretch under Isaias Cardenas, but just missed in a good effort. If he runs back to that effort, the Eric Mikkelson trainee won't be a maiden much longer.

Happy Havta Go also made a good impression in his first time out. The Bart Hone trainee finished well as a close second to a nice prospect. The son of Lesters Boy got a lot out of the race and should be sitting on a big effort against similar competition the next time out.

Plays of the day

Each day during the Sunray season, track announcer Eric Alwan and paddock show host Steve Bortstein suggests their best bets for the day.

Alwan's best bet comes in race nine, where he likes No. 5 Tyger Power. The Greg Green trainee finished well to be second best last time out at Albuquerque. With Alejandro Medellin on board, an effort even close to that one will be good enough.

Bortstein's best bet comes in the second race, where he likes No. 5 Moon Waver. Stretching out to 870 yards for the first time in his career, his last race is best ignored over a muddy track at Albuquerque. If he handles the trip, he could be set for a top effort.