'Honey rolls as top qualifier for Futurity
FARMINGTON — Good Job Honey, a rousing winner over the Sunray strip on opening day, validated that performance on Friday by becoming the fastest qualifier for the Aug. 9 Four Corners Futurity.
Trained by Ken Grisham and ridden by Albert Medrano, Good Job Honey raced to victory in the fourth and final trial of the day, racing 350 yards in a time of 17.463 seconds. The winning time was nearly a tenth of a second faster than Made To Dash, one of two winners trained by Wes Giles on the day.
A Texas-bred daughter of Freighttrain B, Good Job Honey has now won twice from three career starts and may well go off as the favorite in the Futurity, which will feature a purse of $68,000.
The win by Good Job Honey may have been foretold earlier in the day when Wr Smooth Move captured the first trial for the tandem of Giles and jockey Martin Bourdieu.
Wr Smooth Move was beaten by Good Job Honey when they faced each other here earlier this season. Wr Smooth Move ran second that day, a length behind Good Job Honey.
Friday, in the first 350-yard trial heat, Wr Smooth Move prevailed in a four-horse photo finish. She earned the ninth-fastest time for the 10 finalists, getting the distance in 17.659 seconds, which was four-hundredths of a second faster than runner-up Delightning Teller.
Wr Smooth Move, a New Mexico-bred daughter of Ivory James and owned by Rose Webb, earned her first career win from three starts and will be one of five starters eligible to the starting gate in the Four Corners Futurity.
Giles would come back in the second trial with Made To Dash, ridden to victory by Ivan Carnero.
An Oklahoma-bred daughter of Tac It Like A Man, Made To Dash earned her second career win from four starts. She raced the 350 yards in a quick time of 17.531 seconds, the fastest from the Giles barn.
Giles, who won the Futurity in 2013 with Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle, also qualified for the race with Gianni Modo, Whatta Tres Knockout and An Agitator.
Perhaps the most impressive winner of the four trial dashes was Rebbeca Quick, a first-time starter from trainer Ernest Fennell.
The daughter of Double Feature Jess, Rebbeca Quick was bred in Texas by her owner David Corrales. She clocked in under jockey Jose Enriquez with a final time of 17.573 seconds, the third fastest time of the day.
TODAY AT SUNRAY: A strong, nine-race program gets started today at 1:30 p.m., with a mixed card of quarter horse and thoroughbred racing.
The featured race is an open allowance sprint at 7 furlongs for older horses.
Pasamonte has been installed as the 5-to-2 morning line favorite in the featured eighth race. The three-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Awesome Again was a well-beaten fourth last time out in the Charles Taylor Derby at the Downs at Albuquerque.
He turns back in distance for the allowance contest and will be ridden by Elvin Gonzalez for trainer Dan Dennison, who is enjoying a fine start to the current season.
Post time for the eighth race is scheduled for 4:18 p.m.
PLAYS OF THE DAY: Each day during the current racing season, Sunray Park track announcer Eric Alwan and paddock show host Steve Bortstein offer their best bets of the day.
Alwan's best bet comes in the fifth race, a 4 1-2 furlong claiming sprint. He likes No. 3 Skimasco, who may have found a softer spot after running into a very good horse last time out at 870 yards.
Bortstein's best bet comes in the second race, a 350-yard claiming sprint. He likes No. 10 Lion Speed, who should relish the move to an outside post after a tough loss breaking from the inside last time out.
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.