FARMINGTON — Pretty Woody Jesse, winner of last year's New Mexico Breeders' Futurity, makes his return from an 82-day layoff in today's allowance featured event at Sunray Park and Casino.
Trained by Ken Grisham, Pretty Woody Jesse has been installed as a co-second choice at 7-to-2 on the track's morning line in the 400-yard dash, which will go as the eighth race on a nine-race program. The first post time of the race is at 3 p.m.
A three-year-old filly by Jesse James Jr, Pretty Woody Jesse hasn't been in the winner's circle since the Breeders' Futurity in May of 2014. She was off the board despite qualifying for the New Mexico Classic Futurity at Zia Park last October. When she did return to the races, she was a well-beaten sixth behind the highly regarded Astica in the Pelican Stakes on May 15 at the Downs at Albuquerque.
Pretty Woody Jesse will break from post five in the seven-horse field. The featured race has a scheduled post time of 5:48 p.m.
Dozer, drawn to the far outside for trainer Wes Giles, was listed as the 3-to-1 morning line favorite with this barn's leading rider Martin Bourdieu aboard.
The four-year-old Oklahoma-bred son of Dmnv Mountable ran into a salty bunch here in his most recent start. He finished fifth in that 350-yard event just 14 days ago.
A three-time winner from 14 career starts, Dozer was last seen in the winners circle at Sunland Park, finishing in a dead heat for the win against conditioned allowance runners.
His second-place finish two starts back at Albuquerque, in which he was beaten a length by eventual stakes winner Ill Stop The World, certainly validates his role as morning line favorite.
Also worthy of consideration in the race is Zoomin Away. With rider Alejandro Medellin aboard, Zoomin Away will break from post two.
The seven-year-old Texas-bred mare has nine career wins from 45 starts. She hasn't won since she last raced at Sunray, but she does have three career wins on the track. Trained by Ernest Fennell, she hasn't raced since a pair of poor efforts last spring at Remington Park in Oklahoma City.
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 best for that day's program.
Alwan's best bet comes in the fifth race, where he likes No. 2 Ocean One to finally break her maiden. She has finished second in each of her first two starts and appears ready to roll for strong connections.
Bortstein's best bet is in the second race. He likes No. 10 Furrst Cowgirl. Drawn much better today from an outside post, she has been in the money in three of her last four starts and should improve dramatically today.
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.