New Mexico-bred thoroughbreds highlight weekend stakes winners at SunRay Park and Casino

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — New Mexico-bred thoroughbreds claimed the spotlight in a pair of stakes races last weekend at SunRay Park and Casino.

No Pasa Nada scored his second win in a row in an impressive effort in the $100,000 Jack Cole Handicap on Saturday, while Nostrangrtotherain earned his first career victory when he posted a mild upset in Sunday's C.O. Ken Kendrick Memorial Stakes.

Here's a look back at a busy weekend at the track.

No Pasa Nada rallies in Cole Handicap

Under a smart ride from jockey Alejandro Medellin, Christopher Roybal's No Pasa Nada earned his second straight win and first career stakes tally when he rallied for a 1 1-4 length victory in Saturday's $100,000 Jack Cole Handicap at SunRay Park and Casino.

The New Mexico-bred son of Attila's Storm, trained by Aurelio Valdez, found room between horses at the head of the lane, scooted clear in the final furlong and held off the late rally of runner-up Shining Source to win for the sixth time in his 33-race career.

No Pasa Nada broke well from the gate and was in contention for the lead heading into the first turn of the 6 1/2 furlong sprint. He got shuffled back briefly to seventh down the backstretch, but was never too far back under Medellin, who remained patient and close to the rail.

No Pasa Nada and jockey Alejandro Medellin cross the wire in front of his rivals during the $100,000 Jack Cole Handicap, Saturday, May 7, 2022 at SunRay Park and Casino.

As the field rounded their way through the far turn, No Pasa Nada made up ground and bid for the lead between Delbert Too and Jet N G, who had been dueling for the early lead. By the time the field hit the stretch run, No Pasa Nada had all the momentum, seizing the lead inside the final furlong and crossing the finish line in a final time of 1:19.21 seconds. 

No Pasa Nada was bet down from his morning-line price of 8-to-1 to the post time favorite at 2-to-1, returning $6 to his winning backers. He is a perfect 2-for-2 at SunRay Park, including a win over the track on April 23. The victory adds $60,000 to his career bankroll, which stands at over $284,000.

Shining Source came on late for second, completing a $2 exacta which returned $67.80, while Tucum and Diabolical Ruler rounded out the top four finishers.

Nostrangrtotherain speeds clear to Kendrick win

Jimmy and Rebecca Powers' Nostrangrtotherain scored an improbable wire-to-wire win in Sunday's $100,000 C.O. Ken Kendrick Memorial Stakes for 2-year-old New Mexico-breds at SunRay Park and Casino.

The son of Shame On Charlie, coming off a fifth-place finish in his career debut last month at Sunland Park, was a handful for his scheduled jockey Rigo Sarmiento as the field came onto the track for the post parade less than 10 minutes before the start of the race.

Sarmiento opted out of riding Nostrangrtotherain after he became even more unruly on the course, instead bringing the horse back to the paddock. Cordarelton Benn was first named to ride before he too was replaced moments later by Miguel Perez.

Breaking from the outside post in the 4 1-2 furlong sprint, Nostrangrtotherain popped the gates and opened up a commanding lead down the backstretch, racing the opening quarter mile in a quick 22.34 seconds into a stiff crosswind. 

Nostrangrtotherain, ridden by Miguel Perez, picks up the first win of his career in the $100,000 C.O. Ken Kendrick Memorial Stakes, Sunday, May 8, 2022 at SunRay Park and Casino.

Nostrangrtotherain saw his lead diminish at the head of the lane as post time favorite Better Believe rallied to his outside. The daughter of Marking couldn't finish her rally, instead settling for second, one length behind the winner, who crossed the finish line in a final time of 52.09 seconds.

Nostrangrtotherain, trained by Clifford Lambert, Sr. and bred by Greg Green & Dwain Yarbar, earned the first win of his career in his second lifetime start and has earnings of $60,930.

Sent off at odds of 3-to-1, Nostrangrtotherain returned $8 to his winning backers, with the $2 exacta to runner-up Better Believe returning $8.60.

New Cut Road finished a well-beaten third, with New Mexico Jeremy completing the top four finishers.

Live racing resumes at SunRay Park on Friday, with a scheduled first post time of 2:15 p.m.

Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.