Rich stakes weekend wraps up at SunRay Park and Casino
FARMINGTON — Sigur Ros made a big impression on his rivals when winning Saturday's $75,000 SunRay Park Stakes in his local debut, while the filly HS Golden Eagle outran the boys in Sunday's $100,000 Jimmy Drake Stakes at SunRay Park and Casino.
Here's a recap of this past weekend's stakes racing action at SunRay Park.
Sigur Ros proves best in SunRay Park Stakes
Making his local debut, the well-traveled Sigur Ros made his first race at SunRay Park and Casino a winning one, posting a mild upset in Saturday's $75,000 SunRay Park Stakes under jockey Ricardo Ramirez.
The 8-year-old, Kentucky-bred son of Gemologist broke smartly from his outside post in the field of 10, dueled for the early lead to his inside with morning line favorite Hollywood Henry and Two Bills, then inched clear in the stretch to win by three-quarters of a length ahead of fast charging Ize A Crafty Gal.
Owned and trained by Jesus Uranga, Sigur Ros picked up his fourth win from six starts this year. His most recent victory came on March 12 at Los Alamitos Race Course in Cypress, California, where he's earned three of his 11 career victories.
In addition to tracks in California, Sigur Ros has also competed at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, Louisiana, as well as Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Oklahoma and San Houston Race Park and Lone Star Park in Texas.
Earning $45,000 for his winning efforts, Sigur Ros increased his career earnings to more than $248,000 while racing 4 1/2 furlongs in a final time of 52.01. Sent off at odds of 9.30-to-1, Sigur Ros returned $20.60 to his winning backers. The $2 exacta with longshot runner-up Ize A Crafty Gal returned $245.60.
Hollywood Henry and Mr. Paytience rounded out the top four finishers. Post time favorite Competitive Idea raced off the pace down the backstretch and never got into contention, finishing ninth at odds of 2-to-1 under jockey Enrique Gomez.
HS Golden Eagle prevails in Drake Stakes
Getting the best jump out of the starting gate proved to be the winning move for longshot HS Golden Eagle, who led from start to finish in a thrilling edition of the $100,000 Jimmy Drake Stakes in Sunday's featured event at SunRay Park and Casino.
Ridden by Carlos Antonio Guillen Chacon for trainer Armando Alamos and owner Lucina Salas Lopez, the 3-year-old New Mexico-bred filly broke perfectly in the 400-yard sprint, getting the lead right out of the blocks before fending off challenges from A Flashin Blu early in the race, then a late rally from an unlucky post time favorite Bigg Dee to win by a neck.
Big Dee, a nine-time winner heading into the Drake, got bumped around a bit to his inside shortly after the start and simply had too much to overcome in the final yards.
A daughter of Osbaldo, a multiple stakes winning racehorse who achieved earnings nearing $500,000 and now a productive stallion, HS Golden Eagle picked up her second career stakes win and snapped a three-race losing streak in the Drake.
Her most recent score came last September when she earned an upset tally in the New Mexico State Fair Futurity at the Downs at Albuquerque. HS Golden Eagle was most recently second in the New Mexico Breeders Stakes at SunRay Park on April 24.
HS Golden Eagle ran the 400 yards in a final time of 19.58 seconds, earning $60,000 for her connections. The prize money increases her career bankroll to more than $301,000.
Sent off at odds of 14.50-to-1, HS Golden Eagle returned $31 to her winning backers. The $2 exacta with favored Bigg Dee came back $100. Cowboy Zulu finished well to earn the third place spot, just ahead of A Flashin Blu to round out the top four finishers.
Racing resumes Friday at SunRay Park and Casino. Next weekend's highlights include the $75,000 Toni Samora Memorial Stakes on Saturday for older thoroughbred fillies and mares racing 6 1/2 furlongs as well as a stakes doubleheader on Sunday with the $75,000-added Four Corners Futurity followed by the $120,000-added New Mexico Breeders' Futurity.
First post on Friday and Sunday is 2:15 p.m., with a special first post on Saturday of 12:30 p.m. to accommodate simulcast wagering of the Preakness Stakes from Baltimore, Maryland.
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.