FARMINGTON — Opening weekend of the live racing season at SunRay Park and Casino has a splashy encore act Monday, as some of the best fillies and mares in the state of New Mexico square off in the $44,800 Russell and Helen Foutz Distaff Handicap.
My Bikini Fell Off, a 5-year-old mare trained by Bart Hone, is looking to make her debut here a winning one as the 3-to-1 morning line favorite in the 6 1-2 furlong dash, which features a field of seven runners.
Owned by Brian Mundell, the daughter of Elusive Jazz has earned more than $250,000 in her 17-race career, her most recent victory coming December at Sunland Park in the New Mexico Racing Commission Handicap.
A six-time winner, My Bikini Fell Off drew the outside post in the Foutz, named for one of the most popular and formidable racing stables in the history of New Mexico racing. She is scheduled to be ridden by Ry Eikleberry, one of the leading journeyman riders in the country.
My Bikini Fell Off just missed in her most recent start, in the 5 1-2 furlong La Coneja Stakes at Sunland Park, finishing second to Tea Light. She has finished either first or second in all but three of her lifetime outings.
From her outside post, Eikleberry will need to make a decision quickly to either press the pace and force a wide trip in the two-turn race, or opt to drop back, save ground and rally from off the pace.
The 7-to-2 co-second choice in the Foutz, with a scheduled post time of 5:48 p.m., is My Dandy Girl, from the barn of Tony Sedillo.
A nine-time winner from 29 lifetime starts, My Dandy Girl won her most recent start last month at Sunland Park. She finished in a dead heat for the win with another Foutz rival, Little Vidalia, facing allowance company at a distance of one mile.
Owned by Duane Freeman, My Dandy Girl is a 5-year-old mare by Real Dandy, and much like the favorite, will make her local debut in the Foutz.
My Dandy Girl is scheduled to be ridden by Frank Reyes and will break from post 2 in the Foutz.
Little Vidalia, the top money-earner in the field for the Foutz, is listed at 5-to-1 on the morning line for trainer Jimmie Collier.
Owned by the J Bar 7 Ranch, the 7-year-old mare by Attila's Storm, has earned more than $360,000 in her 31-race career, which includes seven lifetime victories.
Little Vidalia is drawn in post 3 and is scheduled to be ridden by Alfredo Juarez Jr., who in just three days of racing at SunRay has already been aboard six winners, including two on Sunday after a 4-for-4 performance on Saturday.
The field for the Foutz from the rail out, including riders and morning-line odds, looks like this:
Sherry's Jewel, Alejandro Medellin, 10-1; My Dandy Girl, Reyes, 7-2; Little Vidalia, Juarez Jr., 5-1; Stormin Creek, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 7-2; Misscharlypotatoes, Miguel Perez, 8-1; Renewed Vows, Roimes Chirinos, 4-1; My Bikini Fell Off, Eikleberry, 3-1.
First post time for Monday's all-thoroughbred card is scheduled for 3 p.m.
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.