FARMINGTON – Sent off as the longest shot in a field of eight, Hard Not To Sing came away from her trial run with a winning number.
Trained by Emilio Cadena Jr., Hard Not To Sing was the fastest qualifier for the May 15 New Mexico Breeders' Futurity after winning the third and final trial race on Friday at SunRay Park and Casino.
Crossing the wire a head in front of Genuine High, the 2-year-old filly, owned by Osman Iturralde, ran the 350 yards in 17.73 seconds, stamping herself as the fastest qualifier by just three-hundredths of a second. Kg Miracle, who also won her trial race earlier in the day, finished with a final time of 17.76 seconds.
The 10 fastest qualifiers from the three trial races will automatically be eligible to race in the Futurity, which will carry a total purse well over the $50,000-added value.
Hard Not To Sing made her career debut on Friday. Ridden by Daniel Amaya, she dueled with runner-up Genuine High in the last 100 yards and stubbornly proved best.
In addition to the winner and runner-up, third place finisher Vmr Rebel and fourth place finisher A Super Sonic Boom earned final times, which placed them in the top-10.
Kg Miracle scored an impressive trial win for trainer Ken Grisham and owner Shirley Grisham, who achieved a rare feat here last year as the winning connections in both the New Mexico Breeders' Futurity and Four Corners Futurity.
Kg Miracle, making his third lifetime start and ridden to victory by Jose Enriquez, rallied late in the dash to snatch victory away from My Moon Crest at the wire. The gelded son of Hearts Miracle might be the early favorite for the Futurity based on the recent history from the connections, and the fact that Grisham's runners have dominated the local scene for well over a year.
In addition to the top pair, Frost Dalena, Go Daddy Gone and Raise Your Style also qualified for the Futurity.
In the first of the three trial races, Corona Bud scored an easy win over his seven rivals and crossed the wire nearly two lengths in front with a time of 18 seconds.
The debuting gelded son of Call Me Corona is owned by John McIntyre and trained by Jill Giles.
Corona Bud, ridden by Esgar Ramirez, was the only qualifier from his race.
Live racing resumes today at SunRay Park. The nine-race program is set to begin at 1:15 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.