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Carson City Girl up just in time

Steve Bortstein
Special to The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Jockey Jaime Leos, getting the most from David and Sandra Barrett's Carson City Girl, needed every one of the 400 yards to get up in the shadow of the wire and post a narrow victory in today's New Mexico Breeders' Stakes at SunRay Park and Casino.

Jockey Jaime Leos (black cap) rode Carson City Girl (blue blinkers) to a narrow victory in Friday's $46,200 New Mexico Breeders' Stakes at SunRay Park and Casino in Farmington.

Trained by Emilio Cadena III, the multiple stakes winning daughter of Woodbridge muscled her way between A Blazin Flash and Princess Jesse to prevail by a neck in the restricted Grade 3 event for state-bred 3-year-old shortliners.

Carson City Girl broke alertly under Leos from her mid-pack post, but was outhustled to her inside by A Blazin Flash — one of two entrants in the dash trained by Ken Grisham — and to her outside by Princess Jesse, recent winner of the Grade 3 Sunburst Stakes at Sunland Park.

Leos, who rode three winners on the Friday program, began asking Carson City Girl for her best in the final 200 yards, and with a burst of acceleration nearing the wire, she split horses and was up in time for the win. She raced the 400 yards in a time of 19.59 seconds.

"She's been a real treat to have around the barn," Cadena said. "We've had her here for a bit of time now and she showed all her class."

The win for Carson City Girl pads another $27,720 to her career bankroll, which now exceeds $168,000. In January, Carson City Girl scored an upset win in the Shuefly Stakes at Sunland Park. Prior to that, she was fourth in the Zia Futurity last summer at Ruidoso Downs. She has won four times from eight lifetime starts.

Bred by Mj Farms, Carson City Girl was sent off as the fourth wagering choice in the 10-horse field at odds of 7.90-to-1, prompting a $17.80 return on investment for her $2 backers at the windows.

Princess Jesse held onto the place spot while Super Star Smith — a 33-to-1 shot — rallied belatedly to run third. A Blazin Flash tired in the final yards to finish fourth.

Disappointing her backers as the 2.10-to-1 favorite was Shirley Grisham's Rg Miracle, who never threatened during the race and finished eighth, the worst finish in his 11-race career.

Racing resumes Saturday at SunRay Park, with a mixed program of quarter horse and thoroughbred racing starting 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. Follow him @fox1340am on Twitter.