ALBUQUERQUE — Coming off her first loss in her last eight starts, Diabolical Dame makes her return to familiar territory Saturday night when she enters the starting gate in the $60,000 Carlos Salazar Stakes at the Downs at Albuquerque.
Diabolical Dame, a multiple states winner and a New Mexico-bred filly, is coming off her first loss in eight starts and will likely be the post-time favorite.
Trained by Todd Fincher and slated to be ridden by Alfredo Juarez Jr., Diabolical Dame was a winner of stakes races over this course, as well as at SunRay Park and Casino, Ruidoso Downs and Zia Park. In total, she has 10 wins in 14 career starts with three of those victories coming at the Downs at Albuquerque.
Most recently, the 4-year-old filly finished fourth in an allowance sprint race, which was the first time she had tasted defeat in more than 16 months.
Diabolical Dame has been installed as the 5-to-2 morning-line favorite and will face eight rivals in the Salazar. Diabolical Dame will break from the fourth post in the $60,000 race, which is scheduled to go as the fifth race with a scheduled post time of 7:45 p.m.
The main competition for Diabolical Dame may come from a pair of starters out of Bart Hone’s barn.
Stormy Day, fresh off a mild upset score in the Lincoln Handicap at Ruidoso, has won four of her last five starts. Her only blemish during that time came in the New Mexico Classic Cup Oaks at Zia Park when she was third behind Diabolical Dame.
A six-time winner from 10 lifetime starts, Stormy Day is the 3-to-1 second choice on the morning line and will break from post No. 5 under jockey Elvin Gonzalez.
Also representing the Hone barn is My Bikini Fell Off, who’s coming off back-to-back second-place finishes, most recently in the Foutz Distaff at SunRay Park in April.
The daughter of Elusive Jazz is winless in each of her last four starts, but won her only start at Albuquerque, winning the Salazar last year. She will be piloted by Ry Eikleberry and breaking from the seventh post as the fourth choice on the morning line at odds of 6-to-1.
My Bikini Fell Off is a six-time winner from 18 lifetime starts and has amassed career earnings topping $263,000 for owner Brian Mundell.
Hone is also represented in the Salazar by Renewed Vows, who’s looking to end a five-race losing streak.
The field for the Salazar, in post-position order with jockeys and morning-line odds are: Indian Tiva, Alfredo Sigala, 10-1; Tricky Trix, Enrique Gomez, 20-1; Desert Gambler, Gonzalo Nicolas, 15-1; Diabolical Dame, Juarez Jr., 5-2; Stormy Day, Gonzalez, 3-1; Stormin Creek, Jorge Carreno, 4-1; My Bikini Fell Off, Eikleberry, 4-1; Renewed Vows, Roimes Chirinos, 8-1; My Dandy Girl, Martin Bourdieu, 10-1.
Stakes action continues Sunday at the Downs at Albuquerque with the running of the $75,000-added First Moonflash Maturity, featuring the state’s finest older quarter horses at the classic distance of 440 yards.
Yaneth Cabrera’s Klassic Strawfly — the fastest qualifier for the Maturity when trials were held Aug. 14, and recent winner of the Jimmy Drake Stakes at SunRay Park on May 27 — is scheduled to face nine rivals and has been listed as the 3-to-1 morning-line favorite.
A 10-year-old gelding trained by Ronald Stephens, Klassic Strawfly has won three straight races and has earned more than $412,000 in his 91-race career.
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.