Trio of stakes races headline opening weekend at SunRay

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON − Three stakes races will headline the opening weekend of live thoroughbred and quarter horse racing at SunRay Park and Casino.

Here's a glance at this weekend's featured events.

Jesses Wish headlines New Mexico Breeders' Stakes

Trainer Jose DeHerrera will be looking for his first stakes winner of the season on Friday when he sends out likely post time favorite Jesses Wish in the $100,000-guaranteed New Mexico Breeders Stakes, a restricted Grade 3 event for quarter horses racing 400 yards.

A two-time winner from nine starts, Jesses Wish will be looking to snap a seven-race winless streak. Last year, the son of Jesse James Jr won the $313,000 Spring Fling Futurity at Sunland Park but hasn't won a race since. Owned by Javier Chavez and Heysol Howlet, Jesses Wish will break from post two in the race and is scheduled to be ridden by Christian Ramos.

More:SunRay Park prepares for another season of live horse racing

Wahine drew post position eight in the NM Breeders' Stakes and will be ridden by Porfirio Cano. The 3-year-old filly lost all chance when she was bumped shortly after the start of the Sunburst Stakes at Sunland Park last time out. A three-time winner from 11 starts, Wahine is owned and trained by Mario Dominguez.

Fincher sends out pair of runners in Inaugural

Sunland Park's leading trainer Todd Fincher appears to have a strong hand in Saturday's $75,000 Inaugural Handicap, sending out a pair of runners in the 6 1/2-furlong event.

El Paso jockey Luis Fuentes finishes first in his third race at Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino on Tuesday, March 14, 2023.

Bye Bye Bobby, who most recently finished a close third in Sunland Park's $100,000 Bill Thomas Memorial Handicap on March 26, is a three-time winner from 11 starts who also has runner-up finishes in three stakes races at Sunland Park in 2022.

The son of Quality Road has earned more than $243,000 and will be ridden by Luis Fuentes, who rode his way to the top of the thoroughbred standings at Sunland Park's season, which wrapped up last weekend.

Fincher also will send out Goddard, a five-time winner from 20 career starts with earnings over $219,000. The son of Tapit will be looking to end a four-race losing streak and will be ridden by Felipe Valdez.

Mutiple stakes-winning Corrina Corrina tops Foutz field

Quatro, shown here with jockey Luis Fuentes beating Corrina Corrina in the La Coneja Stakes at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, is one of nine older fillies and mares nominated for the Russell and Helen Foutz Distaff Handicap, set for Sunday, April 9 at SunRay Park and Casino.

Trainer Gary Cross will send out multiple stakes winning Corrina Corrina and jockey Ken Tohill in a star-studded edition of the $100,000 Russell and Helen Foutz Distaff Handicap.

The 4-year-old daughter of Mr Trieste has amassed earnings of more than $435,000 for owner Derrick Jenkins. In addition to winning locally in last year's Dinè Handicap, Corrina Corrina has won two of her three most recent starts, including the Peppers Pride Handicap at Sunland Park.

Drawn in post five in the nine-horse field, Corrina Corrina will be ridden by Ken Tohill, who finished third in the thoroughbred jockey standings at Sunland Park, with victories in the Grade 3 Sunland Derby and the Sunland Park Handicap on closing day.

More:El Paso jockey Luis Fuentes continues to shine at Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino

Quatro, who beat Corrina Corrina when they last squared off in the La Coneja Stakes at Sunland Park on Feb. 5, will break from post seven under Ramos for trainer Simon Buechler. A five-time winner from 20 lifetime starts, Quatro has finished no worse than third in six of her last eight starts.

First post time for this weekend's racing programs at SunRay Park and Casino is scheduled for 2:15 p.m.

Races will be held Friday through Sunday. SunRay Park and Casino is located between Farmington and Bloomfield on Highway 64.