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Friday, December 30, 2011 - 7:11pm
Top Gun B takes $194,262 Sunland Park Winter Quarter Horse Futurity (Grade 2)
Kool Angel wins $135,615 Sunland Park Quarter Horse Derby (Grade 2)
Trainer Andres Gonzalez finished 1-2 in the $194,262 Sunland Park Winter Quarter Horse Futurity as Top Gun B outran stable mate A Fortunate Choice by a neck to win the 400 yard Grade 2 event.
Despite acting up before the start, Top Gun B rumbled to neck victory in a time of 19.169 seconds. Under a cool from jockey Oscar Rincon, the son of Pyc Paint Your Wagon broke strongly and quickly took a firm grip of the lead. The brown gelding maintained a high cruising speed and looked sharp down the lane.
Rincon said in the winner’s circle, “He was a little feisty in the gate, but he still got away good and was on top. I didn’t think they would catch me. The longer, the better with this horse.”
Top Gun B earned a $91,304 payday for Junior’s Quarter Horses, Inc. from Denver, Colorado. The 6-1 shot paid $15.00 to win. He has three wins from six starts.
The improving A Fortunate Choice ran a big race for the Gonzalez stable and finished a close second with jockey Bonifacio Perez in the irons. The runner-up fought hard to edge out third place finisher Mr Taka B. A Fortune Choice earned $34,968 for owners Ramon Gonzalez, Jr. and Homer Varela. The Regal Choice filly was the top qualifier and raced as the mild 3-1 favorite.
Kool Angel motored to a half-length victory in the $135,636 Sunland Park Winter Quarter Horse Derby at 400 yards. Under jockey Esgar Ramirez, the Paul Jones trainee produced a career best effort in the Grade 2 Derby. The First N Kool filly broke on top and never let up on the throttle. The 5-2 second favorite won by a half length in a time of 19.063 seconds, good for a 94 speed index. She returned $7.80 on a $2 win ticket.
Jones said in the winner’s circle, “We brought the horse over from Zia Park, and Lisa Saumell and my team did a great job.”
Kool Angel earned $63,740 for the Macias Performance Horses of Socorro, Texas. Sunland Park’s leading Quarter Horse rider Esgar Ramirez piloted the winner. The Utah-bred now has 4 wins from 12 starts and bankroll exceeding $90,000.
The Steel Wave and jockey Salvador Martinez closed eagerly to get second place. 8-5 favorite and top qualifier Zoomandkicken finished third, beaten over a neck.
Live racing resumes on Saturday at 12:25 p.m. Cold Cash 123 goes for the World Champion title in the $350,000 Grade 1 Championship at Sunland Park (10th race).