Under elite rider Esgar Ramirez, Wasting No Corona sped to an impressive 1 length win in the 47th running of the $197,007 Sunland Park Winter Quarter Horse Futurity on Friday at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino. The rapidly improving gelding Coronas Leaving Who gelding has blossomed under the care of trainer Victor Rodriguez-Flores and was simply too much for his rivals in the 400 yard Grade 2 event.
Wasting No Corona broke on top and stayed there under a cool ride from Ramirez to collect his third straight win since breaking his maiden at Lone Star Park last November. The 4-1 shot earned a $92,594 pay day for owner Anna M Crowson of Midland Texas. The winning time of 19.079 seconds earned a 94 speed index. Loyal supporters of Wasting No Corona received $10.20 on a $2 win ticket.
Rodriguez-Flores also trained the runner-up in Ramblin Cartel who is also owned by Crowson Racing.
Speed Regard ended up third followed by Jess Makin Waves. Top qualifier and 3-2 favorite Icu Deity failed to repeat his trial performance and fizzled in fifth.
A jam packed stakes filled weekend is coming up highlighted by the 12th running of the $350,000 Championship at Sunland Park (Gr. I) on Sunday.
In 2011, the prestigious 400 yard classic was won by World Champion Quarter Horse Cold Cash 123. The 2012 edition (10th race) displays an excellent field on 10 Quarter Horse stars led the ultra-consistent four year-old stallion Prospect to the Top. An efficient horse for course, Prospect to the Top won the 2011 West Texas Derby over Sunland soil. The son of Coronas Prospect is coming off a stellar win in the Zia Park Quarter Horse Championship last fall. His sparkling resume also shows a win in the 2012 All American Gold Cup over former Championship at Sunland Park winner Noconi and a second place finish in the 2011 All American Derby behind Llano Teller. Oscar Rincon will ride the probable favorite who carries earnings of over three quarter million dollars.
Mike Joiner’s resurgent stakes horse DM Streakn Thru Fire is finding his best form just in time for the Championship. Despite a slow break, he finished a solid second to Prospect to the Top in the Zia Park Championship. Prior to that effort, he was second in the Lovington Stakes at Zia Park and defeated the classy JD Baccarat. The four-year-old son of Walk Thru Fire is closing in on $400,000 in earnings from 5 career wins. He was a close third behind Cold Cash 123 in the 2011 Rainbow Derby. Cody Jensen will ride the gelding.
Other big stars in the Championship at Sunland Park are $1.7 million stakes winner Llano Teller, Jess Burner winner First Blazin Love, Texas Classic Derby winner The Long Knife, Jess Featureme Quick and Miracle Snow.
Sunday’s $85,000 Albert Dominguez Memorial Handicap (9th race) draws a terrific field of 12 runners going 1 and 1/16 miles. Leading New Mexico-bred stars like Johnie Jamison Stakes winner Nuggets Please, On Down The Road, Our Choice, Attitude E Racer and Desert Gamble are competing. Combined lifetime earnings of the field stands at over $2.5 million.
The $126,512 Sunland Park Winter Quarter Horse Derby (5th race) at 400 yards and the $85,000 Red Hedeman Mile (10th race) on Saturday are excellent betting races. Mike Joiner’s Our First Corona was the top qualifier for the Derby. Eddy County Stakes winner Jenson’s Miracle rates the second choice at 7-2 odds and looks for his second straight route win in the Red Hedeman for trainer Johnie Nall. The fast Attila’s Hurricance should be the speed of the race and is the 5-2 favorite. Locally owned Indication N M relishes the distance. Double stakes winner Thermal is listed at 5-1 odds.
Post time on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday is 12:25 p.m.