El Paso, TX — The Justin Evans juggernaut continued at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Sunday as Jaycito came rumbling through the stretch to take a driving win in the $50,000 Curribot Handicap at one and one sixteenth miles.
The former Breeders’ Cup and Kentucky Derby hopeful ran big for the nation’s leading training in wins and earned an impressive score in the route feature. Under leading jockey Ry Eikeberry, Jaycito responded with a bold wide move down the backstretch and loomed large with a quarter mile left in the race. It was clear Jaycito meant business when he tackled Winsham Lad winner Smack Ridge at the top of the stretch and took a short lead.
Jaycito responded brilliantly to Eikleberry direction and found plenty of staying power while drawing clear from a late closing Dry Summer. The six-year-old Victory Gallop stallion won by two and one-half lengths and earned his first victory since winning a Hollywood Park allowance race on Dec. 1, 2012. Evans performed a masterful job getting Jaycito back to the winner’s circle for owner Tony Pennington of Artesia, New Mexico. Mr. Pennington also owns Riley Allison Futurity winner Rebranded and KHEY Country Sprint Stakes winner Alsono. Jaycito earned $30,000 for winner the Curribot title. His fourth career win pushed his bankroll past the $427,000. The 3-1 shot paid $8.60 on a $2 win ticket. The winning time was a sharp 1:42.93.
Evans has saddled a record seven stakes winners so far in the Sunland Park season. The 32-year-old conditioner also won Saturday’s $50,000 El Diario Handicap with African Rose.
Dry Summer produced a good looking rally in the final furlongs but could not muster enough to threaten the winner. The 2013 Mine That Bird Derby winner swept past pace setting Smack Ridge in the final 50 yards to earn second place honors under jockey Carlos Madeira. The Joel Marr trainee was also finished second in last month’s Winsham Lad Handicap. The son of Any Given Saturday raced as the 7-5 favorite.
Smack Ridge fought gallantly to earn third place, over 2 lengths in front of $856,000 multiple stakes winner Red Lead.
Live racing resumes on Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. Sunland Park’s post time switches to 12:55 p.m. starting on Tuesday, Feb. 18.