16-1 long shot Desert Hennessy erupted from a stalking position to win the $110,000 Johnie L. Jamison Stakes at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Sunday. Well placed by jockey Carlos Madeira, the three-year-old gelded son of Desert God remained in striking position throughout the six and one-half furlong feature. Passing the eighth pole, Madeira asked for more and his mount responded with a powerful late kick. The duo rushed past a tough Pure D Gold with 50 yards to go and won by a length.
Desert Hennessy was facing older runners in the Jamison Stakes and went off at an attractive price despite winning the $140,000 New Mexico Classic Cup Championship on Oct 30 at Zia Park. The full brother to the stakes winning Train Rider Blues pulled off his fifth win from seven career starts. The long striding chestnut trained by the talented Joel Marr stopped the clock in a fast 1:15.63. The winner returned $35.80 on a $2 win ticket for all his loyal supporters. Now a two-time stakes winner, Desert Hennessy earned $66,000 for longtime southwest horse owner Cleber Massey of Abilene, Texas. In total, Desert Hennessy has earned over $212,000.
The speedy Pure G Gold nearly pulled off the upset of his career. Racing as a 32-1 outsider, the Michael Barber trainee used his tremendous early speed to carve out a daylight lead heading into the stretch. The son of Quinton’s Gold ran a valiant second after setting a sharp pace. Macario Rodriguez rode the runner-up for owner Mary Barber of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Second place was worth $23,100.
Cross Chris Run, another Joel Marr trainee, closed with energy along the rail to grab third place with jockey Ken Tohill. The capable stretch runner completed a $1 trifecta worth $1,961.50.
2-1 second favorite and defending champion Chuchuluco broke in eighth position and failed to deliver his customary bid. The big grey roan gelding finished in fourth, beaten three lengths. Lester Secret, the 8-5 favorite, ran evenly and finished fifth.
Rose’s Desert exploded in mid-stretch en route to a dynamic 3 and 1/4 length victory in the $110,000 New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap. In a Peppers Pride type move, Rose Desert demolished the best New Mexico-bred fillies and mares in training going six furlongs in an extremely fast 1:08.84, just missing the track record of 1:08.01. The six furlong timing was one of the fastest in New Mexico this year.
The new queen of New Mexico-bred racing completed her fourth straight win and second straight stakes win for trainer Todd Fincher. His charge was coming off an equally impressive romp in the $170,000 Peppers Pride New Mexico Cup Filly and Mare Championship. On Sunday, the three-year-old sensation showed a new dimension. The Desert God filly and jockey Juan Ochoa were trapped behind a blockade of runners and lacked a running path passing the quarter mile marker.
Heading into the straightaway, the 7-5 favorite hooked to the outside and unleashed a terrific move. The dark bay filly swept on past the front running Dream Kin and was full of run at the wire. Rose’s Desert picked up a $66,000 paycheck for owner Joe Peacock. The star runner boasts earnings of over $217,000. Fincher indicated a Sunland Park route stakes would be her next assignment.
Dream Kin outran her 34-1 odds to finish a clear cut second. The runner-up was no match for the winner but earned a sizeable $23,100.
Comicperfectstorm, Fincher’s second charge in the race, ran a courageous third after dueling for the early lead. She finished third with jockey Ry Eikleberrry in the saddle. Defending champion Cali Baby closed well in the late stages to earn a dead heat for fourth along with Soaring Goddess.
Live racing resumes on Tuesday at 12:25 p.m.