Coming off a near 7-month layoff Twelve Twenty Two scored a narrow victory in the $50,000 Bold Ego Handicap at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Friday.
Under a strategic ride from red hot jockey Enrique Portillo Gomez, Twelve Twenty Two launched a six-wide bid off the far turn and rallied with an energetic bid to overtake Squiggle in a dramatic finish. The classy Kafwain mare surged past her rival to win the five and one-half furlong distaff feature by a neck. Despite trailing for much of the sprint, Gomez never panicked aboard last season’s Harry Henson Handicap winner and the patience paid off handsomely. The 3-5 favorite stopped the clock in a fast 1:03.91 through some very wintry conditions.
Twelve Twenty Two is perfect at the local oval, having won her last five races over Sunland Park soil. She has last seen running in the Grade 1 $300,000 Humana Distaff held at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day (May 7). The six-year-old bay mare earned a $30,000 pay day from her Bold Ego victory. The multiple stakes winner has 6 career wins from 12 starts with earnings approaching $200,000.
Winning trainer Henry Dominguez claimed Twelve Twenty Two for $25,000 at Hollywood Park on Dec. 17, 2010. Since then, she has reeled off five wins from six starts for owners J. Kirk and Judy Robison and the the Solitaire Stable of El Paso, Texas.
The ultra game Squiggle produced another high level performance and just missed in a prolonged battle with the favorite. David Wolochuk’s talented filly dug in bravely in the final furlong and finished a close second. The Pioneering filly was 2 lengths in front of the pace setter D’Elegance. The latter held the lead for much of the way for trainer Chip Woolley but seemed to lose steam in the final furlong. The 26-1 long shot outran her odds and finished a solid third after carving out the early fractions of 22.08 and 44.75 seconds.
There will be no live racing on Saturday, Christmas Eve or Sunday, Christmas Day. Live racing resumes on Tuesday, Dec. 27 at 12:25 p.m.