Desert Hennessy wins $110,000 Albert Dominguez Memorial Handicap and becomes the meet’s first two-time stakes winner
Desert Hennessy fended off all challengers for red hot trainer Joel Marr to take a driving win in the $110,000 Albert Dominguez Memorial Handicap at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Sunday.
Under a measured ride from Joe Martinez, Desert Hennessy held off stable mate Cross Chris Run by three parts of a length to win his second straight stakes race of the young meet. The strapping son of Desert God won the $110,000 Johnie L. Jamison Handicap at six and one-half furlongs on Dec. 11. Desert Hennessy made his first attempt at a route distance a winning one. He won the one and one-sixteenth mile feature over 11 New Mexico-breds in a time of 1:43.78. The victory was the sixth in his career of only eight starts. The four-year-old gelding is owned by Cleber Massey of Abilene, Texas. First prize money in the feature was $66,000.
Martinez guided his to mount to victory following a stalking path. The duo settled comfortably on the outside before taking command in upper stretch. Desert Hennessy found more energy in deep stretch and held firm on the lead. The 5-2 second favorite paid $7.00 to win. His career bankroll has swelled past the $278,000.
Cross Chris Run made an energetic stretch run despite racing wide on both turns. The $180,000 New Mexico Classic Cup winner at Zia Park was a formidable foe on Sunday and nearly overcame a 6-wide path on the far turn. The third place finisher from the Jamison Handicap poured on the pressure late but came up just short. The runner-up was ridden by Ken Tohill and also owned by Cleber Massey. Cross Chris Run earned $22,000 for his efforts.
35-1 long shot Brother John D. responded eagerly for jockey Miguel Fuentes and finished a solid third. He was beaten nearly 3 lengths.
Joel Marr trained runners finished first, second and fourth in the Dominguez Memorial. His Attitude E Racer closed determinedly to get fourth. Marr won the 2011 Dominguez Handicap with Desert Gamble. The high powered trainer also won yesterday’s $110,000 Red Hedeman Mile with That’s Who. He saddled 3 winners on Sunday.
Live racing resumes on Tuesday at 12:25 p.m.