Quiet Again re-rallied in deep stretch to overhaul Red Lead in a thrilling $50,000 Winsham Lad Stakes at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Sunday.
After looking beaten with a quarter mile to go, Quiet Again pinned his ears back and generated a terrific stretch drive to defeat the heavily favored Red Lead by a head in the one mile and 70 yard test.
The hard charging Quiet Again was coming off a stellar 2011 campaign with four stakes wins over three racetracks. The 2011 Curribot Stakes winner repeated a similar effort when he defeated Red Lead. Quiet Again raced as a 5-1 shot with jockey Duane Sterling in the irons. The dark bay gelding by Real Quiet delivered a command performance and simply refused to lose. The winner battled back bravely to take his 16th career. He caught the distance in a fast 1:40.88, just missing the track record of 1:39.83.
The 2012 Winsham Lad champion had won two of his last three races including victories in the Budweiser Special and New Mexico State Fair Handicaps at the Downs at Albuquerque. He earned a $30,000 pay check for owner-breeder Paul Bruce Thomason. Under the direction of trainer Jimmie Claridge, Quiet Again has earned over $572,000. He is arguably the most consistent stakes horse in New Mexico for the last four years.
Under jockey Ry Eikleberry, Red Lead made a commanding move around the far turn and looked unstoppable. The 4-5 favorite continued to lead until mid-stretch and then suddenly showed signs of vulnerability. The Red Bullet gelding tried to find more in deep stretch but could not fend off the winner. Chris Hartman trains the runner-up
Vamoose closed with energy along the rail to finish good third under jockey Enrique Portillo Gomez. The Petionville gelding was rolling late and was beaten less than one length. Behold de Buy finished 9 lengths back in fourth place followed by Happy Toes.
Live racing resumes on Tuesday at 12:25 p.m.