Fury of the Storm closed fast in the final yards to overcome First Blazin Love and win the $110,000 NMBHA Quarter Horse Stakes at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Sunday.
Coming off a solid second in the Shue Fly Stakes behind First Blazin Love, Fury of the Storm turned the tables on his arch rival with a superb effort under jockey Esgar Ramirez. The 2-1 second choice launched a bold late rally from the outside and stormed home in front by a neck at the wire. The three-year-old Furyofthewind colt responded with a career best performance in a time of 19.124 seconds for the 400 yards. The New Mexico-bred stakes winner paid $6.80 to win.
Fury of the Storm picked up a $66,000 payday for with S/M Cattle Export Company and Jaime Dominguez of Peyton, Colorado, The rapidly improving sort owns 3 wins and 3 seconds from 7 starts. He has earned over $147,000 in his brief career.
Winning trainer Roberto Sanchez has directed the career of Fury of the Storm since his two-year-old debut last year at SunRay Park. He broke his maiden at Zia Park last September and has blossomed during the Sunland Park Meet. Sanchez also trains the 2011 Rainbow Futurity winner Feature Mr. Bojangles.
4-5 favorite First Blazin Love hopped at the start but quickly regained composure and went on the attack. The Chicks a Blazin colt held the lead midway through the stretch but came up just short at the wire. The troubled start may have cost the runner-up. He was ridden by 2011 AQHA riding champion G.R. Carter. First Blazin Love earned $23,100 for owners Dwayne Johnson, Lisa Saumell and Johnny Martinez. The popular runner has won 4 of his last 6 starts.
My Big Chief ended up third, beaten a length under jockey Ruben Calderon.
Live racing resumes on Tuesday with a new post time of 12:45 p.m. The new post time and 12 race cards will remain in effect for the remainder of the season.