New Mexico-bred sensation Hennesey Smash rocketed to victory against open company in the 21st running of the $50,000 Bold Ego Handicap at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Saturday.
Although facing very stiff competition, the five time winner received plenty of betting support and was actually the second choice at 3-1 odds. Under jockey Casey Lambert, Hennesey Smash exploded from just off the pace in third position down the back stretch of the five and one-half furlong sprint. Heading into the stretch, the three-year-old chestnut filly took off like a rocket and engulfed the Churchill Downs invader and even money favorite Alydarla. Lambert asked for more speed down the lane and Hennesey Smash responded in kind. The multiple stakes winner kept rolling in deep stretch and held off a late charge from Pyrite on My Mind to win by three parts of a length.
The daughter of Roll Hennessy Roll and the blue chip mare Some Smash collected her sixth career win and third stakes victory in a time of 1:03.93. She has only lost once in her young career. Winning owner Barbara Coleman of Farmington, New Mexico picked up a check worth $30,000. Her outstanding filly has earned over $201,000 under the direction of the talented trainer Todd Fincher.
The Bold Ego Handicap victory was the third stakes win of the new meet for the red hot trainer-jockey combination of Todd Fincher and Casey Lambert. The dynamic duo has also won the New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap with Rose’s Desert and the Challenger Six Handicap with Rollickin Red.
25-1 long shot Pyrite on My Mind closed with energy to gain second place under jockey Francisco Giles. The runner-up finished over 3 lengths in front of Alydarla. The latter was shipping in from Kentucky following at allowance win at Churchill Downs for trainer Steve Asmussen.
Zia Park Distaff winner African Rose was burned up in an early speed duel with Alydarla and finished well back in sixth place.
Live racing resumes on Sunday at 12:25 p.m. The 50th running of the $106,000 Riley Allison Futurity at one mile is the featured 10th race. There will be no live racing on Tuesday (Christmas Day). A special live racing card will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 26 starting at 12:25 p.m.