Forest Mouse, the leading older stakes winner in New Mexico, blasted away to a track record setting 3-length win in the 37th running of the $50,000 Winsham Lad Stakes at Sunland Park Race Track and Casino on Sunday.
In a commanding performance, Forest Mouse cemented his claim as the top handicap horse in the area by dominating a stellar field. He and jockey Ry Eikleberry cruised home in a time of 1:39.01 for the one mile and 70 yards. The winner bested the former mark of 1:39.83 held by Rents Paid. Ridden patiently, Forest Mouse executed a clean 3-wide trip on both turns and was teaming with energy in the final 3 furlongs. Eikleberry directed his mount towards the lead in upper stretch and Forest Mouse opened up the throttle. He blasted past a determined Tap The Gold and motored well clear of the field.
Forest Mouse raced as the 8-5 favorite coming off wins in the Zia Park Distance Championship and the San Juan County Commissioners Handicap at SunRay Park. He made over $271,000 from 4 wins in 2012. The Winsham Lad victory was worth $30,000 to winning owner Parnell Thomas. Forest Mouse is a five-year-old stallion by Teton Forest with 12 career wins and $453,629 in earnings.
Winning trainer Henry Dominguez indicated Forest Mouse might be pointed to the $50,000 Curribot Stakes on Sunday, Feb. 10.
14-1 upstart Tap The Gold ran a courageous race in his stakes debut to finish a polished second. The runner-up ridden by Ken Tohill attended the pace and fought his heart out for trainer Cal Martin. The improving son of Tapit was coming off maiden and allowance victories.
Robertino Diodoro’s Hurricane Lake made a wide run to get third place. Ruidoso Thoroughbred Championship winner Global Stage closed eagerly up the rail to gain the fourth spot. Zia Park Derby winner Ol Winedrinker Who was fifth followed by Red Lead, Watch Me Go, Happy Toes and Fog Alert.
Live racing resumes on Tuesday at 12:25 p.m.