Under a cool ride from jockey Ken Tohill, Attitude E Racer won the $85,000 New Mexico State University Handicap with a determined effort on Sunday at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Sunday.
Forwardly placed throughout, Attitude E Racer forced the pace early with Groushy Apadana and ran through some terrific head winds down the backstretch of the one mile and 70 yard feature. The tough gelding still had plenty left in the tank for a stirring stretch run. The multiple stakes winning son of Desert God turned in another top level performance. Coming off the far turn, Attitude E Racer found a second gear and moved a half-length in front of Groushy Apadana.
Although narrowly in front, Attitude E Racer seemed to gain confidence and was rolling in mid-stretch. The 7-2 second favorite trained by Joel Marr fought off spirited rallies from both Mr. Wizard and On Down the Road to win by a neck. The winning time was 1:42.57. He paid $9.20 to win. The 2011 New Mexico Breeders’ Derby winner collected his fifth win from 19 starts and earned $51,000 for owner Michael Stinson of Ft. Worth, Texas. Attitude E Racer has a bankroll nearing $350,000. He is out of the mare Energywithattitude who also produced the multiple stakes winner Fullofenergy.
Mr. Wizard, a long shot at 19-1 odds, ran the race of his life to place in a stakes race. The son of Premeditation was coming off two straight allowance wins at the meet. He closed resolutely along the rail with jockey Dusty Shepherd in the irons.
On Down The Road had his 3-race winning streak snapped on Sunday. The Albert Dominguez Memorial Handicap winner trained by Joel Marr trainee went off at even money. He rallied in the final furlong under Carlos Madeira but had to settle for third, beaten less than a length. The favorite completed a $1 trifecta worth $217.90.
E.T. Springer winner Groushy Apadana outran his 27-1 odds to finish a good fourth. The former $5,000 claimer is one of the most improved horses in New Mexico.
Live racing resumes on Tuesday at 1 p.m. The $800,000 Sunland Derby (Gr. III) is coming up on Sunday. The 12-race all-Thoroughbred card features 7 stakes races and over $1.4 million in purses.