Here Kittykittykitty purrs to victory in $110,000 Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap
Here Kittykittykitty won his second stakes race of the meet with a resounding victory in the $110,000 Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Sunday.
Coming off a victory in the $110,000 Jess Burner Handicap and a fifth place finish in the Grade 1 $350,000 Championship at Sunland Park, Here Kittykittykitty raced as the 4-5 favorite and looked immaculate coming into the post parade. With jockey Martin Bourdieu in the saddle, Here Kittykittykitty generated another smooth performance and was never in jeopardy. The elegant five-year-old gelding by Genuine Strawfly broke well from the outside #10 post position and gained a stranglehold of the 350 yard dash in mid-stretch.
Here Kittykittykitty poured on the pressure late and defeated a game Genuine American by a neck at the wire. The winning time was a rapid 16.897 seconds, good for a 96 speed index. The Wes Giles trainee scored his 6th win from 18 starts. The ultra consistent stakes star is now a winner of over $410,000.
The winner earned a $66,000 paycheck for owner Melvin Neugebauer. The popular New Mexico horseman has a thriving hay cube business based in Colorado. Some of his leading Quarter Horses have been Miracle Snow and Go Southern Special.
Genuine American ran a strong race for trainer Carl Draper. The 9-2 proposition was near the lead throughout and fought valiantly under jockey Bonifacio Perez. The runner-up could not stall off the long striding winner. Genuine American had won two races in a row at Sunland this meet. He picked up a $23,100 check for the J and L Stables, LLC and Fredda Draper of Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico
A First Caller finished third, beaten a length. The multiple stakes winner held a brief early lead with jockey Oscar Rincon. Combined career earnings of the field totaled over $2.6 million.
Live racing resumes on Tuesday at 12:45 p.m. The $800,000 Sunland Derby (Gr. III) is less than 2 weeks away. Sunland Park’s biggest day happens on Sunday, March 25. Over $1.6 million in purses including the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks will be on the menu. An all-Thoroughbred 13-race card is planned.