Mr. Wizard romps to victory in $85,000 NMSU Handicap
El Paso, TX — Mr. Wizard romped to a comprehensive 5-length win in the $85,000 New Mexico State University Handicap at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Sunday.
Racing as the 2-1 favorite, the recent winner of the Albert Dominguez Memorial Handicap completely dominated the best New Mexico-bred routers in training. Under jockey Dusty Shepherd, Mr. Wizard stalked the pace setters early and took off rounding the far turn. The multiple stakes champion slammed into the home stretch with a burst of momentum and would not be denied.
The five-year-old New Mexico-bred son of Premeditation sped away for his third straight win of the meet and clocked the one mile and 70 yards in 1:41.18. Winning trainer Dallas Barton indicated that his star router might take a short rest for the immediate future. Barton has perfectly directed the campaign of this champion. The winner returned $6.80 on a $2 win ticket. He secured his fourth win from his last five starts. Last fall, the distance lover won the New Mexico Classic Cup at Zia Park.
Mr. Wizard earned $51,000 for owners W.D. Carson, Sr, M.H. Carson and William Leach. After 30 lifetime outings, Mr. Wizard has earned nearly $400,000 from 8 career wins. He is the clear leader in this division.
The highly consistent On Down The Road finished up nicely to get second place under jockey Carlos Madeira and owner Lisa Rehburg of Mountain Center, California. Hush’s Storm, the 2013 New Mexico Breeders’ Derby winner, wound up third.
Live racing resumes on Tuesday at 12:55 p.m. The $800,000 Sunland Derby (Gr. III) is less than one week away. Sunland Park’s biggest race day happens on Sunday, March 23.