Tf Featured Effort cruises to victory in $165,934 West Texas Derby
Tf Featured Effort cruised to an easy one-length victory in the 49th running of the $165,934 West Texas Derby (Grade 3) at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Saturday. Under leading Quarter Horse rider Esgar Ramirez, Tf Featured Effort raced as the 2-1 second choice and was never seriously challenged.
Breaking from the outside #10 post position, the Roberto Sanchez trainee shot out from the gates and quickly gained a prominent spot on the lead. The Feature Mr Jess colt grabbed the bit and poured on the speed midway down the lane under mild urging. He powered home a confident winner in a time of 18.902 seconds for the 400 yards. The clocking earned an impressive 98 speed index. The winner vindicated his top qualifying status from the trials. He earned $77,990 payday from his second win of the year for the SM Cattle Export Company and Jaime Dominguez of Peyton, Colorado.
Tf Featured Effort completes a terrific Sunland Park campaign. He won three races and was a finalist in the Sunland Park Winter Quarter Horse Futurity. With his West Texas Derby victory, the razor sharp three-year-old earned a berth in next season’s $350,000 Championship at Sunland Park (Grade 1) in December. He has earned over $121,000.
Both Esgar Ramirez and Roberto Sanchez are well on their way to collecting the Sunland Park Quarter Horse rider and trainer championships, respectively.
Moon Dynasty, a half-brother to the champion First Moonflash, ran a strong race to get second place under jockey Jesse Levario. The runner-up raced at odds of 10-1 for trainer Juan M. Gonzalez. The runner-up earned $29,868 for the Valle Guadiana Corporation of El Paso, Texas. Ocean La Jolla finished a nose back in third place.
Rj Ricky Bobby, the 9-5 favorite, was bumped hard at the start and blocked. The First Thoughts gelding finished in 9th place.
Future win and exacta wagering on this year’s Kentucky Derby remains open through Sunday afternoon. The $1 million Louisiana Derby from the Fair Grounds will be simulcast.
Also on Sunday, racing fans can meet with American Quarter Horse Association Quarter Horse racing experts John Hernandez and Jen Perkins who will have an analysis of the $61,380 Red Cell New Mexico Distance Challenge (4th race) at 870 yards. The pair join will track announcer Robert Geller for an informative handicapping seminar at 11 a.m. in the Franklin’s Lounge.
The Sports and Health Expo will also be held at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Sunday. The free event starts at 11 a.m. and continues through 5 p.m. in the Signature Showroom. The expo features a meet and greet session with current Dallas Cowboy linebacker Sean Lee. First post time on Sunday is 12:45 p.m.