Lopez, Montes team up for big day at Sun Downs

By Jeff Morrow, Herald sports editorMay 4, 2013 

Saturday was one great day of racing for trainer Danny Montes and jockey Reuben Lozano.

It was pretty good for owner Jorge Carmona. But he’s had better.

The three teamed together to have their horses win the day’s two major races in front of a large Kentucky Derby-day grandstand crowd filled with fancy hats and mint julips at Sun Downs Race Track in Kennewick.

In the sixth-race feature, the $21,204 AQHA Dick Monahan Maiden Challenge finals, Lozano rode First Specialist to victory.

Two races later, Lozano was aboard Ought to Azoom en route to a victory in the $21,510 Sun Downs/Zoetis Starter Allowance Challenge finals.

Montes said this was one of the best days he’s had as a trainer. Lozano said it was his best day as a rider.

And for Carmona, whose company is San Gregorio Racing Stables, out of Riverside, Calif.?

“It was a great day,” he admitted. “But I had a horse win the All-American Futurity last year.”

The $2.4 million Futurity? Won by One Dashing Eagle? OK, that was better.

But wins are wins, and the trio was feeling pretty good at the end of the day at the Kennewick track.

First Specialist took the Maiden victory at 350 yards, starting in the 4 spot. When the horses broke from the gate, Lozano got a clean start.

But the 5 horse, Fergilicious, starting leaking to the outside, clearing a straight path for First Specialist.

“But he wanted to go outside too and follow the 5,” said Lozano. “I had to straighten him out.”

Montes said First Specialist likes to run at Sun Downs during the daylight.

“He’s a 4-year-old, and two years ago he had a bad wreck,” said Montes. “He cut his ribs on the inside rail under the lights. So he likes the daylight better.”

Two week ago, the horse was a little skittish during the trials. But on Saturday, he was relaxed, covering the 350 yards in 17.42 seconds and 11⁄4 lengths ahead of runnerup Gc Streakin Okey.

Ought to Azoom was also relaxed before the start of his race, and he was in no hurry to get things going in the paddock. The 6-year-old gelding was just out for an easy stroll, led by his handler.

“This is his fourth time racing here,” said Carmona.

But by the time the race began, the horse and Lozano were all business. They got a clean break at the start, but trouble soon followed.

“Ought to Azoom stumbled,” said Lozano. “I used the whip a little.”

Eyes Movin and rider Troy Stillwell came out of the 2 spot and stayed with Ought to Azoom.

“But I kept my eyes on the outside horses,” said Lozano. “It was the outside horses I was afraid of.”

Didn’t matter. Ought to Azoom held off the field — even pulled away a bit at the end — for the victory, covering the 350 yards in 17.35 seconds and finishing a half-length ahead of Eyes Movin.

“He likes this track,” said Montes. “This is his third win here. This track is pretty even.”

Team San Gregorio now has both horses qualified for the national finals, set for this fall at Los Alamitos.

That large Sun Downs crowd wagered $95,124 for the day — and $31,350 of that was on the Kentucky Derby.

Today marks the final day of the Sun Downs meet, with two more major races — the $22,850 Pot O’Gold Futurity (the meet’s signature race), and the $24,120 Sun Downs/AQHA Merial Distaff Challenge finals, with the winner advancing to the national finals this fall.

The first of the card’s 10 races has a post time of 1 p.m.

Trey Fecta
Trey lost just $12 on Saturday, bringing the imaginary bankroll (that started the meet at $300) down to $93.20 for the final day.

For the final day, we’ll start by picking Liberated Girl in the first for the first half of the Daily Double, and we’ll box an exacta of Liberated Girl and Direct Deal.

In the second, Little Fools Cash is the second half of the DD, and we’ll combine him with Varro for a $5 quinella.

We’re boxing a trifecta of Reel Fast, Go Getter Back and Hyho Travio in the third.

For the fourth, it’s $10 to win on Skimmed.

In the fifth, we’ll take $5 across the board on Snip N Dale.

In the sixth, we’re taking a trifecta box on Senator D, Here Comes Lucky and Lasting Influence.

In the seventh, we’ll box an exacta of Stormello Fello and Swiss Ace.

In the eighth, it’s a $5 quinella of Avatarr and Angel Eyez.

For the ninth, we’ll go with Chaching Pete in the first half of the Late Double, then an exacta box with Chaching Pete and Proud Illusion.

Finally, for the 10th, it’s Sheza Quick Chick in the second half of the Late Double, and couple her with The Streakin Clean for a $5 quinella.

That’s $70 in wagers.

Saturday’s results

FIRST — TB mdn, 3YO&Up, Purse $1,300, 4 furlongs: 3. Rusty Shovel 9.60, 4.20, 3.00. 2. Vegas Boy 6.40, 3.00. 5. My Pal Sully 4.20. EX (3-2) 226.20, QU 76.20, TRI (3-2-5) 968.40. T — NA.
SECOND — The Miller Boys Memorial “Joey, Buddy and Russ”, 3YO&Up, Purse $1,700, 330 yards: 4. El Laberinto 8.40, 4.60, 5.00. 5. Surfin For Bux 6.00, 4.00. 9. Big Fast N Ugly 4.40. DD (3-4) 234.60, EX (4-5) 44.00, QU 38.40, TRI (4-5-9) 1,102.80. T — 16.82.
THIRD — TB clm $5,000, 3YO&Up which have never won 3 races, Purse $1,500, 4 furlongs: 7. Justbrown 7.80, 4.60, 3.00. 1. Aint No Sweet Pea 5.40, 4.20. 3. Soaring Like Eagle 4.40. EX (7-1) 79.20, QU 60.00, Superfecta (&-All-All-All) 4.10, TRI (7-1-3) 172.80. T — NA.
FOURTH — QH alw, 3YO&Up which have never won 2 races, Purse $1,500, 350 yards: 10. Regal Chelita 14.40, 6.60, 5.40. 3. Ncc Shakool 5.60, 11.80. 8. La Kangurita 9.00, 10.80. EX (10-3) 129.80. QU (3-10) 95.70. TRI (10-3-8) 2,071.20. T — 17.7.
FIFTH — Western States Equipment, TB clm $2500, 3YO&Up which have not won a race in 2013, Purse $1,500, 4 furlongs: 6. Tanya’s Toad 5.00, 3.60, 3.20. 7. Liberty At the Bar 6.80, 3.80. 5. DQ - Star of Nome 3.80. EX (6-7) 43.60. QU (6-7) 31.20. TRI (6-7-1) 141.00. T — NA.
SIXTH — AQHA Dick Monahan Maiden Challenge Finals. Open 3YO&Up, Purse $21, 204, 350 yards: 4. First Specialist 5.00, 4.20, 3.80. 3. Gc Streakin Okey 11.00, 8.00. 1. Royal Down Special 8.80. EX (4-3) 32.60. QU (3-4) 61.60. Superfecta (4-3-all-all) 10.00. TRI (4-3-1) 1,302.80. T — 17.42.
SEVENTH — Jim Smith Ribbons and Lace Handicap, 3YO&Up, Purse $2,100, 6 furlongs, 1. Trixie Two 18.20, 6.80, 4.40. 5. Sasha B 3.20, 3.00. 6. Colorful Tune 3.60. EX (1-5) 35.80. QU (1-5) 17.40. TRI (1-5-6) 133.60. T — NA.
EIGHTH —Sun Downs/Zoetis Starter Allowance Challenge Finals, 3YO&Up, Purse $21,510, 350 yards: 4. Ought to Azoom 4.80, 2.80, 2.80. 2, Eyes Movin 3.40, 3.20. 8. Snowbound Superchick 6.40. DD (1-4) 62.00. EX (4-2) 8.20. QU (2-4) 12.90. Superfecta (4-2-8-9) 144.10. TRI (4-2-8) 70.40. T — 17.35. Total handle: $95,124. Kentucky handle from Sundowns: $31,350.

TODAY’S ENTRIES
First post 1 p.m.

FIRST — TB mdn, 3YO&Up, Purse $1,300, 4 furlongs: 1. Heaven At Last. 2. Meg’s Easter Rain. 3. Liberated Girl. 4. Whoopee for Mee. 5. Chica Caliente. 6. Pursue the Moon. 7. Belle Chippendale. 8. Direct Deal.
SECOND — QH mdn, 3YO&Up, Purse $1,300, 350 yards: 1. Miss Zay Cheng. 2. Okes Blue Okie. 3. Varro. 4. Little Fools Cash. 5. Miss Ez Okey. 6. Special Bully. 7. Lookin for Streakin. 8. Kevins Last Shot. 9. See Sea Look.
THIRD — TCHRA Futurity Consolation, 2YO, Purse $2,000, 300 yards: 1. Seperation Creek Fly. 2. Imafeline. 3. Reel Fast. 4. Go Getter Back. 5. Hyho Travio.
FOURTH — TB clm $2500, 3YO&Up which have not won a race in 2013, Purse $1,500, 4 furlongs: 1. Yo Syd. 2. Skimmed. 3. Blazethepaige. 4. Fly Pole. 5. Tuxedo Dollys. 6. Notes of Freedom.
FIFTH — QH alw, 3YO&Up, Purse $1,700, 350 yards: 1. Shez Pretty Awesome. 2. Unique Sneak. 3. Lil Orange Scooter. 4. Corona Legacy. 5. Snip N Dale. 6. Shazoomin for Honor.
SIXTH — TB clm $2,000, 3YO&Up which have not won a race in 2013, Purse $1,500, 4 furlongs: 1. Lasting Influence. 2. Here Comes Lucky. 3. Senator D. 4. Crying Eye. 5. Dee Rain. 6. Daryl.
SEVENTH — Bill Henderson Memorial, QH alw, 3YO&Up, Purse $1,700, 770 yards: 1. Sugar Kane Train (QH). 2. The Bien’s Gift (TB). 3. Dalightfullyfast (QH). 4. Stormello Fello (TB). 5. Berkley Gal (QH). 6. Swiss Ace (TB).
EIGHTH — Pot O’Gold Futurity, QH Futurity, 2YO nominated and qualified in time trials, Purse $22,850, 300 yards: 1. Avatarr. 2. Kool Chivato. 3. Divine Art. 4. Ba Snowin Okies. 5. Eagle B Gone. 6. Junos First Chick. 7. Js Mr Jazz. 8. La Jackye. 9. Rock de Noche. 10. Angel Eyez.
NINTH — Sun Downs Au Revoir Handicap, TB Handicap, 3YO&Up which have started at the 2013 Sun Downs meet, Purse $2,100, 61⁄5 furlongs: 1. Sentimento. 2. Only Be Cause. 3. Chaching Pete. 4. Vezuviy. 5. Splashmee. 6. Proud Illusion. 7. Buck’s Bro.
TENTH — Sun Downs/AQHA Meriel Distaff Challenge finals, Purse $24,120, 400 yards: 1. Ez Gamer. 2. A Regal Blue Sky. 3. L Bar D Snow Princes. 4. Sheza Quick Chick. 5. Clear Blue Sea. 6. The Streakin Clean. 7. Feature Miss Alibi. 8. Chivata Lane.

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