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Desert Gambler Upsets Carlos Salazar Stakes
RSS Feeds Sunday, August 28, 2016
Sent to post at odds of 66-1, Desert Gambler took the measure of eight New Mexico-bred fillies and mares in Saturday’s $60,000 Carlos Salazar Stakes (R) at Albuquerque Downs.

Desert Gambler covered 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:18.07, and the 4-year-old Desert God filly’s margin of victory was 1 3/4 lengths from 14-1 longshot and defending Carlos Salazar champion My Bikini Fell Off. Diabolical Dame, Desert Gambler’s stablemate and 1-10 favorite, finished third after a less-than-perfect start.

Gonzalo Nicolas rode Desert Gambler for owners Dale Taylor, Carey Taylor, and Jon Hogg, and trainer Todd Fincher.

Diabolical Dame was returning to New Mexico after her fourth-place finish in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance-optional claiming race at Del Mar on July 27.

“She broke horribly and got wiped out right away,” said Fincher, who also prepped Diabolical Dame. “Desert Gambler had a great break, went straight to the lead and had a clear trip.

“She’s a talented filly -- she’s mutliple stakes placed -- but I think she was overlooked tonight,” said Fincher of Desert Gambler. “She’s more of a route horse, but she got a great break and a good ride from Gonzalo.

Fincher indicated that both Desert Gambler and Diabolical Dame would make their next starts at Zia Park in Hobbs, which opens its 56-day fall season on September 10.

“We’ll see how they pulled up out of this race, but there’s nothing more for them here stakes-wise, so we’ll be going to Hobbs,” the trainer added.

A homebred, Desert Gambler has won four of her 16 starts -- including four of her last five against New Mexico-bred company -- and the $36,000 winner’s share of the Carlos Salazar Stakes purse increased the filly’s bankroll to $175,355.

Tricky Trix ran fourth and was followed by Renewed Vows, My Dandy Girl, Stormin Creek, Indian Tiva, and Stormy Day.

Contested annually at Albuquerque Downs, the Carlos Salazar Stakes honors the memory of the late long-time sports editor of the Albuquerque Tribune and frequent racetrack visitor.

In The News

Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Nine stakes races, including two restricted to New Mexico-breds, were contested on Zia Park’s Wednesday’s “Land of Enchantment Day” program.
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Two stakes for New Mexico-breds -- one for Thoroughbreds and one for Quarter Horses -- will be featured on Wednesday’s $1.303-million Land of Enchantment Day program at Zia Park.
Sunday, October 29, 2017
Jockeys Ry Eikleberry and Roimes Chirinos each rode the winners of two races during Sunday’s $2-million New Mexico Cup Day program at Zia Park.
Thursday, October 26, 2017
A total of 131 New Mexico-bred Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses has been entered in Sunday’s New Mexico Cup races at Zia Park. Purses for the 12 races -- eight for Thoroughbreds and four for Quarter Horses -- will exceed $2 million, once again making New Mexico Cup day the richest state- or province-bred day of racing in North America.

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