Sunday, June 22, 2014
A strong late rally helped El Gato Azul score his first career stakes win in the 870-yard, $45,000 New Mexico Horsemen’s Association Handicap (R) for state-bred Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds at SunRay Park on Sunday.
Ridden by Enrique Garcia for owner and trainer Jesus Carrete, El Gato Azul reached the wire in :46.331. The 6-year-old gray gelding’s winning margin was a half of a length from Vicente Y Su Corona.
El Gato Azul was bred by Lazy Chili Ranch. The gelding’s sire, Future Trick, is a 17-year-old son of the Beduino (TB) stallion Chicks Beduino.
El Gato Azul’s dam, Deep Creek Lane (TB), is an unraced 15-year-old mare by the Storm Cat stallion Devon Lane. He traces back to his fifth dam, the Kentucky-bred Double Jay (TB) mare Irish Jay (TB), a 1957 foal who won six stakes in New York from 1959-60, including the $50,000 Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga in 1959, and the $50,000 Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park the following season.
Irish Jay also produced three stakes winners, including Queen Empress, a daughter of Bold Ruler and the 1964 Eclipse champion 2-year-old filly; and King Emperor, a Bold Ruler colt who won eight stakes from 1968-70, including the $75,000 Pimlico-Laurel Futurity in Maryland in ’68.
Racing exclusively in New Mexico, El Gato Azul has won seven of 28 outs, and the $27,000 winner’s share of the New Mexico Horsemen’s Association Handicap purse pushed his earnings to $111,577, of which $60,734 has been banked this season. The gelding was coming off of a third-place finish in an 870-yard, $25,000 open-condition allowance for state-breds at SunRay on June 1.
El Gato Azul won two of his three starts during the 2013-14 Sunland Park meet, both against claiming company at the 870-yard distance.
El Gato Azul was sent to post at odds of 5-1 in the six-horse New Mexico Horsemen’s Association Handicap field and paid a $12.60 win mutuel. The gelding teamed with Vicente Y Su Corona for a $36.60 ($2) exacta return.
KC Royal Flush finished third, five lengths behind El Gato Azul, and was followed by Talkin Hills, odds-on favorite Storm Chasor, and Midnightlowdown (TB). The only Thoroughbred in the race, Midnightlowdown clipped heels and fell in the homestretch.
Vicente Y Su Corona is a homebred 6-year-old stallion by the Corona Cartel stallion Stel Corona campaigned by Hubaldo Solis of Peralta, New Mexico. Vicente Y Su Corona has won five of 33 races and has earned $139,800, and his stakes resume includes a second-place finish to Primvvera in the 400-yard, $77,476 New Mexico State Fair Senor Futurity (RG3) at The Downs at Albuquerque in 2010.
A homebred 7-year-old son of Sixes Royal, KC Royal Flush has banked $346,699 for his owners, Kathryn Maynard and Carla Feerer of Los Lunas, New Mexico. The gelding has won seven of 49 outs, and his three career stakes victories include a neck victory in the $140,240 New Mexico Cup 870 Championship (R) at Zia Park in 2012.