Saturday, April 21, 2012
Laying just off of the pace set by favorite Shemoves, Rita Danley's I Am Lesters Gal scored her second career stakes victory in Saturday's $85,000 Russell and Hellen Foutz Distaff Handicap (R) for New Mexico-bred fillies and mares at SunRay Park.
I Am Lesters Gal covered her 6 1/2-furlong trip in 1:17.76 after closing on early fractions of :22.81 and :45.36. J. Martin Bourdieu rode the homebred 5-year-old Lesters Boy mare for trainer Fred Danley.
“At first, I thought I was a little bit too close to the pace – Fred told me lay about third or fourth off the pace, but it just turned out she was on the engine and a little bit closer early,” said Bourdieu.
Bourdieu took over the mount from Ricardo Jaime, who rode I Am Lesters Gal in all three of her races during the recently concluded Sunland Park meet. The rider emphasized that the mare did it all on her own.
“Good horses make their jockeys look good,” Bourdieu added.
I Am Lesters Gal is one of four stakes winners sired by Lesters Boy, a 16-year-old son of the Relaunch stallion Cee's Tizzy who won the 2002 Camino Real Stakes at The Downs at Albuquerque and ran second in the $100,000 Pomona Derby at Fairplex Park in '99.
Lesters Boy has sired the earners of more than $2.075 million from 40 starters. He is owned by Dr. Miguel Gallegos and stands at Gallegos del Norte Farm in Albuquerque.
I Am Lesters Gal's dam, I'm A Happy Gal, is a homebred daughter of the Damascus stallion Brave Lad. Now 14, I'm A Happy Gal won two allowance races at Sunland Park in 2002.
I Am Lesters Gal was coming off of a fifth-place finish in the 5 1/2-furlong, $110,000 La Coneja Stakes (R) at Sunland Park on March 25. The mare put together a three-race win streak during the 2011 Zia Park fall meet.
All told, I Am Lesters Gal has won eight of 21 races, and the $51,000 winner's share of the Foutz Distaff purse increased her bankroll to $245,282. Her record includes a four-length victory in the $40,000 Chief Narbona Stakes (R) for state-bred sophomore fillies during the 2010 Lineage Day program at The Downs at Albuquerque. She also ran third, 7 ¼ lengths behind winner Glory Be Mine, in the '09 Rio Grande Senorita Futurity (R) at Ruidoso Downs.
Devons Spirit finished second, two lengths behind I Am Lesters Gal. Cali Baby, Shemoves, Iplaytricks, Naughty Storm, Vowsmakemeblush, Dream Kin, and Going West Gal completed the order of finish.
A homebred 5-year-old mare by the Afternoon Deelites stallion Premeditation racing for John Pinkerton, Devons Spirit banked $17,000 to push her earnings to $119,907. The mare has won three of 20 starts, including a 1-mile entry level allowance for state-breds at Zia Park last November.
Cali Baby has banked $448,609 from 26 races for her owners, UKUSA Stables. A 6-year-old daughter of the late El Prado (IRE) stallion Thatsusintheolbean, Cali Baby has won nine races, including four consecutive New Mexico-bred stakes to close out her 2010 campaign.
Racing at SunRay Park resumes with an 11-race program on Sunday, beginning at 12:55 p.m. (MDT). The feature race, the 400-yard, $50,000 Animas Stakes for 3-year-old Quarter Horses, goes off as the fifth race and has a scheduled post time of 2:31.