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Longshot Sapello Cantador Scores First Stakes Win in UNM Handicap
RSS Feeds Sunday, October 7, 2012
Given a perfectly timed ride by jockey John Rochabrun, longshot Sapello Cantador rallied to win Sunday's 1-mile, $50,000 University of New Mexico Handicap (R) for state-bred Thoroughbreds at The Downs at Albuquerque.

Sapello Cantador closed off of the fractions of :26.65 and :50.54 set by Dueling Dom before he reached the wire in 1:38.27, and his margin of victory was a neck from Dueling Dom. Robert Esquibel trained the homebred 4-year-old gelding by Valet Man for Dr. Miguel Gallegos' Gallegos del Norte Racing of Albuquerque.

Sapello Cantador became the third stakes winner sired by Valet Man, a 14-year-old son of the Mr. Prospector stallion Carson City who earned $75,709 from 14 starts while racing in Florida, Kentucky, and Illinois from 2001-02. Valet Man's 31 starters have banked more than $852,000 and include his top earner, three-time stakes winner La Sorpresa.

A half brother to Student Council, the winner of the 2007 Pacific Classic Stakes (G1) at Del Mar, and Grade 3 winner Gradepoint, Valet Man is owned by and stands at Gallegos del Norte Ranch in Albuquerque.

Sapello Cantador's dam, the homebred mare Sapello Serenade, is a winning 9-year-old daughter of the Seattle Slew stallion Sadler Slew.

Sapello Cantador was coming off of a fifth-place finish in the 7-furlong, $50,000 E.T. Springer Stakes at Albuquerque on September 9. He has won four of 17 starts, and his season record includes a 3 3/4-length victory over $10,000 New Mexico-bred claimers at Sunland Park on March 18.

The $30,000 winner's share of the University of New Mexico Handicap purse increased Sapello Cantador's earnings to $112,022.

Sent to post at odds of 12-1, Sapello Cantador returned a $26.60 win mutuel and teamed with runner-up Dueling Dom for a $114.40 ($2) exacta. Groushy Apadana, the 8-5 favorite in the field of five, finished third to complete a $2 trifecta payoff of $270.80.

Desert Dude and Spinning Touch completed the order of finish.

The lone 3-year-old in the field, Dueling Dom is a gelding by the Storm Cat stallion Dominique's Cat who has won two of 11 races and has banked $70,142 for his owner, Judge Lanier Racing. Dueling Dom ran second, a half of a length behind winner Zenon's Star, in the 6 1/2-furlong, $75,000 Dine Stakes (R) for state-bred sophomores at SunRay Park on May 27.

Groushy Apadana was coming off of a three-quarter length win in the E.T. Springer Stakes for owner 5 Star Racing LLC. A one-time $5,000 claimer, the 7-year-old gelding by the Crafty Prospector stallion Mr. Groush has earned $93,616 from 15 races, all in New Mexico.

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