Saturday, October 12, 2013
John Rochabrun rode Sapello Cantador to a come-from-behind victory in Saturday’s $37,000 University of New Mexico Handicap (R) for state-bred Thoroughbreds at The Downs at Albuquerque.
Trained by Eric Mikkelson for Dr. Miguel Gallegos’ Gallegos del Norte Racing of Albuquerque, Sapello Cantador covered his 1-mile trip in 1:38.05, after he rallied off of the fractions of :24.88, :47.86, and 1:12.00 set by Sight Unseen. The homebred 5-year-old gelding’s margin of victory was a nose from Jenson’s Miracle.
Sapello Cantador was coming off of a third-place finish in the 7-furlong, $37,000 E.T. Springer Stakes (R) at Albuquerque on September 8. The gelding’s sire, Valet Man, is a 15-year-old winning son of Carson City who has sired three stakes winners and the earners of more than $994,000 from 37 starters.
Valet Man’s starters include three-time New Mexico-bred stakes winner La Sorpresa. A half brother to two graded stakes winners, including Grade 1 winner Student Council, the stallion stood the 2013 season at Gallegos del Norte Ranch.
Sapello Cantador is also the first starter produced by Sapello Serenade, a homebred winning 10-year-old daughter of the Seattle Slew stallion Sadler Slew. The gelding’s second dam, the winning Silver Spade filly Sapello Miracle, is a half sister to Raider Quince, a colt who ran third in the 1983 New Mexican Stakes (R) at The Downs at Santa Fe.
Sapello Cantador traces back to his fourth dam, Flashy Spark, a daughter of Gray Dream who foaled the stakes-placed Big Klu colt Big Spark.
Racing exclusively in New Mexico, Sapello Cantador has won five of 27 starts, and the $22,200 winner’s share of the University of New Mexico Handicap purse pushed his bankroll to $147,374. The gelding scored a neck victory at odds of 12-1 in last year’s $50.000 UNM Handicap, and he ran second, 2 1/4 lengths behind Attitude E Racer, in the 2011 New Mexico Breeders’ Derby (R) at Sunland Park.
Odds-on favorite Spinning Touch finished third, 1 1/2 lengths behind the winner, and was followed by Gotta Move, Playin Tough, and Sight Unseen.
Runner-up Jenson’s Miracle is a homebred 3-year-old gelding by Rocket Included who has banked $174,585 from 14 starts for owner Lucky Six Inc. Jenson’s Miracle’s three victories include a nose win at odds of 18-1 in last year’s 1-mile, $125,480 New Mexico Eddy County Stakes (R) at Zia Park.
Spinning Touch has won five of 38 races and has earned $221,624 for owners Michael and Jeanne Fuhs, who also bred the 6-year-old son of the Hennessy stallion Touchdown Ky. The stallion’s stakes resume includes victories in the last two runnings of the Lineage Stakes at The Downs at Albuquerque.