Noconi Heads La Plata

Champion looks for 12th career stakes win.

May 9, 2012

R.D. Hubbard and J Bar 7 Ranch’s Noconi, a homebred 7-year-old gelding by Mr Jess Perry, is the morning-line favorite for Saturday’s 400-yard, $50,000 La Plata Stakes (G3) at SunRay Park.
A two-time champion, Noconi (Mr Jess Perry-My Dashing Lady by Dash For Cash) will be making his first start since February 19, when he ran third in the 400-yard, $226,050 Los Alamitos Winter Championship (G1). All told, the gelding has won 14 of 32 outs – including 11 stakes – and he has earned $1,305,900.

The veteran gelding made only four starts last year and came through with his second-straight win in the All American Gold Cup (G2) and took the Higheasterjet Handicap (G3), each at Ruidoso Downs.

An earner of $1,305,900 with 14 wins from 32 starts, Noconi was second in the Hobbs America Futurity (G2) at 2, took the All American Derby (G1) at 3, was second in the Refrigerator Handicap (G1) at 4 and won The Championship at Sunland Park (G1) at 5 before his two graded stakes wins at Ruidoso Downs last summer at 6.

Leticia Jaquez’s A Spring Snow (This Snow Is Royal-Lexines Legacy by Special Effort) comes off a creditable second-place effort behind champion Rylees Boy in the Bank of America Sunland Park Challenge (G2), beaten by 2 lengths. The Abraham Jaquez-trained gelding has found success at SunRay Park with six wins from 15 starts over the Farmington track.

Last year, he won the O.B. Cockerill Handicap (G3) and was second in the Lovington Stakes (G2).

The Ronald Stephens-owned and -trained Klassic Strawfly (Genuine Strawfly-A Classic Song by A Classic Dash) moves up to the stakes ranks after a pair of impressive optional-claiming wins at Sunland Park, He won over 440 yards by a length in :20.918 and then took a 400-yard race by 1 1/4-lengths in :18.913.

Hemerio Hernandez's Rare Walker (Walk Thru Fire-Oh La Proud by Shirley's Champion (TB)) won two races during the recent Sunland Park meet. Rare Walker is coming off of a third-place finish in an open 350-yard, $40,000 allowance dash at Sunland on April 15.

The La Plata will go off as the fourth race on SunRay Park’s nine-race program. Approximate post time is 2:07 p.m.

All entries in the La Plata have been assigned to carry 124 pounds. The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds – Zoomin Express (Salvador Martinez), 12-1; A Spring Snow (Alonso Rivera), 7-2; Rare Walker (Adrian Ramos), 4-1; Noconi (Esgar Ramirez), 2-1; Unashamed (J. Martin Bourdieu), 15-1; Rock That Wagon (Jaime Leos), 15-1; Klassic Strawfly (Macario Rodriguez), 6-1; Watch Out Bambino (Noe Garcia), 20-1; Quik Brew (Oscar Hernandez), 25-1; and Buildemhigh (Antonio Escareno), 9-1.